Analysis of the Three Developmental Theories
For your first assignment, you will be writing a comparison paper that analyzes the different developmental theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erickson. In your analysis, describe the main stages for each theory. Describe how the theories on development are different and similar. Analyze potential implications each theory might have when teaching or working with an 11-year-old elementary student.
Be sure to also review the Comparison Paper Scoring Guide as you prepare your assignment.
To successfully complete this assignment, you must meet the following requirements:
• Written communication: Writing is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
• Length: 5–6 pages, not including the title or reference pages.
• APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting.
• References: A paper of this length should include scholarly references. At the graduate level, you are responsible for determining the appropriate number of references. The majority of them should be original research articles published in peer-reviewed psychology journals (for example, those journals published by the APA). A few review or survey articles are also acceptable.
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Analysis of the Three Developmental Theories
Vygotsky’s Development Theory
Vygotsky’s theory is a major foundation of constructivism. The theory asserts three main subjects concerning social interaction, followed by the more knowledgeable other and then the zone of proximal development. According to Vygotsky, social interaction plays a significant role in the process of cognitive development. He stated that each function in the youngster’s cultural development shows up twice and that is on the social level and on the personal level. Additionally, the more knowledgeable other (MKO) is any individual with a better understanding than the learner, regarding a specific process, task or any concept. These people are mostly coaches, teachers, or older adult but they can also be younger people or peers. The ZPD is the space between the ability of a student to perform a certain task under the guidance of an adult or with peer collaboration as well as the ability of the student to solve a particular problem independently (Derry, 2013). Learning mostly occurs in this zone. He stated that human beings use tools which develop from a certain culture like writing and speech in order to mediate their social surroundings. Youngsters develop the tools to serve merely as social functions, and methods to communicate their needs.
Piaget Cognitive Developmental Theory
According to Piaget, he believed that youngsters are not in a position to undertake specific tasks until they are mature psychologically in order to do so. The developments that he considered do not occur completely smoothly and there are phases in which youngsters move into new abilities, and he saw them taking place at the ages of 18 months, 7, 11 or 12 years. He believed that schemas that are a progressing unit of knowledge that people use to comprehend different circumstances are major to cognitive development. Schemas for young children are simple ones such as sucking reflex while adults have complex ones. Evidently, he stated that through the process of learning, children are able to change their schema through adapting because of assimilation as well as accommodation. Assimilation usually adds fresh and new information to the already existing schema whereas adaptation modified the new information into the schema. Preferably, there is steadiness between accommodation and assimilation to certify equilibrium. Piaget developed four stages by observing children where he believed that every child has to pass through the stages consecutively during their lifetime. The first stage is a sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years) where the child forms mental images although images of objects are still engrained in mind. In preoperational stage (2-7 years), symbolic thoughts begin to develop although the reasoning is still shallow. The next stage is concrete phase (7-11 years) where children learn how to reason and able to perform mental problems like on numbers. The last stage is formal operation phase (11years and over) where children are able to develop abstract thinking and ability to reason (Carey, Zaitchik, & Bascandziev, 2015).
Erickson’s Psychosocial Developmental Theory
Erickson held that personality grows in a series of phases and he described this idea using eight stages which show the effect of social experience through the entire lifespan as well as the environmental features which may affect the success of every stage. Every phase has a psychosocial crisis with two contrasting emotional crisis as well as the failure of developing in every phase can lead to either malignancy or maladaptation. Additionally, there are equivalent challenges which an individual should develop with respects to the existing surrounding that one has. The environment has a greater contribution to the child as she grows and it would eventually affect her development as she grows old. The first stage is, trust vs. mistrust (birth-18 months) and children in this stage grow to depend on their parents and trust is when the child feels safe under care while mistrust is when there is minimal care. Autonomy vs. shame and doubt (18-3 years), autonomy occurs when children are able to accomplish their purpose during the stage while failure leads to shame. Initiative vs. Guilt (3-5 years) occurs when children have authority on the social environment and when they are denied the chance, it leads to guilt. Industry vs. inferiority (5-13 years) happens when children compete with others and become the victors while unsuccessful ones feel inferior. Identity vs. confusion (13-21) happens during adolescence and children know their role in the society while failure to identify leads to confusion. Intimacy vs. isolation (21-39) is where youngsters form relationships with others, and failure leads to isolation. Generativity vs. stagnation (40-65) is where people find they have accomplished their goals in the society and stagnation is a failure to accomplish the set goals. Last, integrity vs. despair (65 and over) occurs in old age where people look back to see their accomplishments in life and integrity is a result of feeling contented while despair is feeling disappointed to due to failure in life (McLeod, 2013).
