During the course of module 2, we have discussed development in people from birth to adulthood. From the module, it is clear to say that there is more than one way to define development and that is very evident by the many different people we studied as well. Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, and Bronfenbrenner are people had different ideas and models to structure a person’s development. Alone they are nice but using all four to look at someone is a great way to determine what is development.
Piaget and Vygotsky focused on constructing knowledge with development. Their models deal more with younger kids and that knowledge is very important at that age in order for a kid to develop fully. Piaget had his stages of development; sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. At each stage it was important to develop object permanence, a sense of egocentrism, conservation, and abstract and moral reasoning respectively. The strengths of this model are that it is consistent, coherent, and comprehensive but its weaknesses are its underestimation of abilities, that simplicity is not always good and his methods that he used. Vygotsky’s model main idea was the zone of proximal development. According to Woolfolk this is “the phase at which a child can master a task if given appropriate help and support” (p. 67), however in order to learn, the task must not be too easy or too hard because the person will get bored or frustrated. The strengths of his findings are that the environment plays an important role on the child, and its sensitivity to diversity. Its weaknesses are that it is too vague in that he doesn’t have any measurements or styles to define an individual, and that it lacks prototypical tasks.
Erikson and Bronfenbrenner focus on social and moral development rather than cognitive like the two above. Erikson had his eight stages of psychosocial development that help for a person’s identity throughout their life. These stages usually involve an outside force, whether that is another person or people but it is up to the individual to determine how they will react. Bronfenbrenner’s model was the bioecological model of human development and according to Woolfolk is the theory describing the social and cultural contexts that shape development in people (p. 86). This takes into account an environment the best as it looks at how every aspect of a person’s life and how it will impact them from a micro to macro level. These models work well in looking at an individual develops in the social world around them which is good because if you combine Piaget and Vygotsky’s ideas on cognitive development, it will help you understand how development occurs and at what stage in life. These concepts are important to take into teaching in the future because I will be dealing with kids going through the stages of development and being affected by all types of outside forces. It will help gauge where a person is at and what might be the best way to teach them the material that needs to be covered.
Another important aspect in development is how an individual’s peers impact and shape their lives. An article from Arizona State University outlines this very topic. Sharon Keeler talks about how peers can help a person learn assertiveness, conflict management, respect and control aggression, and discussing feelings (Keeler 2006). All these things are very important skills that need to be learned at school age in order for that person to thrive in the adult world in the future. Peers may come and go through a kid’s life but the lessons that they learn from every interaction will help them develop into a better person.
Keeler, Sharon (January 3, 2006). Not just child’s play: Children’s peer relationships have enormous influence on their lives. Arizona State University. Accessed from https://www.asu.edu/news/stories/200601/20060103_childsplay.htm.
Woolfolk, A. E. (2014). Educational Psychology: Active Learning Edition (12th ed.). Boston. Pearson.