By: Courtney Noble, Josh Kravit, and Lawrence Braswell
About the TheoryVygotsky placed more emphasis on social contributions tothe process of developmentHe focused on the connections between people and thesociocultural context in which they act and interact inshared experiences.According to Vygotsky, humans use tools that developfrom a culture, such as speech and writing, to mediatetheir social environments. Initially children develop thesetools to serve solely as social functions, ways tocommunicate needs.
Discovered By:Lev Vygotsky was born November 17, 1896 in Orsha, a cityin the western region of the Russian Empire. He attendedMoscow State University, where he graduated with adegree in law in 1917. His formal work in psychology did notbegin until 1924 when he attended the Institute ofPsychology in Moscow and began collaborating withAlexei Leontiev and Alexander Luria. His interests inPsychology were quite diverse, but often centered ontopics of child development and education. He alsoexplored such topics as the psychology of art and languagedevelopment.
3 Major Themes Social InteractionThe More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) Zone of Proximal Development
Social InteractionVygotsky felt social learning anticipates development.He states: “Every function in the child’s culturaldevelopment appears twice: first, on the social level,and later, on the individual level; first, betweenpeople (interpsychological) and then inside the child(intrapsychological).”He believes that young children are curious andactively involved in their own learning and thediscovery and development of new understandings.
The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO)MKO refers to someone who has a better understandingor a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to aparticular task, process, or concept.For example: Teachers, Other adults, Advancedstudents, sometimes even computers.Many times, a childs peers or an adults children may bethe individuals with more knowledge or experience.For example: Who would know more about the latest teenmusic group, how to be the newest black ops game, orwhat is the latest dance moves, a child or their parent?
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)This is an important concept that relates to thedifference between what a child can achieveindependently and what a child can achieve withguidance and encouragement from a skilled partner.According to Vygotsky learning occurs here.Vygotsky sees the ZPD as the area where the mostsensitive instruction or guidance should begiven, allowing the child to develop skills they willthen use on their own, developing higher mentalfunctions.
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) Cont’dAn example would be reading a book with a child. They are reading the words of the book out loud to you as you follow along. They come across a word that in unfamiliar to them and ask for help. Instead of directly telling them the word, show them pictures of ask them questions about what they just read. They will figure the word out on their own and come to understand what the word means on their own. They will later learn to do it themselves first before asking for help.
Vygotskys theory differs from that of Piaget in a number of important ways: 1: Vygotsky places more emphasis on culture affecting/shaping cognitive development - this contradicts Piagets view of universal stages and content of development. (Vygotsky does not refer to stages in the way that Piaget does). 2: Vygotsky places considerably more emphasis on social factors contributing to cognitive development (Piaget is criticized for underestimating this). 3: Vygotsky places more emphasis on the role of language in cognitive development (again Piaget is criticized for lack of emphasis on this).http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html
Teachers and Social Development Theory with Technology Technology can be used to facilitate learning within the ZPD. Online activities and projects can encourage the co- operation of students even when not in the classroom. Teachers can use videos and interactive worksheets to engage their students and assist them through scaffolding.
Teachers and Social Development Theory without Technology Even without technology, the basic ideas are the same. Students work better in groups according to Vygotsky, so group projects from art all the way to presentations on the latest math systems learned are a great way to get kids learning. Scaffolding can be done with real world objects and interactions, not just technological ones.
Students and Social Development Theory with Technology Technology provides internet, library databases, and chat rooms, technology resources students will be able to use an endless amount of resources. Being able to share information provides classroom opinions. The classroom, based on Vygotsky provides groups for peer instruction, collaboration, and small group instruction. The environment of the classroom, the design of material to be learn would promote and encourage student interaction and collaboration. Leading into a classroom community.
Students and Social Development Theory without Technology No Technology classes Less opportunity for educational search engines Classroom community is only able to excel with “in- class” searches such as books, fellow peers, and classroom curriculum. Still possible for a classroom community Unable to provide the class needs for certain topics.
Practical ApplicationA group project on the major themes in Dracula inwhich students would work in teams exploring one ofa list of possible themes.Each group would be required to use the teacher andtrusted websites for expert supportThe teacher would be hands on, helping students tograsp the concept of themes woven throughout anarrative, utilizing examples, handouts, and practiceexamples.
Works Citedhttp://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.htmlhttp://www.learning-theories.com/vygotskys-social-learning-theory.html[Learning in a Structured Environment. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from:http://www.hadd.ie/classroom.htm[Zone of Proximal Development. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from:http://www.innovativelearning.com/educational_psychology/development/zone-of-proximal-development.html[Children in a Circle. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from: http://www.voicesnow.org/[Math Teacher Helping Student. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from:http://www.teachersalary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Teacher-Salary-Math-Chalkboard.jpg[Students and social Development theory with/without tech]. Retrieved April 13, 2012,from: http://www.icpd.org/development_theory/SocialDevTheory.htm
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