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Chapter 7 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT: PIAGET’S THEORY AND VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL VIEWPOINT . PIAGET’S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT. Genetic epistemology – experimental study of the origin of knowledge What is intelligence? A basic life function that helps an organism adapt to the environment
Chapter 7 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT: PIAGET’S THEORY AND VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL VIEWPOINT
PIAGET’S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Genetic epistemology – experimental study of the origin of knowledge • What is intelligence? • A basic life function that helps an organism adapt to the environment • Cognitive equilibrium – balance between thought processes and the environment • Constructivist approach – child constructs knowledge
PIAGET’S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Gaining Knowledge: Schemes and Processes • Schemes: mental patterns (thought/action) • Organization – combine existing schemes into new/complex schemes • Adaptation – adjustment to environment • Assimilation – new information into existing schemes • Accommodation – modify existing schemes for new information
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Invariant developmental sequence • Sequencing fixed • Individual differences entering/emerging stages
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • The Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 years) • Coordinate sensory inputs and motor skills • Transition from being reflexive to reflective • Development of Problem-Solving Abilities • Reflex activity (birth – 1 month) • Primary circular reactions (1-4 months) • first motor habits, repetitive
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Secondary circular reactions (4-8 months) • Repetitive actions with objects beyond the body • Coordination of secondary reactions (8-12 months) • Coordinate 2 or more actions to achieve an objective (intentional)
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Tertiary circular reactions -12-18 months • Active experimentation, trial & error • Symbolic problem solving -18-24 months • Inner (mental) experimentation
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Development of Imitation • Novel responses by 8-12 months of age • Deferred imitation – 18-24 months • Research now shows 6-month-olds are capable of deferred imitation
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Development of Object Permanence • Objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible/detectable • Appears by 8-12 months of age • A-not-B error: search in the last place found, not where it was last seen • Complete by 18-24 months
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Challenges to Piaget Account • Neo-nativism – • Infants are born with substantial innate knowledge • Require less time/experience to be demonstrated • Young children seem to possess some object permanence, memory
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Challenges to Piaget’s Approach • Theory theories • Combination of neo-nativist and Piagetian perspective • Infants are prepared at birth to make sense of some information • Beyond this, Piaget’s constructivist approach is generally accurate
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • The Preoperational Stage (2-7 years) • Symbolic function / representational insight • One thing represents another • Language • Pretend (symbolic) play – developmentally a positive activity • New views on symbolism • Dual representation – think about an object in 2 ways at one time (3 years)
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Deficits in preoperational thinking • Animism • Attribute life/life like qualities to inanimate objects • Egocentrism • View world from own perspective, trouble recognizing other’s point of view
Figure 7.2 Piaget’s three-mountain problem. Young preoperational children are egocentric. They cannot easily assume another person’s perspective and often say that another child viewing the mountain from a different vantage point sees exactly what they see from their own location.
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Deficits in preoperational thinking • Appearance/reality distinction • Cannot distinguish between the two • Dual encoding • Representing an object in more than one way at a time
Figure 7.3 Maynard the cat, without and with a dog mask. Three-year-olds who met Maynard before his change in appearance nonetheless believed that he had become a dog.
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Deficits in preoperational thinking • Lack of conservation – do not realize properties of objects do not change just because appearance does • Lack of decentration – concentrate on more than one aspect of a problem at the same time • Lack of reversibility – mentally undo an action
Figure 7.5 Reversibility is an important cognitive operation that develops during middle childhood.
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Did Piaget Underestimate the Preoperational Child? • New evidence on egocentrism • Piaget’s tasks were too complex • Another look at children’s reasoning • Animism not routine among 3-year-olds • Can preoperational children conserve? • Can be trained at 4 years (identity training)
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • The Development Theory of Mind (TOM) • Belief-desire reasoning • Understand behavior is based on • What an individual knows or believes • What they want or desire • Develops after preschool age • False-belief task – desire, not belief • Based on lack of cognitive inhibition • Improves with interaction with siblings
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • The Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 years) • Cognitive operations • Internal mental activity to modify symbols to reach a logical conclusion • Conservation – capable of • Decentering • Reversibility
Table 7.3 A comparison of preoperational and concrete operational thought
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Relational logic – capable of • Mental seriation • Transitivity • Horizontal decalage – different levels of understanding that seem to require same mental operations • Based on complexity • Limited to real or tangible aspects of experience
Figure 7.7 Children’s performance on a simple seriation task. If asked to arrange a series of sticks from shortest to longest, preoperational children often line up one end of the sticks and create an incomplete ordering (a) or order them so the top of each successive stick extends higher than the preceding stick (b). Concrete operators, by contrast, can use the inverse cognitive operations greater than (>) and less than (<) to quickly make successive comparisons and create a correct serial ordering.
