Section 37
Chapter 36,336

Piaget and Vygotsky Many resemblances, and a crucial difference

Orlando Lourenço

New Ideas in Psychology 30(3): 281-295


ISSN/ISBN: 0732-118X
DOI: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2011.12.006
Accession: 036335653

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Piaget and Vygotsky are two influential developmental psychologists. One can even say that their contributions to developmental psychology, albeit different, are similarly remarkable and unique. This article is in four parts. In the first part, I refer briefly to a commonly noticed difference between Vygotsky s and Piaget s theories. In the second part, I show that there are many resemblances between Vygotsky and Piaget. In the third part, I argue that in spite of such resemblances, there exists a crucial, and generally unnoticed, difference between Piaget s and Vygotsky s theories, and that this difference underlies the way each author addresses the following issues: 1) theoriginsof development and themotorof development; 2) the relationships amongequal peers vs.those based onauthorities, as they are sources of development and learning; 3) the more appropriatemethodsfor studying developmental changes; 4) the importance of the distinction betweentrue vs. necessaryknowledge; and 5) the role oftransformationand personal reconstructionvs.that oftransmissionand social influence in the phenomena of development and learning. Finally, I summarize the main ideas and arguments which I elaborate throughout this article, and mention what can be gained when the generally ignored aforementioned difference is noticed.

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