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Vygotsky, Bruner and Rogoff's Sociocultural Theory

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Jonathan Anderson

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of Vygotsky, Bruner and Rogoff's Sociocultural Theory

Vygotsky, Bruner and Rogoff's
Sociocultural Theory Vygotsky: Born 1896 in Belorussia, he came from an educated background and excelled in secondary school. Vygostky was a prolific writer and had written 6 books on psychology in a decade. He was often criticized by the Communist Party in Russia for his new ideas, as a result of this his work was never really recognized in his life time. A brief history of the theorists: Jerome Bruner: Born 1915 in New York. Bruner received his Bachelors in psychology in 1931 from Duke University and went on to receive his Doctorate four years later at Harvard University. Unlike Vygostky, Bruner had an extensive career that included working in the psychological warfare division of the supreme Headquarters of the allied Expeditory Force Europe Committee and teaching at distinguished Universities such as Harvard, Oxford and New York University where he still works today. Brief history cont... Barbara Rogoff: Is a distinguished professor or psychology at the Santa Cruz University. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Anthropological Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Educational Research Association. Barbara Rogoff has held the University of California Presidential Chair and has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a Kellogg Fellow, a Spencer Fellow, and an Osher Fellow of the Exploratorium. Brief History Cont... Vygotsky's sociocultural theory:
A change in thought.... Vygotsky believed that cognitive development occurs through a process of socialization. The role of the adult in a child's development is to develop his or her thinking in ways particular to the culture and society in which they live. It was Vygotsky's contention that children are unable to learn without the support of someone who is already knowledgeable in the particular field eg parent or teacher. Vygotsky described humans’ mental abilities as:

lower mental functions (meaning inherited, involuntary, capacities such as vision, hearing
and taste) that are controlled by external objects and events.

Higher mental function (meaning those developed through social interaction, including
logical and abstract thinking, and language) that operate internally (that is, ‘in the head’)
and are used to control lower mental functions, to think and to solve problems concerning
external objects and events. Vygotsky also introduced the concept of the
zone of proximal development: This was a very different notion than that of Piaget who described children as little scientist that learned independently. Vygostsky introduced the notion of internalisation
This is the notion that individuals internalise the ideas and processes they observe and participate in during social interaction as new ways of thinking. Their thinking is gradually transformed through interaction. The basic definition of this concept is the distance between what students are capable of doing by themselves and what they can achieve with teacher assistance. Teachers should plan activities and provide experiences that fit into students zone of proximal development. If teachers are able to achieve this then each and every student will be challenged and will continue to develop their cognition. Bruner introduced the concept of 'scaffolding.' Metaphorically speaking the scaffold refers to offering support until it is no longer needed. In other words assisting a student by breaking down a task, redirecting their focus, modeling, and by providing students with strategies to problem solve Bruner strongly supported Vygotsky's notion of proximal development stating that "it is through scaffolding that a child's zone of promimal development moves forward" Educational terms associated with scaffolded learning: Active learning
assisted learning
reciprocal teaching
assisted discovery
collaborative cognition Educators have an integral role to play in scaffolded learning. It is the responsibility of the teacher to provide students with tasks and experiences that are within a student's zone of proximal development. The only way a teacher can be assured to achieve this is to engage and interact with the students. This interaction will allow teachers to adjust tasks according to students' abilities. Rogoff developed to concept of learning through interaction even further. Rogoff developed the theory of cognitive apprenticeships, whereby children learn through partaking in activities in their culture group. Rogoff writes that in many cultures children work with adults to learn and complete tasks. Children are gradually exposed to more complicated tasks gradually and with time children become confident to complete tasks independently, this process is called guided participation. Under this theory listening and learning are emphasized ways of learning and students don't need to learn through explicit teaching. An example of guided participation in the class room. . A class of Year 7 students observe and listen to
their Science teacher explaining how to use a microscope while using the interactive whiteboard
to demonstrate each step. They are then given a sheet of instructions to work through to guide
their use of the equipment for a very specic task. The teacher also moves around the room to
help students who are having difficulty, and to remind them of key points such as the order
in which to insert the slide and adjust the eyepiece and focus. With continued guided practice
of this type, by the following year, the students are confident in preparing slides and using the
microscope to view them. we will watch this clip and then discuss what might be done to improve this situation with a difficult student. We will also discuss what theorists might currently be influencing this teacher's pedagogy. A bit of fun to finish...
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