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Activity Sheet 9-B: Cognitive Development from Different Perspectives
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Read the following example, then discuss it from the various theoretical perspectives listed at the bottom of the page. Jordan, an 18 month old, is sitting on the floor in the middle of the room with other children in the day care center. While the others play with trucks and wooden blocks, she is playing with a plastic container that has oval, round, square, and triangular cut-outs in the lid and small plastic toys of each shape that can be pushed through the holes when the shapes are matched. Jordan grabs the square cube with her left hand and tries to push it through the oval hole in the lid. She pushes down on the square trying to get it to fit. After doing this two or three times, she turns the square around so that it is going in a different way. When she discovers that the square will not fit after turning it from side to side, she gives up and throws the square cube into the pile with the rest of the shapes. Then she reaches for a triangle and tries to push it through the oval shape in the lid. When it does not fit, she takes the lid off of the container and begins putting all of the shapes inside the container. She begins with the triangle first, then grabs different shapes in each hand and puts them into the container. She continues until all of the shapes are in the container. When finished, Jordan squeals loudly with delight and throws her hands up in the air above her head. The teacher now notices what she is doing and says, “Yea, Jordan!” Jordan looks up at the teacher, drops her hands, and squeals again. She looks around for more shapes, and seeing none, dumps the container out and begins again.

Briefly describe what is happening cognitively for Jordan from each of the theoretical perspectives you have learned about.


Piaget would say:

Vygotsky would say:

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