Vygotsky and Piaget: scientific concepts

Autores: Alves, P. F. (2014).

Título: “Vygotsky and Piaget: scientific concepts”

Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 7(3), 24-34.


Jean Piaget’s so-called biological perspective is often paired with the viewpoint of Lev Vygotsky when we speak of learning in humans. Both authors acknowledged the active role of children in the construction of knowledge. However, they differ in that, unlike Piaget, Vygotsky believed that the assimilation of new information does not have to wait for an appropriate level of development but must, on the contrary, produce that development through instruction; thus, cooperation between teacher and student promotes the development of higher psychological functions. The present research presents proof that school instruction is instrumental in this process. Samples of adults who had acquired distinct levels of schooling (from illiterates to university students) are differentiated experimentally through the use of four Piagetian cognitive problem-solving tasks created for adolescents and adults. The present research suggests that instructional level is the distinctive factor in the development of those problem-solving capacities that implicate higher psychological functions.

keywords: Vygotsky, Piaget, learning, development, scientific concepts