Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky


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Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky

  1. 1. Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky Sociocultural Theory Abigail Cruz Silva Prof. Diaz
  2. 2. Biography  Born in Western Russia in 1896.  Graduated with law degree at the Institute of Psychology in Moscow.  He studied there from (1924-34).  There he expanded his ideas on cognitive development,particularly the relation between language and thinking.
  3. 3. Biography  His writings emphasized the roles of historical, cultural, and social factors in cognition and argued that language was the most important symbolic tool provided by society.  His thought and language is a classic text in psycholinguistics.  He died of tuberculosis in 1934 at the age of 37.
  4. 4. Sociocultural Theory  Culture is the prime determinant of individual development.  Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level.  Development depends on interaction with people and the tools that the culture provides to help form their own view of the world.
  5. 5. Sociocultural Theory  Cognitive skills and patterns of thinking are not primarily determined by innate factors, but are the products of the activities practiced in the social institutions of the culture in which the individual grows up.  In this process of cognitive development, language is a crucial tool for determining how the child will learn how to think because advanced modes of though are transmitted to the child by means of words.
  6. 6. Sociocultural Theory  Cognitive development results from a dialectical process whereby a child learns through problem-solving experiences shared with someone else.  As learning progresses, the child’s own language comes to serve as her primary tool of intellectual adaptation. Eventually, children can use internal language to direct their own behavior.
  7. 7. Three underlying themes that unify Vygotsky’s complex and far-reaching theory The importance of culture. The central role of language The Zone of Proximal Development
  8. 8. The importance of culture Our cultures grow and change as we develop, and employ extremely powerful influences on all of us. They dictate what he calls “elementary mental functions” and “higher mental functions” .
  9. 9. Elementary Mental Functions What children had when they were born. Natural/lower or elementary abilities make it possible for people to do new things that are different from higher abilities.
  10. 10. Higher “cultural” Mental Functions  Our higher mental functions develop through social interaction, being socially or culturally mediated.It’s the abstract reasoning, logical memory, language, voluntary attention, planning, decision-making, etc. It origin in human interaction and appears gradually during the process of radical transformation of the lower functions. These are specific human functions which are formed and shaped gradually in a course of transformation of the lower functions, according to specific goals, practices, and beliefs of the persons culture and social group.
  11. 11. Three ways that culture tool can pass from one individual to another  Imitative learning Where one person imitate or copy another.  Instructed learning Involves remembering the instructions of the teacher and then using these instructions to self- regulate.  Collaborative learning Involves a group of peers who strive to understand each other and work together to learn a specific skill.
  12. 12. The central role of language “The child begin to perceive the world not only through its eyes but also through its speech. And later it is not just seeing but acting tat becomes informed by words” “Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them.” “A word devoid of thought is a dead thing, and a thought unembodied in words remains a shadow.”
  13. 13. The central role of language Words play a central part not only in the development of thought but in the historical growth of consciousness as a whole. A word is a microcosm of human consciousness. Thought undergoes many changes as it turns into speech. It does not merely find expression in speech; it finds its reality and form. Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them. …the speech structures mastered by the child become the basic structures of this thinking.
  14. 14. The central role of language  Language is made possible because of our culture. The learning of language is brought about by social processes, and language ultimately make thought possible.  Therefore, when a child is and infant, at the preverbal stage of development, his intelligence is a purely natural, useful capacity.  As a child begins to develop so does his language.
  15. 15. The central role of language  As a child begins to speak, his thought processes also begin to develop. In essence, it is language which direct behavior.  Vygotsky describes three stages in the development of speech. Each of these three stages of speech has its own function. Stages
  16. 16. Stages Social Speech (external speech) Egocentric Speech Inner Speech
  17. 17. Social Speech (external speech) In this stage a child uses speech to control the behavior of others. A child uses speech to express simple thoughts and emotions such as crying, laughter and shouting.
  18. 18. Egocentric Speech In this stage, children often talk to themselves, regardless of someone listening to them. They think out loud in an attempt to guide their own behavior. They may speak about what they are doing as they do it. They reason that language must be spoken if it is to direct their behavior.
  19. 19. Inner Speech Is a soundless speech used by older children and adults. It allows us to direct our thinking and behavior. Here we are able to engage in all forms of higher mental functions. In this stage one is able to “count in one’s head, use logical memory-inherent relationships, and inner signs.
  20. 20. The Zone of Proximal Development  It is the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers.  It represents the amount of learning possible by a student given the proper instructional conditions.
  21. 21. The Zone of Proximal Development  Refers to what children can do in their own as the level of actual development that a standard IQ test measure.  Vygotsky says that two children might have the same level of actual development, in the sense of being able to solve the same number of problems on some standardized test.
  22. 22. The Zone of Proximal Development  Given appropriate help from an adult, still, one child might be able to solve an additional dozen problems while the other child might be able to solve only two or three. (example)
  23. 23. Example  Two students, both of 8 years old. The examiner provide guided assistance to each of the two students in order to solve some given ill-defined problem. The first students can deal with ill-defined problems up to the level of a 12 year old. The second student can deal with ill-defined problems up to the level of a 9 year old.
  24. 24. How Vygotsky Impacts Learning  Curriculum Since children learn much through interaction, curricula should be design to emphasize interaction between learners and learning tasks.  Instruction With appropriate adult help, children can often perform tasks that they are incapable of completing on their own. With this in mind, scaffolding is an effective form of teaching.
  25. 25. How Vygotsky Impacts Learning  Assessment Assessment methods must take into account the ZPD . What children can do on their own is their level of actual development and what they can do with help is their level of potential development.Assessment methods must target both the level of actual development and the level of potential development.