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Sociocultural Theory of Lev Vygotsky

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McKinzie Elton

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Sociocultural Theory of Lev Vygotsky

Sociocultural Theory of Lev Vygotsky
Main Points of the Sociocultural Theory
Individual development is a product of cultural influences

Cognitive growth stems from social interactions

Social processes become individual-psychological processes

Adults are especially important as change agents (by transmitting their culture's tools of intellectual adaptation that children internalize)

Applications for the Classroom
Individual development is a product of cultural influences (beliefs, customs, skills of the culture)
East Asian youngsters from China, Taiwan, and Japan typically outperform American children in certain academic subjects, most notably math
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Cognitive growth stems from social interactions
Guided learning within the zone of proximal development
4 year old with first puzzle
Scaffolding
Social processes become individual-psychological processes
Egocentric speech
Private speech - "speech for self," guide children's thinking
Never goes away - inner speech
Now...to apply what we've learned...
A child is struggling to learn how to read. By working with the student to teach how to sound out words and use other word recognition strategies, the child is able to learn to read.
Can you think of an example using the zone of proximal development and scaffolding?
How does culture affect us?
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Critique
Many aspects of the theory have just begun to be translated from Russian
Guided participation with verbal instruction may be less useful for some forms of learning
Harvesting rice in Southeast Asia, observation > verbal instruction
Group problem solving does not always benefit all individuals
More skilled individuals fail to adapt instruction to a partner's level of understanding
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Adults are especially important as change agents (by transmitting their culture's tools of intellectual adaptation that children internalize)
Tools of intellectual adaptation
Note taking v. tying a knot in a string
Active over passive learning

Assess what learner already knows

Teachers use guided participation
Structure learning activity, provide helpful hints, and monitor the child's learning (eventually turning over more of the mental activity)

Cooperative learning > working alone
Full transcript