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Lev Vygotsky

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Colby Watson

on 30 December 2013

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Transcript of Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky
The VygotskyTimeline
1896 - Born in Western Russia
1917 - Graduated w/ law degree at Moscow University
1924 - Attended the Institute of Psychology in Moscow where he pursued a career as a psychologist His interests included: child development, education, psychology of art, and language development.
1926-1930- Vygotsky and a group of students investigated the development of higher cognitive functions of logical memory, selective attention, decision making, and language comprehension
June 11, 1934- Died at the age of 38 due to tuberculosis, leaving his theories unfinished
Vygotsky's Theory:
Social Development Theory of Learning
Scaffolding is the support given during the learning process by MKOs so a difficult task can be accomplished.
The support is tailored to the student’s individual needs, and as the learner’s knowledge and confidence increases the support is gradually withdrawn.
Why important?
With the help of an MKO a student's current skills/ prior knowledge can be extended and applied to new unfamiliar tasks/content areas.
For a child to learn a subject efficiently scaffolds need to be implemented at the Zone of Proximal Development. This will enable the learner to bridge the gap between the actual and the potential development

Vygotsky's theories remained unknown even after his death for many years since they were rejected by the Soviet Union for being controversial.
However, due to his students known as the Vygotsky Circle they kept his work alive. So thanks to them Vygotsky’s theories are widely known around the world and have made an impact to the way educators teach today
Cognitive development is impacted socially and culturally
Vygtosky believed in Social Learning = We learn new strategies and knowledge by communicating, interacting, working together, and playing with "More Knowledgeable Others”
Social learning proceeds development, or development occurs due to having social experiences
Culture shapes cognitive development by determining what Mental Functions or tools of intellectual adaptation (memory, sensation, attention, and perception) a child will have as an infant and will develop into sophisticated and effective mental processes as they become an adult.
These Tools Of The Mind develop due to interacting within ones socio-cultural environment
Activity Break!!
Zone of
Proximal Development
= Is the distance between a child's actual developmental level as determined by what child can achieve independently (expert stage) and the level of potential development as determined by what the child can achieve with guidance, encouragement, or by working in collaboration with an MKO

Vygotsky said,
what is the zone of proximal development today will be the actual development level tomorrow – that is, what a child can do with assistance toady she will be able to do by herself tomorrow
He also said,

Education must be orientated not towards the yesterday of a child's development, but towards its tomorrow

ZPD Continued
Learning takes place when we are confronted with new tasks just out of our present abilities or within our ZPD.
When we do a task in our ZPD for that particular task* we are forced to internalize new information (as thought) and skills which later become after much practice apart of our own abilities that can be done without guidance.
Vygotsky’s theory does not mean anything can be taught to any child. Only instruction and activities that fall within the zone promote development should be taught since that is what child can learn at this point in time.

Instructional Strategies Using ZPD =

Engage learner’s interest in the task
Provide a direct demonstration
Give specific instructions which make a hard task seem simple /manageable
Control the child’s level of frustration
Support child with encouragement (ex- “now you have a go” ) motivate students to pursue the instructional goal
Then reduce the support so learner becomes in control and takes responsibility for their learning.

Scaffolding Tips
Example 2
James is taking an introductory tennis course at college. Each week class is spent learning and practicing a different shot. This week while learning forehands the instructor notices James is frustrated because he keeps hitting the ball into the net. The instructor observes that James has the correct stance, hits the ball at the right height, and prepares early so what’s the problem. Then the instructor notices James is gripping the racket the same way he learned to hit a backhand last week. The instructor goes over to James and shows him how to reposition his hands into a forehand position, and also models a proper forehand. Before long James is hitting forehands perfectly over the net and achieving his goal without assistance.

Example 1
Ashley is given her first jigsaw. She tries to solve the puzzle alone but is struggling. Her father then sits with her and describes strategies, such as finding all the corner pieces first. He also demonstrates how to put pieces together. He gives her some pieces and ask her to connect them while offering encouragement. Soon Ashely is solving the puzzle and her father walks away letting her to work independently.
ZPD Connections
Think about 3 things that would be tasks in your personal ZPDs.

Share one moment/ time when by the assistance of another person you were able to complete a challenging task and move out of your ZPD
- Who was your MKO? Did they use scaffolding? How so?

How Does All This Apply
To Teaching?
McLeod, S. A. "Vygotsky" Simply Psychology. 2007) <http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html>

Puntambekar, Sadhana. "Scaffolding." Education.com. N.p., 23 Dec. 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2013. <http://www.education.com/reference/article/scaffolding/>.

Kansas State University Music Education. "Making Connections: Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky" Web. 1 Nov. 2013.

CDM Inc. "Lev Vygotsky's Cognitive Development Theory and the Benefits of Play." Lev Vygotsky's Cognitive Development Theory and the Benefits of Play. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://www.childdevelopmentmedia.com/play-the-work-of-lev-vygotsky/>.

"Vygotskian Approach." Tools of the Mind. N.p., 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.<http://www.toolsofthemind.org/philosophy/vygotskian-approach/>.

Carol G. Mooney (2000). Lev Vygotksy. An Introduction to Dewey Montessori Erikson Piaget & Vygotsky, 81, 11-94.

MKO is someone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task or concept

MKOs act as tutors modeling appropriate behaviors and language skills which learner imitates. Thus this interaction creates continuous changes in child's behaviors and thoughts, and helps a child develop cognitive processes

MKOs can be teachers, parents, coaches, peers, experts, or even technology like computer games or software programs
Split yourselves into 2 groups
1 group of 10
1 group of 9

One group will go out in the hall to learn about Language Development

One group will stay here to learn about ZPD, Scaffolding, and MKOs
Find Out How Much You Learned On Vygotsky

Form into 4 groups of 4 and 1 group of 3

What is an MKO?
Vygotsky's theory challenges traditional teaching methods where the teacher tells students what to memorize and then requires students to recite information back.

Instead he believed the student and teacher should have shared roles where they collaborate with each other expressing their ideas and everyone having an equal valued input in class (
collaborative dialogues/discussions
). He also thought at times the teachers role should be reduced allowing students to assume teaching position. This is called
reciprocal teaching
where learning a reciprocal experience

What Should I
Do As A Teacher?
1. Look at each student as an individual who learns differently, requires different amounts of support, and who learns at their own rate

2. Connect new situations to a child's past experiences/ prior knowledge = make connections!

3. Plan activities that encompass not only what the children are capable of doing on their own but what they can learn with the help of others, b/c cognitive development occurs when working in the

4. Provide feedback during lessons and on assessments

5. Promote social interaction during the
day ex: have centers that involve
using imaginations and play

5. Use
techniques like modeling to help students in their ZPD so that in the future they will become independent problem solvers

6. C
ollaborative Learning
- create student groups or pairs of different levels and abilities. This will allow more advanced students to help less advanced students operate within their ZPD and learn difficult concpets. This also creates a classroom environment where students feel connected to their peers, and when students feel comfortable and safe around their classmates learning will take place

7. Use
Guided Participation=

students explain to a partner what was taught, what they learned, and what they did not understand

8. Allow students to problem solve situations by talking to themselves out loud quietly = use private speech

Dynamic assessment
- focus not on the products/scores of an assessment, but on the process- how did student get/form their answers.

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