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Three Theories Of Development In Relation Cognitive

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Compare and contrast three theories of development in relation to cognitive changes during early childhood. INTRODUCTION :
In these assignment pages are going to be covered some theories, theories which explain some cognitive changes of human in early childhood. Also these theories are going to be contrasted and compared so in order to understand the purpose of each theory, its logical statements, who wrote these theories and if each of these theories are completely integrated.

Children in early childhood are not growing physically but mentally because they are still interacting with the world and are advancing their skills in order to be mastered. Also Angela Oswalt states, “we do not count the number of new neurons or measure the amount of connections between synapses and come up with averages for different ages so we rely in theories such as Piaget’s stages of cognitive development.” (Angela Oswalt, MSW, Jan 16th 2008, http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=12757) PIAGET’S THEORY :

“Children in age of 18-24 months acquire the semiotic function”, according to Piaget. This function means that for example if a picture of a chair is shown to a child then the child will immediately think that from the picture it is represented a real chair, that means that a child understanding that one object or behavior can represent another, so this function shows that the child is still in progress in order to understand logically. If this understanding is achieved according to Piaget, “then children are in the Preoperational stage”. In this stage as Piaget states, “children are starting to use symbols in order to think and communicate but still there is the problem of logically thinking”. On early ages 2-6 children are playing role games, a good example that Piaget states, “is a broom becomes a horse or a block may become a train or another good example is that some children are using their growing ability to understand models, maps, and graphic symbols.”

After that children aged 3-4 old can be egocentrism which means that every child see things in their own point of view and that doesn’t make them egomaniac, no, egocentrism means as a child see the world in his/her point of view thinks that we see exactly the same as he/she does. Also another thing that child are getting over and over is centration and animism. These mean that the child can’t put some limits on objects and thinks that all non-living object are in fact alive. For example a child in this age it can be afraid of moving leafs because she/he is afraid that the leaf will follow him/her. This is not the only supporting theory of the cognition changes, also the is the Theory of Mind and Alternative theories of cognitive change. ( LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY BOYD, found on 9/11/2013.

 THEORIES OF MIND AND ALTERNATIVE THEORIES OF COGNITIVE CHANGE : Theories of mind are theories which in the particular age of 3 children are linking between people thoughts, feelings and the way they think and act. In this particular age children can descry in their own point of view problems and find out information’s which cause person to believe something that isn’t truly true. In this theory through many studies children in the age of 4-5 can significantly understand other peoples thoughts but they can’t understand that other people can think about them, in this situation we see that the child in this age it can link the emotions and feelings of a person but their point of view don’t let them understand that people can’t think about them. Then on the extended age of 5-7 aged are starting to think the reciprocal nature of thought. It is important to have this thought because it can help children to make early reciprocal friendships in the elementary school.

Then in age of 6 and over then child realizes knowledge’s which can be derived through inference. Also some theories from theorists were formulated for the children which emphasize the importance of Metamemory and Metacognition. Metamemory are memory processes which can be controlled and knowledge, for example children can remember easier 5 words than 10 but again they don’t have the right strategies in order to remember more than 10 words or simply doing more challenging tasks. Metacognition is the same with Metamemory but it is not for memory this time but for thoughts processing. For example a child is listening to a story and in a while when the child realizes that the main character name is forgotten asks the reader simply what it is, so in order to remember the name that makes easier to the child to understand the story so that’s the Metacognition.

The differences between the Piaget’s theory and Theories of mind are not quite big, we can actually see that in Piaget’s theory it shows that how children are advancing their skills in order to have an advanced logic and in Mind theory it shows that how children as getting older their logic is getting more advanced but except that these theories are correlated because theories of mind can be correlated with the performance of a child on Piaget’s tasks also one or more developed problems such as the egocentrism. As result we don’t see significant differences between these theories but we can see some connections which can be made between these theories and actually are correlated. The last theory of cognition change is the VYGOTSKY’S SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY.

He believed cognitive development is easier to come with group learning processes, so in general his theory is about hot the sociocultural development can help into cognitive changed and development. As Vygotsky states in his theory, “there are two principles in this theory: the zone of proximal development and scaffolding.” In the zone of proximal development it explains about skills, skills that a person can’t do alone but it can be accomplished with some help from someone. Scaffolding it would be explained as a guide, a guide which is helpful in earning and learning experience. As Vygotsky states, “on the early stage which called primitive stage, it is a learning method but only through conditioning.” In this stage child is trying to progress in the section of language, he/she tries to use symbols but still has some difficulties. On this stage is called a naive stage aged 2 and over. Excellent example to understand this stage is some speakers say the word chair for the object chair but still the child can’t understand its meaning but if all speakers agreed to substitute the word chair with “blek”, then all can understand that “blek” refers to chair.

So with this example child starts to appreciate the symbolic meaning and starts to advance his language skills. Another good example would be like a child trying to build a kind of puzzle but still cant do it by himself, so what he/she tries is to build the puzzle with the help of guide, that help he child to do things trough some structures that has to follow in order to complete the task. Then come private speech, which in this stage child understands the meaning of the symbolic function of language, in order now to solve problems uses the language to solve it, he/she can even say to do things to her/his self on how to solve problems and how. So Vygotsky’s theory is a theory of guidance, that means in early stages the child can’t do things still alone and it needs assistance in order to accomplish something, unlike on Piaget’s theory which the child was on is/her own in order to accomplish something.

Also Piaget’s showed us that every children could use their own pint of view to see problems, tasks and the world but in Vygotsky’s theory we see that all it needed was a guide in order advance their logic and specially in their cognitive changing period. The child had his/her own scenarios and assumptions in order to have their own point of view to understand the world on their own way on Piaget’s theory, and almost every day, because there was a mental and not a psychical growth, ha to change their structure all over again and again because always something new would happen, unlike Vygotsky’s theory like helping build blocks with the help of a guidance could make the child be more mature in this situations.


(Angela Oswalt, MSW, Jan 16th 2008,

( LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY BOYD, found on 9/11/2013. http://www.scribd.com/doc/11457986/Lifespan-Developmental-Psychology-Boyd)

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