Similarities between the Three Developmental Theories
The three theorists studied different areas of child development, but this does not mean that they have no similarities. The main similarity that all of them have is that they have their perspectives on the play as well as social development. They all focused on cognitive development, and they agreed regarding learning abilities, and that every individual is different from the other. All of them studied the development of children using different sectors but in the same phase development range. For instance, looking at Piaget’s and Erickson’s theories, both have explained developmental psychology using different stages. They both indicate that there are challenges in each stage and successive phases build upon each other to the point that failure in a preceding phase also triggers failure in the following stage. Additionally, both theories state that personality development often occurs throughout an individual’s lifespan. Thus, people are inspired by the environment through the process of learning. Cognition encourages an individual to leave some marks in the society and eventually enjoy the success. Evidently, Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories are similar where both believe that nature has an important role to play in whatever people learn. The theorist suggests that the exposure of individuals to ideas is what impacts their norms, value and what they learn (Lourenço, 2012). Notably, they also agree that children move from simple to complex information as they grow old. For instance, children start learning simple concepts like how to count then start solving problems or learn the sounds of letters first before going to an advanced reading. Additionally, they also agree that more complex phases may not be attained by some individuals.
Differences between the Three Developmental Theories
Through the process of development, the view of Piaget was a lack of capability through a youngster, Erickson opinion was through social interaction, and Vygotsky opinion on the child development was the external thinking. In the course of development, the idea of Piaget was that learning usually declines with age, Vygotsky opinion was that learning increased in the age of youths then declines, while Erickson opinion was that people experience series of psychosocial crisis the way they mature. Additionally, in the relationship to social speech, Piaget viewed it as immature and negative, Vygotsky viewed it as social stimulating and positive while Erickson viewed it as the way people overcome their crisis may influence their individual development. In their simple course of learning, Piaget viewed it as the child herself to learn, Vygotsky viewed it as the zone of proximal while Erickson viewed it as the nurture of the caregivers which is passed on to the children. Notably, the raising of the child may have a negative impact depending on the state of mind of the parent. Piaget’s study was in the line of natural development, Vygotsky’s study was in the line of cultural development, while Erickson was in the line of mental development.
Potential Implications of the Theories
In Piaget’s theory, children at the age of 11 are in formal operation stage, and they are able to think logically about abstract concepts which show that teaching such a child may be easier because they are accountable for their mistakes and they also reason in class. For example, an eleven-year-old child knows when she has made a mistake, and this becomes easier to train for both teachers and parents. Erickson theory shows that children at the age of 11 are at the stage of Industry vs. Inferiority and they are in schools where they learn different ideas from teachers. They compete with others in the class and always want to know new information. For class, at this stage children are mostly in school where they are taught and gain peer groups which boost their self-esteem. Vygotsky’s theory shows that children of this age are in the zone of learning and they perform their task according to teacher’s guide. For example, most children are careful not to forget to do their homework because their teacher instructed them to do so.
In conclusion, the
three development theories have their
implications in life, and regardless of
their differences, they also have similarities.
Carey, S., Zaitchik, D., & Bascandziev, I. (2015). Theories of development: In dialog with Jean Piaget. Developmental Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2015.07.003
Lourenço, O. (2012). Piaget and Vygotsky: Many resemblances, and a crucial difference. New Ideas in Psychology, 30(3), 281–295. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2011.12.006
McLeod, S. (2013). Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages | Simply Psychology. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html