Cognitive Development Theory and Social Learning in UK Education
A discussion on Piaget’s and Bandura’s child development theories.
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This paper compares Piaget’s theory of cognitive development to the social learning theory. This paper examines Piaget’s child development theory that mains that children have ability to construct meaningful concepts and representations all through a series of various stages. In addition, it analyzes Bandura’s theory which contends that children learn new behaviors by observing other people and model their own behavior and develop their own beliefs and standards that eventually impact their progress in the educational system. The author concludes that these do not contradict each but rather complement each other.
In recent years, the field of education has been transformed by intensive theoretical and practical research into the ways that children develop the cognitive capacity for handling complex learning tasks. Some researchers have focused more upon the natural, or biological, aspects of cognitive development, which can be generalized across all human cultures; others, more upon the social aspects, which are culturally conditioned. The challenge for educators in the UK is now to integrate this vast body of theory and research into curriculum and classroom practice. Most researchers in the field agree that a Piaget-derived developmental learning theory must be augmented by some appreciation of the way that concrete social interaction guides and shapes children’s acquisition of skills. A pedagogical approach drawing at once upon developmental and social learning theory may be the best way to achieve society’s educational aims, while at the same time encouraging creativity and exploration on the part of children. While it would not be possible to exhaust this topic in a short paper, I propose to briefly consider the theories of Piaget and Bandura in the context of children’s development of the ability to handle language (in particular, in the area of literacy).