Piaget and Vygotsky Many resemblances, and a crucial difference

Running Head: PIAGET AND VYGOTSKY 1 Piagetand Vygotsky: Many resemblances, and a crucial difference

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Piagetand Vygotsky: Many resemblances, and a crucial difference


Piagetand Vygotsky are two of the most significant developmentalpsychologists. They have made an immense contribution to the field ofdevelopmental psychology. They have differences in their approach,but they also agree in several areas. They have unique ways in whicheach of them has tackled the field of developmental psychology. Themain area of difference is in the way they have addressed the originof development together with the motor of development(Lourenco, 2012).There is also a significant difference in the significance of thedifference and clarification between real against necessary knowledgein their approach(Lourenco, 2012).There exist similarities and differences between Piaget`s andVygotsky’s approaches, and there is a significant differencebetween them that should be underscored for a better grasp of theircontribution to the field of developmental psychology.

Piaget`stheory is centered on the topic of independence in encounteringphysical and social environments. On the other hand, Vygotsky`sapproach is on the issue of heteronomy as she encounters the varioussocial structures(Lourenco, 2012).Piaget has a pervasive orientation that emphasizes that what comesfrom inside is intrinsic to an individual while Vygotsky has adominant orientation that stresses that what comes from outside isextrinsic to the individual(Lourenco, 2012).The significant differences between the authors show how theyapproach the origin of knowledge and motor development. It alsoexplains their significance compared to those in authority on anindividual`s cognitive and moral theory(Lourenco, 2012).It also displays the appropriate methods for analyzing the changes indevelopment, the difference between real and essential knowledge.Finally, their theories stipulate the importance of transformationand dissemination in the areas of development and education orlearning. In spite of the points of similarity between Piaget andVygotsky, there is something distinctive and unique between the twopsychologists. Each of the two authors was engaged in expressingtheir perspectives in their entire careers.


Thereare clear similarities among the two psychologists in their theories.They both agree that a developmental approach is important in theunderstanding of the psychological processes and cognitive functions(Lourenco, 2012).They also agree that memorizing of procedures is an important aspectof learning which should be encouraged. They emphasize developmentalperspective as a necessary accompaniment to experimental psychology.

Inboth, their theories stressed the role of necessary knowledge. Theyshare a dialectical approach by stressing that psychological approachis about the interaction between unique and interdependent processessuch as accommodation (in Piaget`s theories) and externalization (inVygotsky’s)(Lourenco, 2012).Through accommodation theory, Piaget constructs forms of rationalismthat makes reasoning more advanced. For example, the movement fromconcrete operations to formal operations is an explicit form ofaccommodation. It is because of externalizations that the person orthe subject in the Vygotsky`s theory acquires a kind of action thatis more advanced(Lourenco, 2012).For example the passage from the real memory to mediated one. Thisapproach emphasizes that development is not just an addition levelsof changes, but dialectical procedures which have periods, atransformation from one process to another, combining of external andinternal factors and the process of adaptation is a vital aspect ofthe Piaget`s perspective(Lourenco, 2012).The two psychologists also have a common non-reductionist view of thehuman intelligence and consciousness which they consider as forms oforganization and adaptation.


Thereexist major differences between the theories of the twopsychologists. Piaget`s theory emphasizes that the subject createstheir knowledge(Lourenco, 2012).The individual determines what is necessary and valuable for them tolearn. The individual therefore defines the relevance of theknowledge they need to acquire for personal development. On the otherhand, Vygotsky`s theory insinuates that a person develops as theyengage in different ways of social interaction by use of particulartools such pencil, hammer, and abacus(Lourenco,2012).Other tools of social interaction according to Vygotsky are language,play, and mathematical methods.

Itis, therefore, clear that Vygotsky emphasizes an approach that iscollective in nature and function of an individual in their socialcontexts. This theory is based on the premise that the individualwould be more complete if they acquire knowledge that would enablethem to function better in the society. The skills are learnedthrough the use of pencils, hammer, and abacus. Mathematical methodsand formulae are also essential tools for the acquisition ofknowledge.


Alot can be gained from a better understanding of the two theories.From the two theories, the operational development of an individualis autonomous(Lourenco, 2012).According to Piaget, an individual determines the patterns ofdevelopment and learning that are relevant for their operation. Onthe other hand, according to Vygotsky, learning and development arebased on unique social structures. The individual cannot, therefore,achieve any reasonable level of operational development if they don’tconsider the social contexts under which they would function.


Lourenco,O. (2012). Piaget and Vygotsky: Many resemblances and a crucialdifference. New Ideas in Psychology, 30, 281-295.doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2011.12.006