Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter you should be able to:

  • Identify Piaget’s six substages of sensorimotor reasoning and summarize criticism of this perspective on infant and early childhood cognitive development. 
  • Contrast the advances of concrete operational versus those of formal operational reasoning, and summarize common criticisms of Piaget’s perspective on these stages.
  • Summarize Vygotsky’s sociocultural perspective and how it is manifested in scaffolding, the zone of proximal development, and cultural tools.
  • Explain postformal reasoning and how it compares with cognitive–affective complexity.