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MEP learning pack

Masters in Educational Practice: Child and adolescent development 0-19


Cognitive development


What is cognition?

Components of cognition

The key components of cognition are:

  • attention
  • memory
  • language
  • problem-solving
  • reasoning
  • decision-making.  

In the past Piaget and Vygotsky theorised about child development by observing the actions of children – referred to as observational techniques (Harris and Butterworth, 2010).  


Watch the following YouTube clip. It depicts Piaget’s versus Vygotsky’s differing views of cognitive development.

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In this clip Vygotsky talks about ‘scaffolding’ – what is this and how do you think this may be useful for teaching?

Do you agree with Piaget or Vygotsky?

Learning pack contents

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