Developmental Psychology: Incorporating Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Theories in Classrooms
In this article, the author argues that teachers, who incorporate Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories into their teaching strategies, will be able to increase student achievement. The article examines the application of developmental psychologists Piaget and Vygotsky, to promote student learning in current elementary education programs. Vygotsky believed that socio-cultural environment is critical for cognitive development. Vygotsky emphasizes the role of social interaction and instruction. Vygotsky argues that social interaction plays an important part in student learning. He suggests that we learn first through person-to-person interactions and then individually through an internalization process that leads to a deeper understanding. The article describes three different types of speech; social, private, and internal. Social refers to instructions given to children by adults. Private speech utilizes these instructions and allows children to interpret what the adult has said and apply it to similar situations. Internal speech takes places during a self-conscious mental activity. The article gives examples of the impact of Vygotsky’s theory with the development of “early literacy” programs such as Reading Recovery and Guided Reading. In summary, the article suggests that classrooms today should not be teacher-centered. Classrooms should operate and be designed to empower students to make meaning through mindful manipulation of input. By implementing Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories into the classroom developmental psychology in elementary education, the author believes that it will positively impact the success of student achievement.
-Shao Chien Lin (Tim Lin)