RUNNING HEAD: PIAGET AND VYGOTSKY
Piaget and Vygotsky
980 031 406
Prof. Isaac Smith
March 25, 2004
Everyday life is characterized by conscious purpose. From reaching for food to designing an experiment, our actions are directed at goals. This purpose reveals itself partly in our conscious awareness and partly in the organization of our thoughts and actions. Cognition, as defined as "... the activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge is acquired" (Shaffer et al., 2002), is the process involved in thinking and mental activity, such as attention, memory and problem solving. Much past and present theory has emphasized the parallels between the articulated prepositional structure of language and the structure of an internal code or 'language of thought'. In this paper I will discuss language and cognition and two famous theorists who were both influential in forming a more scientific approach to analyzing the process of cognitive development: Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Jean Piaget was known for his establishment of the four major periods of cognitive development. Lev Vygotsky was the complement to Piaget's theory with his sociocultural perspective on cognitive development. Both were keenly interested in the relationship of thinking and language learning.
Jean Jacques Piaget was born in NeuchÃÂ¢tel, Switzerland on August 9, 1896. His father, Arthur Piaget, was a professor in Medieval Literature. His mother, Rebecca Jackson, was an intelligent woman but Jean found her a little bit neurotic. When he was in his late youth he had a faith crisis. His mother encouraged him to attend church to only found it foolish. So he had decided to focus less on philosophy and more on psychology (Smith, L.). Piaget attended the University of NeuchÃÂ¢tel. There he studied natural sciences. He then attended the University of ZÃÂ¼rich were he...