Rapprochement between Piagetian and Vygotskian Theories: Application to Instruction

Fiifi Mensah, Beatrice Asante Somuah


This concept paper was intended to establish rapprochement between Piaget and Vygotsky by comparing their developmental theories and also examining how their educational extensions can be applied in promoting students’ learning in Basic Education Programme in Ghana. Piaget’s proposition that cognitive development from infant to young adult occurs in four universal and consecutive stages are presented. Aspects of Piaget’s theory emphasized by educators are also presented and educational practices inspired by this theory are outlined. Vygotsky’s belief that socio – cultural environment is critical for cognitive development is presented, and his two concepts of cognitive learning zones - The Zone of Actual Development (ZAD) and the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) are also noted. Finally, the two theories are compared and their applications in education delivery are examined. Even though Piaget and Vygotsky hold different views concerning developmental psychology, it is recommended that the use of both theories in classrooms is beneficial. Teachers should have a solid understanding of Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories, and students should be provided with more opportunities to play and learn with peers.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n1p167

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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