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Vygostky's Theory of Cognitive Development

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Daniel Ellen

on 22 June 2016

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Transcript of Vygostky's Theory of Cognitive Development

What is Vygotsky's Theory?

According to Vygotsky, codnitive development and learning depend on the child's mastery of symbolic mediators (Kozulin, 1998)
He believed that children’s thinking is affected by their social knowledge.
He stressed language as the key to learning development.
Key Points
Children’s thinking is affected by their knowledge of the social community (which is learned from either technical or psychological cultural tools).

Language is the most important tool for gaining this social knowledge.

Intelligence is "the capacity to learn from instruction”

More Knowledgeable Other:
a more knowledgeable person or ‘teacher’.
parents, adults, teachers, coaches, experts/professionals
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
Two levels of attainment:
Level 1 – the present level of development.
What the child already knows or is capable of knowing without help from others (Santrock, 2013).
Level 2 – potential level of development
What the child could potentially learn with help from others (Santrock, 2013).
This can be defined as the More Knowledgeable Other adjusting the amount of help they give based on the child's stage of development.

Once child as reached full potential, then the help or "scaffold" will be removed.

Vygostky's Theory of Cognitive Development
Vygosky proposed that a child's immediate potential for cognitive growth is bounded on the lower end by what the child can accomplish on his/her own and on the upper end by what the child can accomplish with the help of a more knowledgeable other (Doolittle, 1995).
Anything that is too complicated for the child to learn cannot be learned until there is a shift in the ZPD.

When a child does attain their potential, this shift occurs and the child can continue learning more complex, higher level material.
Theory in PE Class
This theory is perfect for the PE classroom. When students are developing skills they start with a basic set of gross and fine motor skills. As they progress through school, the PE teacher uses scaffolding to support them until they have reached full potential in a certain skill. Once they reach that potential, the ZPD shifts and students can fine tune sport specific skills.
How to Apply It
I can use this theory in my class on a daily basis. By understanding where students are and where they could potentially get to, it allows me as a teacher to guide them to that place. By doing this it also meets their emotional and social needs.
After reading about Vygotsky and Piaget, compare and contrast their two theories.

Although Vygostky's Theory is good in many areas, it is not perfect. Critique his theory and find two shortcomings it possess.

Investigate a study/experiment done on this theory and how this study supports or argues the theory.

Create an illustration that depicts the principle of Vygotsky's theory.

Reflect on your own education and discuss if you experienced Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development and how.

Lev Vygotsky
(Santrock, 2013)
Full transcript