Social Constructivism


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  • Born in Tsarist Belorussia and was in college during the 1917 Revolution. … after college…Completed PhD in 1924 at Moscow State University … joined…His team’s focus was on development of higher cognitive functions.Research team’s addressed three perspectives:Instrumental – how humans used objects as aides to mediation in memory and reason.Developmental – how children acquire higher cognitive functions.Cultural-Historical – how the forms of mediation and development trajectories are shaped by different social and cultural patterns of interaction.After his death, academic life became politicized and his published work did not re-emerge until a decade after Stalin’s death when academic life was depoliticized in the 1960’s. Some aspects of his research were ultimately discarded by his former students, but cultural-historical research, now seen as social constructivism, did survive.
  • * Born in Moscow.* Completed PhD from Moscow State University in 1926.Worked with Vygotsky between 1924 and 1930, but moved to Kharkov with Luria in 1931 since academic life in Moscow was becoming politicized. Vygotsky remained close.After Vygotsky’s death, his research team moved to Kharkov to join Luria and Leont’ev when Vygotsky’s work was viewed as disloyal to the Communist Party. They formed the Kharkov School of Psychology.In the 1935, moved back to Moscow and became department head of the Psychology Department at Moscow State University, although worked closely with the Kharkovites.
  • * Born in Finland.* Completed PhD in Education from University of Helsinki in 1987.* In late 1980’s, started working on integrating Vygotsky’s Cultural-Historical approach (Vygotsky School), Russian Activity Theory (Leont’ev Activity Theory), and western developments in psychology, particularly cognitive science and constructivism.
  • Social Constructivism

    1. 1. Social Constructivism/ Activity Theory Jess Boucher Diane Pereira Gary Heverly John McDonough October 25, 2012
    2. 2. Class Activity Your Task:  Tell the robot how to autonomously walk in a square. What you know:  Each leg is a separate motor  Motors turn on for seconds at a time (ex. “Left motor on for three seconds”)  Motors can turn on or off at the same time Rules:  Only one person can submit a task list at once.  Once the task has been completed, the robot will return to the starting position.
    3. 3. Definition(s) & Assumptions  Social constructivism emphasizes the importance of culture and context in understanding what occurs in society and constructing knowledge based on this understanding (Derry, 1999; McMahon, 1997).  3 Assumptions:  Knowledge is a product of human interaction  Knowledge is socially and culturally constructed that is influenced by the group and its’ environment  Learning is a social activityDerry, S. J. (1999). A Fish called peer learning: Searching for common themes. In A. M. ODonnell & A. King (Eds.).Kim, B. (2001). Social Constructivism.. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved <insert date>, from, M. (1997, December). Social Constructivism and the World Wide Web - A Paradigm for Learning. Paper presented at the ASCILITE conference.Perth, Australia.
    4. 4. Lev Vygotsky (1896 – 1934) After college, taught in secondary school and at a teacher’s college. Joined a research team lead by Alexander Luria at Moscow Institute of Psychology. Soon after, became the leader and formed a troika with Luria and Alexei Leont’ev. After his death, academic life became politicized and his published work did not re-emerge until the 1960’s. Some aspects of his research were ultimately discarded, but cultural- historical research, now seen as social constructivism, survived.
    5. 5. Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) Theory of Cognitive Development Children construct an understanding of the world around them, then experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment. Assimilation and Accommodation Theory Stages of Cognitive Development
    6. 6. Alexei Leont’ev (1903 – 1979) Worked with Alexander Luria and Lev Vygotsky at the Moscow Institute of Psychology. Worked with Vygotsky between 1924 and 1930, but moved to Kharkov with Luria in 1931. After Vygotsky’s death, Luria and Leont’ev was joined by the research team when Vygotsky’s work was viewed as disloyal to the Communist Party. Leont’ev expanded on one aspect of Vygotsky’s Cultural-Historical theory and created Activity Theory. In the 1935, moved back to Moscow State University, although he worked closely with the Kharkovites.
    7. 7. Activity Model
    8. 8. Jerome Bruner (1915- ) Key figure in Cognitive Revolution All children are naturally curious. Learning is an active, social process in which students construct new ideas or concepts based on current knowledge. Three Modes of Representation -Enactive, Iconic and Symbolic The Process of Education  Role of Structure in Learning  Readiness for Learning  Intuitive and analytical thinking  Motives for Learning
    9. 9. Yrjö Engeström (1948 – ) Currently Professor of Adult Education and Director of the Center for Activity Theory at University of Helsinki. Also Professor Emeritus of Communications at UC, San Diego. In late 1980’s, started working on integrating Vygotsky’s Cultural-Historical approach, Leont’ev Activity Theory, and western developments in psychology, particularly cognitive science and constructivism. Current research focused on applying cultural-historical activity theory within work organizations.
    10. 10. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) Theory developed by Lev Vygotsky; “Actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers.”Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress
    11. 11. Concept(s) of ZPD Scaffolding Assistance to the learner, through positive reinforcement, until the assistance is no longer needed of becomes repetitive.
    12. 12. Zone of Reflective Capacity  Adults’ ability to describe and understand concepts increases when working in a group and collaborate over a period of time. This increased further when trust has been established between members of the group. (Gordon Wells, 1999)  Self reflection increases over time as information is shared among group members.  “In a short amount of time we are seeing improvement in each other. We are starting to question ourselves, like how am I doing this, or can I do this better.” (Tinsley & Lebak, 2009)Lebak, K., Tinsley R. (2009). Expanding the Zone of Reflective Capacity: Taking Separate Journeys Together. Networks, Vol. 11 (Issue 2), pg. 1 – 11.Wells, G. (1999). Dialogic inquiry: Towards a sociocultural practice and theory of education. NY: Cambridge University Press.
    13. 13. More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) helps the learner bridge the gap within the Zone of Proximal Development. Can be a…  Mentor  Peer  Resources MKO Example
    14. 14. Social Constructivism & The Internet
    15. 15. Social Constructivism & The Internet
    16. 16. Discussion Questions1. How is social sharing and discovery related to the internet?2. Have you noticed a change in your own self reflection after working within your presentation groups?3. After reflecting on the exercise from the beginning of the class, is there anything you would do differently?