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • The Formal Operational Stage (11-12 +) • Hypothetico-deductive reasoning • Ability to generate hypotheses and use deductive reasoning (general to specific) • Inductive reasoning • Going from specific observations to generalizations
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Personal and Social Implications of Formal Thought • Thinking about what is possible in life • Stable identity • Understanding of other’s perspectives • Questioning others • Thinking of how the world “ought to be”
PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT • Does Everyone Reach Formal Operations? • Early Piaget – Yes, at least some signs by 15-18 • Other researchers – No. Lack of education • Later Piaget – Yes, but only on problems that are either interesting or important • Seem to be more adolescents at this level than 30 years ago
Figure 7.8 Expertise and formal operations. College students show the greatest command of formal-operational thought in the subject area most related to their major. ADAPTED FROM DE LISI & STAUDT, 1980.
AN EVALUATION OF PIAGET’S THEORY • Piaget’s Contributions • Founded cognitive development • Stated children construct their knowledge • First attempt to explain development • Reasonably accurate overview of how children of different ages think • Major influence in social and emotional development, and education • Influenced future research
AN EVALUATION OF PIAGET’S THEORY • Challenges to Piaget • Piaget failed to distinguish competence from performance • Does cognitive development really occur in stages? • Little evidence of broad stages • Does Piaget “explain” cognitive development? – more of an description • Little attention to social/cultural influences
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • The Role of Culture in Development • Ontogenetic development – development of an individual over his or her lifetime • Microgenetic development – change over relatively brief periods of time • Phylogenetic development – changes over evolutionary time • Sociohistorical development – changes in one’s culture
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Tools of Intellectual Adaptation • Born with elementary mental functions (attention, memory) • Culture transforms these into higher mental functions • Culture specific tools allow the use of the basic functions more adaptively (language, pencils)
Table 7.4 Chinese and English number words from 1 to 20. The more systematic Chinese numbering system follows a base-ten logic (i.e., 11 translating as “ten one” [“shi yee”]) requiring less rote memorization, which may explain why Chinese-speaking children learn to count to 20 earlier than English-speaking children.
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • The Social Origins of Early Cognitive Competencies • Many discoveries active learners make occur in collaborative dialogue with a tutor • The Zone of Proximal Development • Difference between what a learner can do independently and what can be done with guidance
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Scaffolding – tendency to tailor support to a learner near the limit of capability • Guided participation/apprenticeship • May be very formal and context dependent • May occur in day-to-day activities
Figure 7.9 Some functions of shared remembering in children’s memory development. Source: Gauvin, M (2001). The social context of cognitive development. New York: Guilford, p. 211.
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Working in the Zone of Proximal Development in Different Cultures • Cultures where adults and children are segregated, learning is in schools • Cultures where adults and children are together most of the day, learning is through real life observation • Verbal versus nonverbal emphasis of instruction
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Playing in the Zone of Proximal Development • More likely to engage in symbolic play when others are present • Cooperative social play of preschoolers is related to later understanding of others’ feeling and beliefs
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Implications for Education • Active, not passive learning • Assess what is known to estimate capabilities • Guided participations structured by teachers who would gradually turn over more of activity to students • Cooperative learning exercises – help each other; very effective!
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • The Role of Language in Cognitive Development • Primary method of passing modes of thinking to children • Becomes important tool of intellectual adaptation
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Piaget’s Theory of Language/Thought • Egocentric speech • Self-directed utterances • Reflected ongoing mental activity • Shifted to communicative speech with age • Little role in cognitive development
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Vygotsky’s Theory of Language/Thought • Egocentric is really an illustration of transition from prelinguistic to verbal reasoning • Private speech – communicative “speech for self” • Serves as a cognitive self-guidance system; does not disappear, becomes inner speech
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Which viewpoint should be endorsed? • Vygotsky • Social speech gives rise to private speech • More common with difficult tasks • Self-instruction improves performance • Does tend to turn into inner speech
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Vygotsky in Perspective: Summary • Cognitive development involves • Dialogues with skilled partners within the zone of proximal development • Incorporation of what tutors say into what they say to themselves • Expect wide variations in development across cultures
VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL PERSPECTIVE • Vygotsky in Perspective: Evaluation • Not yet received intense scrutiny • Verbal guided participation may be less adaptive in some instances than others • Collaborative problem solving can undermine performance • More a perspective, not a theory with as many testable hypotheses as Piaget
Table 7.5 Comparing Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories of cognitive development