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Vygotsky's Sociocultural Perspective


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Vygotsky's Sociocultural Perspective

  1. 1. Piaget & Vygotsky • Both Piaget and Vygotsky emphasized the importance of social interactions in cognitive development, but Piaget saw a different role for interaction. • Piaget believed that interaction encouraged development by creating disequilibriumcognitive conflict-that motivated change. • Thus, Piaget believed that the most helpful interactions were those between peers because peers are on an equal basis and can challenge each other’s thinking.
  2. 2. About the Theory • Vygotsky suggested that children’s cognitive development is fostered by interactions with people who are more capable or advanced in their thinking –teachers and parents. • He focused on the connections between people and the sociocultural context in which they act and interact in shared experiences. • According to Vygotsky, humans use tools that develop from a culture, such as speech and writing, to mediate their social environments.
  3. 3. Discovered By: • Lev Vygotsky was born November 17, 1896 in Orsha, a city in the western region of the Russian Empire. He attended Moscow State University, where he graduated with a degree in law in 1917. His formal work in psychology did not begin until 1924 when he attended the Institute of Psychology in Moscow and began collaborating with Alexei Leontiev and Alexander Luria. His interests in Psychology were quite diverse, but often centered on topics of child development and education. He also explored such topics as the psychology of art and language development.
  4. 4. 3 Major Themes • Social Interaction • The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) • Zone of Proximal Development-Teaching in the Magic Middle
  5. 5. Social Interaction • Vygotsky felt social learning anticipates development. He states: “Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological).” • He believes that young children are curious and actively involved in their own learning and the discovery and development of new understandings.
  6. 6. The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) • MKO refers to someone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. • For example: Teachers, Other adults, Advanced students, sometimes even computers. • Many times, a child's peers or an adult's children may be the individuals with more knowledge or experience.
  7. 7. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) • What the learner already knows (do not teach; too boring) • What the learner is not yet ready or able to learn (do not teach; too difficult) • ZONE OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT – what the learner could understand with guidance (do teach; exciting, challenging) • Teaching in the Magic Middle –ZPD is the teaching space between the boring and the impossible. It is here that scaffolding from the teacher or a peer can support learning.
  8. 8. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) Cont’d • An 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.
  9. 9. Vygotsky's 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 Piaget's 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).
  10. 10. Teachers and Social Development Theory with Technology • Technology can be used to facilitate learning within the ZPD. – Online activities and projects can encourage the cooperation of students even when not in the classroom. – Teachers can use videos and interactive worksheets to engage their students and assist them through scaffolding.
  11. 11. 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 are a great way to get kids learning. – Scaffolding can be done with real world objects and interactions, not just technological ones.
  12. 12. 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 resource's. 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.
  13. 13. Practical Application • An oral report in which students would work in teams/groups designing a learning plan for a specific topic with the class as the target audience. • Each group would be required to use the help of an advanced learner/s (their groupmate/s), trusted websites and learning materials/resources for expert support. • As the students grow in competence, give less support and more opportunities for independent work.
  14. 14. Works Cited • • • • • • • [Learning in a Structured Environment. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from: [Zone of Proximal Development. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from: t/zone-of-proximal-development.html [Children in a Circle. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from: [Math Teacher Helping Student. Photo]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from: [Students and social Development theory with/without tech]. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from: