Developmental and Educational Psychology: The Legacy of Piaget and Vygotsky

In the 1890s, G. Stanley Hall introduced his Child Study Movement. Hall advocated that a child be allowed to progress through natural physical and psychological stages of development rather than be influenced by stringent parental behavioral constraints (http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/hall.htm). Hall’s work on children and adolescence within the context of the late 19th and early 20th centuries fundamentally influenced later educational psychological theorists such as Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky.

Jean Piaget’s theory of child development proposed that children are constantly learning through trial and error as they pass through four major developmental stages (Benjamin, 2013). Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory, however, argues that children must learn about their environment and how it affects them before they continue to develop into the next stage (Gredler, 2009).

Although they lived within a different age in which families followed different mores and practices, these theorists are still revered today, and many of their ideas are still considered valid. Why have their works stood the test of time?

For this Discussion, please choose either Piaget or Vygotsky to discuss.

Post an explanation of why the theorist you selected is still lauded as an expert in child behavior. In your explanation, include key psychological figures who influenced this theorist as well as those who were influenced by him.


Required Readings

Benjamin, L. T.  (2019). A brief history of modern psychology (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

  • Chapter 5, “The Early Schools of American Psychology” (pp. 68-85)

Brooks-Gunn, J., & Duncan-Johnson, A. D. (2006). G. Stanley Hall’s contribution to science, practice and policy: The child study, parent education, and child welfare movements. History of Psychology9(3), 247–258.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Chandler, M. J. (2009). Piaget on Piaget. British Journal of Psychology100(1a), 225–228.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Gredler, M. E. (2009). Hiding in plain sight: The stages of mastery/self-regulation in Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory. Educational Psychologist44(1), 1–19.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Green, C. D. (Ed.) (n.d.). Classics in the history of psychology. Retrieved from http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/

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