Piaget vs Vygotsky

by bhthanks

This page aims to Compare and Contrast The Theories of Piaget and Vygotsky on Child Development

Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky are two famous researchers on perspectives and theories of Child Development.

Piaget and Vygotsky have a common focus on understanding children's functioning.

They both perceive children as taking an active stand in their own development, and believe in accepting differences, that the same periods of development are experienced by each child, but at different levels; as well as promoting children to learn on their own by exploring and testing their surroundings.

The Theories of Piaget and Vygotsky

Piaget uses the Cognitive- Developmental approach , which researches cognitive development in the child's mind based on their own personal experience, rather than looking at daily situations or the impact of external settings; while Vygotsky uses the Socio-Cultural approach, which examines the environment and people around the child, as mentors and role models that shape the child's cognitive processes through the society and culture around them, and everyday situations.

 Piaget and Vygotsky's perspectives have vast differences yet share common denominators as well.

Piaget, Vygotsky and Beyond

Developmental psychology and education
Piaget, Vygotsky & Beyond: Future issues for developmental psychology and education

Only $65.5

View on Amazon

Theories of Childhood

Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky
Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky

A look at the ideas of five educational theorists in relation to early childhood care. An easy-to-learn overview of the theorist opens each chapter. The author then distills ...

Redleaf Press
$6.44  $30.11

View on Amazon

Piaget's stages

Cognitive- Development

Piaget's theory uses functions, which are innate and consistent throughout the lifespan for everyone and build cognitive structures that change constantly as the child performs various activities, testing and exploring the world through changing schemes, or patterns, at every stage of development.

Organization, Adaptation, Assimilation, Accommodation, and Constructivism are all functions that guide human development.

The four periods of development which Piaget believe that all people experience in the same order: are the sensor-motor, preoperational, concrete operations and formal operations.

Lev Vygotsky's theory

Vygotsky believes that it is the culture that shapes and determines the development of the child, since children get most of their knowledge and the tools of intellectual adaptation from the culture.


This is done initially through problem solving with others a.k.a the dialectical process, and the through the child's own Internalization of these tools of knowledge.

Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education

Vygotskian Perspectives on Literacy R...
Cambridge University Press
$55.5  $3.73
A Vygotskian Analysis of Children's P...
Only $40.8

Vygotsky and Piaget

It is interesting to note that Vygotsky and Piaget lived during the same time period

...yet, they had a vastly different upbringing and education, which led them to very different theories.

While Piaget theorized that every child's thinking patterns and functioning follows the same structure of four stages of development, Vygotsky theorized that a child's thought process is mainly influenced by the society in which the child is raised.

Piaget believes that children individually build knowledge with their activities in the world, they understand by inventing.

Alternatively, Vygotsky believes that the origin of understanding is socially based.


For Your Information

The information on this page was based on an Essay that I wrote for a college class in Child Development.

Updated: 02/26/2012, bhthanks
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

All Comments and Feedback welcome. Say Hi. Share your thoughts Here.

Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
bhthanks on 02/06/2012

Natural-Remedies, Thank you for your comment!

NaturalRemedies on 02/06/2012

I use the principles of Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development often in providing OT services to children, mentoring OT assistants, and teaching OT assistant students.

bhthanks on 01/02/2012

Thank you, JD Kimball!

bayouladyJDKimball on 01/02/2012

I like your article. It takes me back.I'm trying to remember my student teaching block in 1991. I think it was Vygotsky that influenced me the most. My teaching is largely based on beliefs that learning is social, as it seems to me that when children can talk with their peers during lesson practice, engage in role playing,singing the lesson and etc. they retain and internalize more of the lesson.

You might also like

Children Learn Through Play

Play Is How Children Explore the World and Find Their Place in It -- And Lear...

Introduction to Discipline Without Punishment

This article introduces the developmental psychologist Piaget and discipline ...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...