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Review on Piaget's theory and Vygotsky's theory (My personal Opinion actually)

Prepared by Mohd. Ikram Jabilin
p/s: This is library research based and just a personal thought. This is only the 'edisi diperkemas' based on what have been discussed in EDU550's class on 18/3/2013.

In educational psychology, the cognitive development was discussed based on two theory by Jean Piaget (1954) and Lev Vygotsky (died 1934). Piaget was well known by one of his idea called Piagetian stages. This stages shows the relation between the age and ways of thinking in human cognitive development which can be understood that, each particular range of age will shows the distinct achievement that can be gain by human being. In contrast, Vygotsky didn't really stressed on the stages in age but emphasis on the sociocultural condition that will strongly affected the cognitive development of human being. This are several of the the basic idea of what Piaget and Vygotsky proposed in their theory [1].

When I first comes with both of the theories, I remember several hadith that related to the human education.
Piaget's theory

First Hadith:
Rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda,
Perintahkanlah kepada anak-anakmu untuk (melaksanakan) shalat (lima waktu) sewaktu mereka berumur tujuh tahun, pukullah mereka karena (meninggalkan) shalat (lima waktu) jika mereka (telah) berumur sepuluh tahun, serta pisahkanlah tempat tidur mereka.
(Hadits riwayat Abu Daud, no. 495; dinyatakan shahih oleh Syekh Al-Albani.) [2]
From the hadith above, what can be understood is, there is the signs of the important in focusing to the certain age level in children educartion. Although it is not as specific as the Piagetian stages, but this prove that the age range also play an important roles.

From the science perspective, this is maybe due to the level of the human's brain development. Some said brain will fully develop when the human reach 30s or 40s [3], other said that when reach 25 years old [4].

The level of human's brain development will affected the cognitive development. According to Biggs (2009) prior to full brain development children exhibit the following behaviors more coincidentally vs. consistently:
• Decision making
• Use of appropriate judgment
• Rational thinking
• Integration of emotion & critical thinking
• Ability to think clearly about long-term outcomes that stem from behaviors
• Global thinking vs. self-centered thinking [5]

Thus, what can be understood is during each range of age, there are certain level of neuron that was developed successfully and this will affected the level of human thinking process.
Vygotsky's theory
Second hadith:
Setiap bayi dilahirkan dalam keadaan fithrah, maka kedua ibu-bapaknyalah yang akan menjadikannya seorang Yahudi atau seorang Nasrani atau seorang Majusi”. [5]
I think this is a common sense when we talk about the human development, where the sociocultural condition will affected how the children will develop [refer back to Vygotsky's theory]. Based on the hadith above, it also talk about how the parents will determine what their children will become later, and this is for sure is about the sociocultural effect.

As a conclusion, both Piaget's theory and Vygotsky's theory can't be separated from each other and in Islam, there is also a hint about the significant of giving an attention to the age range and the sociocultural condition in educating human being.


Foot notes:

[1] Santrock. J.W. (2012). Educational psychology. New York: Mc Graw Hill.

[2] Anak Nakal, Bagaimana Mengatasinya? (3/3): Beberapa Contoh Cara Mendidik Anak yang Nakal. Retrieved March 18, 2013 from

[3] Edwards, L. (2010). Brain is not fully mature until 30s and 40s. Retrieved March 20, 2013 from

[4] Biggs, S. (2009). A child's brain fully develops by age 25. Retrieved March 21, 2013 from

[5] Ibid.

[6] Penjelasan dasar-dasar Aqidah Islam. Retrieved March 20, 2013 from
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