Piaget’s theories of child developments especially the theory of cognitive development has had a great impact on education principles. The impact has been felt most in pre-school children and those at lower primary. Several educational principles have originated from Paget’s theory of cognitive development. Teachers are supposed to focus on the processes that children use to arrive at a correct answer rather than on the correctness of the answer (Wadsworth, 2004). Understanding this process enables the teacher to provide the best learning environment to the child. Teachers are expected to appreciate the importance of a child’s initiative to get actively involved with learning. This principle emphasizes that children are motivated to discover and learn through practical and visual interaction with the subject being studied.
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Vygotsky’s theory is known as social development theory. This theory asserts that cognitive development depends on social interactions (Kozulin et al., 2003). This contrasts Piaget’s theory that asserted that social interactions depended on a child’s cognitive development. Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory of learning has guided the formation of education principles. Using the socio-cultural theory of learning, teachers provide students with instructions to follow in order to accomplish tasks. These tasks are set at a standard that is higher than what the student can accomplish alone. This strategy is called Scaffolding. Vygotsky’s theory asserts that learning should not take place in isolation. Learning and development are curtailed if happens in absence of social interaction and guidance.
Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory of learning is more applicable in an education setting. This is because the social interactions available during learning enable corrections by the teacher so that only the right concepts and methods are conceptualized. Piaget’s theory may lead children to internalization of concepts that are faulty because the learner is left to understand the methods and processes on his/her own.
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