- How can Piaget's idea that children are naturally curious about their world and actively seek out information inform approaches to education?
This idea can be applied in education of children in the form of development of school curriculums and by teachers in the planning of classroom activities which ensure that this proposition by Piaget is applied fully by providing learning opportunities to children to experiment with physical objects. This will involve evaluating the stages of cognitive development and providing the appropriate physical objects to facilitate their learning. Since there is a possibility that children may misinterpret what they learn, this curiosity as applied in learning should be guided and care taken to ensure that the children only develop the proper conclusions from their experimentation in learning. Care should also be taken to ensure the safety of the children since it may be hazardous to allow children to conduct some experiments in their learning process. In essence, the system of providing the physical objects for experimentation should be appropriate.
The curiosity in children can also be exploited in learning by ensuring that the children are presented with situations which they cannot easily explain using their current understanding and exploring the reasoning of children through the use of problem solving tasks and probing questions.
- If you were a teacher, explain how you could scaffold your students' efforts to master a particular skill? How would you modify the scaffolding process over time?
Over time, the scaffolding process would be adjusted to take into consideration of the tasks of the skill that the child already has an understanding of and moving into more complex tasks and using different objects for the learning if the skill and gradually withdraw the scaffolding as the tasks become more easier to accomplish for the child.
Did Piaget and Vygotsky see eye-to-eye regarding the role that social interaction plays in cognitive development?
The role that social interaction plays in the cognitive development is almost similar in the arguments of both Piaget and Vygotsky. Piaget argued that the people in a child’s life can present information and arguments that create disequilibrium and thus in effect contributing to the development of logical thinking processes by the child. Vygotsky was of the opinion that social interactions provide the foundation for thought processes in children and that they internalize these processes when they converse with others and ultimately develop into using these processes independently. Essentially then, there is a point of agreement by the two that social interactions play a critical role in cognitive development. The main difference in their arguments was that while Piaget advocated for social interactions by children with their peers so as to develop schemes and operations, Vygotsky argued that better cognitive development would be achieved by the social interactions with adults who are give guidance as the concept of zone of proximal development.
Drew J., Egan M. & Hardman L. (2011). Human Exceptionality: School, Community and Family. 10th Ed. Bemomt, CA: Cengage Learning.
Ormrod, J.E. (2012). Essentials of Educational Psychology: Big Ideas to Guide Effective Teaching. Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.
Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1972). The Psychology of the Child (Vol. 5001). Basic Books