Child Development Imagination, Creativity, Consciousness Essay

Pages: 3 (903 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Children

Child Development

Imagination, creativity, consciousness, and play are some of the core elements of Lev Vygotsky's theories of Child Development. Vygotsky was concerned with the development of higher mental faculties in children, and wanted to study the origin and development of these functions (Vygotsky, 1966). Vygotsky did not believe that children were miniature adults, as was once believed (Vygotsky, 1966). However, child development also cannot be quantified, as the process of growth and development is far too complex. It is important to consider the possibility that evolution and revolution happen simultaneously in the child, so that growth occurs gradually for a while and then sometimes, in sudden bursts (Vygotsky, 1966). What Vygotsky observed was that growth and development in children is catalyzed by social experiences and social interactions. Social stimulation and children's observations of their social worlds cause both evolution and revolution in development.

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Children learn by observing others, but they do not just learn behaviors and behavioral cues. Children also learn values and norms, by interacting with their social worlds and observing the reactions they receive after performing certain actions and also the reactions that others receive upon performing actions. As they mature, children are more able to perceive more complex stimuli and incorporate those into their matrix of awareness. One of the central and most unique components of Vygotsky's theory of child development is that Vygotsky believed that learning preceded actual development (Vygotsky, 1978). In other words, the child internalizes the lessons related to values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms. Then, that social learning becomes translated into personal development via internalization and processing. The internalization and processing are part of the higher order thinking Vygotsky remained concerned about throughout his career. Vygotsky's theory of child development is therefore also a theory of general cognitive development.

Essay on Child Development Imagination, Creativity, Consciousness, Assignment

Like Vygotsky, Piaget was concerned with cognitive development as well as general child development. Piaget believed that the development of knowledge is a "spontaneous process" that is inherently linked to human biology (Piaget, 1961, p. 176). However, learning is "provoked by situations," and is therefore not linked to biology or instinct (Piaget, 1961, p. 176). In this case, Piaget does resonate with Vygotsky, as both researchers believed that social learning is the cornerstone of child development. The child acts as a sort of scientist or experimenter, according to Piaget. Learning cannot take place simply by observing something, as learning requires manipulation, interaction, operation, and experimentation. Development "explains learning," and learning is a function of development (Piaget, 1961, p. 176).

Piaget is perhaps best known for his theory of developmental stages. Even though Piaget resisted describing learning as being discrete events, the research did recognize stages of development. The four stages of cognitive development for Piaget… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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