INFLUENCES OF SOCIAL INTERACTIONS IN CHILDREN’S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Cognitive Development is the transformation of a child’s undifferentiated, unspecialized cognitive abilities into the adult’s conceptual competence and problem solving skill. (Marcy Driscoll, 1994: Quoted in Pam Silverthorn, 1999)
INTRODUCTION: The focus of the present study is on the Constructivist Theory of child development. Several theories have been articulated on cognitive development, and researches have been made on different aspects of development in children; three of which have most significant influence on the kindergarten teaching methods. These theories include Maturationist, Environmentalist and Constructivists ones. These three schools of thoughts have different views and ideas on child development. Piaget and Vygotsky are the pioneers and representatives of the Constructivist school of thought. Both of them have similarities and dissimilarities in their views. Before discussing the three aspects of child development, it is necessary to define cognitive psychology. In the words of Anderson:
Cognitive psychology attempts to understand the nature of human intelligence and how people think. The study of cognitive psychology is motivated by scientific curiosity, by the desire for practical applications, and by the need to provide a foundation for other fields of social science. (Anderson, 1990:1)
Cognitive development refers to the growth of mental processes as well as ability to think and perceive. It also discusses how a child learns by his innate mental capabilities and from society.
The Swiss biologist Jean Piaget and Russian psychologist Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky were the theorists to advance the constructivist theory of Cognitive development in children. According to which the cognitive development starts in children with their interaction with the environment and people around them. It is necessary for a child’s development, according to them, that he must...