EDU 6655 Piaget or Vygotsky?

During the readings and videos this week, what really got my mind turning was information that Dr. Williams mentions during her screencast on Cognitive Development Piaget and Vygotsky. I was able to recall back to my undergrad at WSU when we spent a lot of time researching the famous Piaget and Vygotsky, and their beliefs on education and development. In college their opposite views made for great debates and conversation in our classes. However, now that I have my own classroom and a particular grade level that I teach to, I find myself really challenging the beliefs of Piaget and Vygotsky on cognitive development.

As Dr. Williams states in her screencast, “In the aspect of language, Piaget believed that it was an indicator of mental maturity, development precedes language.” Whereas Vygotsky believes, “language is an essential part of development of mental maturity. Language precedes development. (Williams 5:08)”. While researching during my undergrad I found myself siding with many of Vygotsky’s beliefs, but now my thoughts have changed. I am not sure I agree with either Piaget or Vygotsky.

A source compares Piaget and Vygotsky saying, “Challenge, readiness, and social interaction are central to the theories of both Piaget and Vygotsky. However, the two perspectives differ on the role of language in cognitive development, the relative value of free exploration versus more structured and guided activities, the relative importance of interactions with peers versus adults, and the influence of culture (Pearson Chapter 6)”. Pearson explains that although the two had challenging theories, they had a few agreements that they both felt were cruical to development.

Looking further, another article states, “Cognitive Development is learned through mental processes and sensory perceptions. Warm, supportive interactions with others, as well as the ability to use all five of the sensory modes—seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling—are required for maximum development of the mental or cognitive processes (Hearron 2010)”. This piggybacks on to my personal beliefs and thoughts about cognitive development.

After teaching kindergartener for the past 4 years, I have a really hard time taking a side to this argument. I don’t feel that development precedes language, or that language precedes development. I find that at this age, there is no true indicator of one leading into the other. I believe that development and language go hand in hand. I have many students who are bi and trilingual who have proven both ends where their language skills are strong but developmentally still needing progress and those who are developmentally mature, but their language skills lack. As an educator, I don’t find myself trying to dictate whether I agree with Piaget or Vygotsky in order to better my practice. Wolfe discusses in many readings the importance to “talk talk talk! (Wolfe 4)” speaking to your child even before birth as well as the opportunities we provide for children. In chapter 5 it states, “…research has often been cited as evidence for the importance of early childhood enrichment (Wolfe, 77)”. I feel you have cognitive development when you combine the two. When you surround your child’s young mind with enriched, hands-on, concrete experiences (to help them develop) and then have the meaningful conversations about those experiences.

After looking into additional research, I stand by my views on cognitive development and will continue teaching my students based on what best suits them.

Resources:
Wolfe, P. (2010). Brain Matters. (2nd ed., pp.71-92). Arlington, VA: ASCD.

Wolfe, P. (2013). Early Brain Development. A position paper for the 9th Bridge Early Childhood Program in Las Vegas.

Cognitive Development- Piaget and Vygotsky. Dir. Dr. Tracy Williams . Web. 9 Oct. 2013.

Hearron, P. F., & Hildebrand, V. (2010, July 20).Cognitive Development. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/cognitive-development/

Pearson. (1995). Merrill Education’s Companion Websites: Chapter Overview and Summary: Piaget and Vygotsky. Pearson Prentice Hall. DOI: Hearron, P. F., & Hildebrand, V. (2010, July 20). Cognitive Development. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/cognitive-development/

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Week 3: Communication with Technology

The concept of communication has come a long ways over the last 50 years. We are exceptionally lucky to be apart of a day and age where communication comes so easy. We no longer have to wait days or weeks to get a letter in the mail. With the click of a button we have the ability to email, instant message, or even chat face to face online via Skype or Face Time with anyone, anywhere in the world.

Today, with the capabilities of communication online being endless, as an educator, it is important to be aware of what methods of communication fit and also benefit your students and parents. I got to experience and learn about the basic functions of Podcasts in my undergrad program. This week I really enjoyed learning different features that go along with Podcasting. I can think of several different uses in older grades where students could benefit using a Podcast to present a project or new learning. However, in kindergarten, I don’t find this form of communication a good fit.
The form of communication that I am excited to use in my classroom is Vocaroo! I already know of 3 ways I would like to use this free recording program in my classroom. I will have my parent volunteers pull students to do readings and story comprehension using this program. I will then be able to go in and listen to how my students are reading and comprehending different levels of text. Second, I would like to use this program for my students that struggle with fine motor skills. These students will benefit from using the program because the worry of getting letters on the page correctly will disappear. Students will have the option of being able to record their voice rather than writing. The last way I would like to use this communication tool is by having my high readers record themselves reading a story. They can then listen back to their recording to check for fluency, and expression in their own readings! They have never had the opportunity to hear their own voice played back while reading a book. We can use examples and collaborate as a group of areas to work on for each student!

I will continue to use email and Haiku to communicate with parents. I currently use email daily with parents to discuss important issues and events. I am slowly trying to transition into using mainly Haiku for communicating with my parents. I am now uploading all of my Friday Newsletters and volunteer calendars on my site. I might look into scanning in and uploading all of my weekly homework assignments as well.

I look forward to learning new tools that I can apply into my Haiku to communicate with parents and student. I also look forward to learning new types of communication tools, that I can try to incorporate into my classroom!

NETS-T
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility

NETS-S
2. Communication and Collaboration