A Comparison between the works of Piaget and Bruner

Jean Piaget was a Swiss biologist who developed an influential model of childhood development he viewed cognitive development in a series of different stages. At each different stage children create a more mature approach on reality. This changes that they view the world and assimilate new information. His discussion was that fundamentally the child was a different cognitive person during each level of his four developmental stages. Piaget assumed that once a kid advanced to a certain stage they could not reduce to a prior stage, but in turn would elevate in the developmental phases. These phases were age group associated and increased successively. To test out his theories Piaget used his own three children as circumstance studies, where he questioned and used observational techniques as they was raised, he recognized the change in the answers and reasoning he received from these to the various problems he offered them. The main element concept to this was he gave them open ended questions, he assumed that non organized and non standard questions was a better way to determine how the children were considering, this would permit him to check out ideas and ideas of the children's understandings which offered him a deeper perception of the cognitive ability. The downside to open-ended questions was that the questions weren't interpreted how he expected those to be and the wrong conclusions were developed, Piaget have use his ideas on other children so his assessments weren't as biased as you'll first understand. Piaget had not been really considering accumulating quantities of data for his studies; however other analysts using the same open-ended questioning find it difficult to identify the answers. Piaget believed that all newborns were born with the similar natural apparatus, Piaget used the word structures. These structures were the brain, the senses and reflexes, like sucking and getting etc. He recommended that older children will need to have developed for some reason from simply using basic reflexes. The term 'schemata' was utilized by Piaget to spell it out everything that the infant or the children knew about objects or actions this includes the company of the memories, thought processes, actions and knowledge. Piaget said these schemas are produced by the child's own experiences and interactions with the environments and this new activities lead to new schema's being developed. Using what activities they have came across and adapting this to any new information they come across is how the schemata produces and becomes more technical. "Piaget stated that adaption has two components: assimilation and accommodation. " Oliver K, Ellerby-jones L (2004) Assimilation is the way of handling new information and activities into existing schemas, whilst accommodation is where a the prevailing schema can be transformed when new information can't be assimilated. Piaget used these phases to describe his theories. Level one: The Sensitorimotor level (era 0-2 years) is when young children learn through experiences (such as suckling, crying, grasping and kicking) through real life experience and through their environment. The level is named the sensitorimotor stage since it is regarding the child's experience with their senses and their electric motor movements. He also said that the kids experienced the earth as it is immediately visualised "out of look out of head" they are unaware of things if they're not present. He used the word object permanence which means that if the child cannot start to see the object they don't understand that it is at a seperate location. Level two: the businesses stage (age 2-7) Piaget believed a child in the pre-operational level lacks operations which means that they lack the capability to reverse the mental process, for example a child can illustrate what they can easily see from where they may be sitting but not from the point of view of another person who is sat opposite them, this is known as egocentrism. He used his "three mountains job" to show this. Piaget also said that the pre-operational child lacks conservation where they cannot recognise that properties such as weight and size stay the same even though the form is changed. Stage three: the concrete operations stage (time 7-11) in this stage the children lose their egocentric tendencies and achieve 'cognitive procedures' they are much more intricate schemas which permit the child to form logical realisation of the world. Which in turn means they are able to put items for example elevation and weight where as before these were unable to. With this stage the kid gains the capability to put things in the right order because they're able logically to figure out what comes next. Although Piaget assumed that they still have problems with abstract ideas and rules and are likely to only see things in dark and white. Level four: Formal functional stage (time 11 years +) this level involves the ability to not only use reasonable logic but also have the capability to offer with abstract principles. Piaget used the term 'logic of combinations' where the child might need to deal numerous factors at the same time, at this stage children also have the understanding that rules can be shattered. There have been many criticisms of Piaget's work, many of the criticisms are based on the actual fact that Piaget's years grouping is too rigid and this children are more competent at age ranges more youthful than what Piaget had specified. Research has advised that children go through developmental stages however they are not age related, therefore should only be used as recommendations only. Research by Margaret Donaldson proposes that Piaget got underestimated younger children's cognitive talents; by using vocabulary that 3 and 4 12 months olds understand it enables them to think logically and understand things such as numbers, quantity and weight. In addition, it appears that when children are confronted with a difficult situation they can regress to a youthful stage of reasoning, something that Piaget did not acknowledge. "Another analysis investigated children's capacity to conserve numbers by presenting an alternative version of the initial Piagetian analysis using counters. The effect also suggested that that young children can think quite logically in situations they understand" Oliver K, Ellerby-jones L (2004) down the road Piaget realised the importance of sociable development and its own connection with the introduction of cognitive techniques, that social connections aids excitement and helps formulate brains. Piaget gave a very important perception into children's cognitive development he shown that children's thinking can be an active process instead of an inactive ingestion of information.


Jerome Bruner was an American psychologist who became a leading shape in 'cognitive' psychology in the 1950's. Bruner arranged with some of Piaget's concepts but not all of them, Piaget and Bruner both believed in the value of children of children having the ability to explore and find out things independently in practical circumstances, that's why play has an importance in learning. There were three significant dissimilarities in their strategies including the adult's role, words and the cognitive development levels idea. Bruner thought in the importance of the adult being a encouraging role in how the child feels and learns. Bruner telephone calls this adult support 'scaffolding'. He assumed that people are supporting tasks in a child's learning until they are able to stand independently. Adults should become aware of when the scaffolding is and is not required. Children's learning should be adaptable, the people support should be able to move with the child's needs as they change, and their knowledge and understanding skills mature. Bruner conducted many valuable tests compared to that provided subjective biases in the way people perceive the earth. For instance when judging the size of cash, children over-estimated what size a lot more valuable cash were this proved to be higher in the poorer children. "Thus perceptions of the world were been shown to be related to socioeconomic experiences. The demonstration of the key role of subjective interpretations went from the aversion of behaviourists to everything mental and subjective. " Moghaddam (2005) Bruner seen language as being central to how children think and learn. Language is exactly what connects a person's grasp on different situations. The adult has the role of earning sure effective communication can be used and help broaden the child's thought process and learning. Bruner presumed a child could learn anything at any age so long as it was proven in the right way. He also presumed that learning happen in a fixed sequence of stages, which is suffered by the kids linking knowledge to their existing cognition. Bruner's cognitive development theory is separated directly into three areas: Enactive, iconic and symbolic. Enactive - understanding of the globe is gained through actions. Iconic - where the child is guided through by mental images the kids have the ability to form their own mental images, which is employed to express themselves. Symbolic - where icons and language are being used to gain a knowledge of the world. Children might use any one of the stages as they expand up. Bruner and his colleague Leo Postman carried out important work on the means of which needs anticipations and motivations also called 'mental packages' have an effect on perception. Their approach was known as the 'new look'. The experiment was to show conception as a self-sufficient process that needs to be considered diversely from the entire world. Bruner and Postman proved young children plain blocks and gadgets which were of equal levels, but the children expected the toys to be bigger than the blocks. The toys size seemed to increase when the research workers removed them. There have been some criticism of Bruner's work, critics assume that his focus on finding learning is not reliable and incredibly difficult to organise.

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