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Transcript of Lev Vygotsky
Graduated in 1917 with a Law degree
Zone of proximal development - ZPD
“Vgotsky found that children can typically do more difficult things in collaboration with adults than they can do on their own.”pg.33
“In a nutshell, it’s the challenges in life, not the easy successes, that promote cognitive development.” pg. 34
ZPD will change overtime. As some tasks are mastered, other complex ones will appear on the horizon to take their place.” pg. 34
Children cognitive development
“Vygotsky’s primary focus was on the role of children's social and cultural environments in fostering cognitive growth – and especially fostering those complex mental abilities that are unique to human beings as a species.” pg. 31
Parents are the main teachers in a child's life. Through interaction we speak and share the meanings of the world around us and begin to provide the cognitive tools for development (language, reading, writing, instruction). “Vygotsky proposed that as adults interact with children, they share the meanings they attach to objects, events, and more generally, human experience.” pg. 31
Children learn and discover new things every day. Their minds are like a sponge! To show this concept we would like to introduce the “Bubble Brains”.
Born: November 17, 1896
Died: June 11, 1934
Born in: Orsha, Russian Empire
Studied a range of topics in university including sociology, psychology and philosophy
Published 6 books on psychology topics
Challenge / Complexity
Zone of confusion
Zone of boredom
progression of learner over time
Tray Sanderson playing crochet independently
Tasks that a child can successfully finish without assistance
“In play a child always behaves beyond his
average age, his daily behavior; in play
it is as though he were a head taller then himself.” (Vygotsky, 1987.og 102)
Tasks that a child can accomplish only with
some assistance and support
More Knowledgeable Other (MKO)
The MOM showing her skills in the crochet game.
Tasks that a child cannot accomplish even with
considerable assistance and support
“Play allows children to stretch themselves cognitively” pg.35
Get in the
Culture influence cognitive development
Bringing Vygotsky into the classroom
This demonstration looks at early
childhood development. It provides
a visual illustration on how
nurturing care and stimulation
influence early brain
Thought & Language
One very important cognitive tool is language.
“Thought and language become increasingly interdependent in the first few years of life.”
“Vygotsky proposed that thought and language are separate functions for infants and young toddlers.”
By looking at the video we see that infants first use
language as a means of communication rather than a mechanism of thought.
This form of early speech is the phenomenon known as
Self-talk is an important function in cognitive development. When children begin to think in words, they are learning how to guide and direct their own behaviors to solve problems.
Adults even talk to themselves, when faced with new challenges in life. They need to think out loud.
Self-talk eventually evolves into INNER-SPEECH.
INNER-SPEECH: This form of speech happens deep within the mind.
Children begin to talk to themselves mentally rather than out loud.
Parents are not mind readers! At this point, you can no longer hear
or see a child figure out a problem.
Both SELF-TALK & INNER-SPEECH help a child engage in self-regulation. Meaning they can now begin to control their own thoughts, speech and behavior in public places.
Culture guides us in certain directions in our lives. We select certain stimuli and engaged in certain activities.
INTERNALIZATION: “Vygotsky proposed that many complex thought processes have their roots in social interactions.” ~ “The process through which social activities evolve into internal mental activities is called internalization.” pg.33
Children are always listening
for directions from their parents.
Once they understand these
directions, it becomes routine.
Overtime a child will learn how to
give themselves direction. This is
internalization, they interpret the
world around them using their
Culture provides us with a LENS which children come to view their own experiences in culturally
This simple video shows an argument between children.
One child believes its “Sprinkling” and the other knows its “Raining”.
“According to Vygotsky, having arguments helps children discover
that there are often several ways to view the same situation.”
We develop because we learn
APPROPRAITION: “Vygotsky’s theory has a constructivist element to it. The term appropriation is often used to refer to this process of internalizing but also adapting the ideas and strategies for one’s culture for one’s own use.” pg. 33
Children use their culture’s tools and adapt them into mainstream society to help them transform new ideas, concepts, or strategies into their own personal ways of viewing a problem or situation.
They are constructing a new way of thinking and expressing themselves from their own cultural point of view.
Example: A young Métis hunter/gather comes back from living off the trap line with his grandpa. He is put into middle school and now has to internalize/use his personal ‘cultural cognitive tools’ to help him survive in the real world. In each school subject he has to think of different strategies from his culture, in order to help him understand/adapt to the work presented to him.
A teacher making him create a Food Chain in Science class. Here he can easily use his cultural tool’s – own ways of understanding to explain his answer.
“Vygotsky distinguished between two kinds of abilities
that characterize children’s skills at any particular
point of development.”
To get a better sense of a child's cognitive development, “Vygotsky suggested, we should assess their capabilities not only when preforming alone, but also when preforming without assistance – a strategy that contemporary educators call dynamic assessment.
Social Construction of Meaning
Contemporary psychologists have elaborated on Vygotsky's proposal that adults help children attach meaning to the objects and events around them. Often an adult will help a child make sense of the world through a joint discussion of a phenomenon or event they are both experiencing.
(Feuerstein, Feurstein, & Falik, 2010; P. K. Murphy, Wilkinson, & Soter, 2011) Page 37
Mediated learning experience
This encourages the child to think about the phenomenon or event in particular ways - to attach labels to it, recognize principles that under-line it draw certain conclusions from it, and so on.
Page. 37 part of Reuven Feurestein theory
Vygotsky suggested that children are most likely to benefit from tasks and activities they can successfully accomplish only with the assistance and support of more competent individuals -- that is, tasks within their zone of proximal development.
page. 39 vygotskys theory
From Vygotsky's perspective, gradual entry into adult activities enables children to engage in behaviors and thinking skills within their zone of proximal development.
This is an especially intensive form of guided
participation. This is where a novice works with an expert mentor for a lengthy period to
learn how to perform complex tasks within a particular domain. The expert provides considerable structure and guidance throughout the process, gradually removing scaffolding and giving the novice more independence and responsibility as competence increases.
(A. Collins, 2006; Rogoff, 1990, 1991) Page. 41
Vygotsky VS. Piaget
Piaget's theory is guided by assumptions of how learners interact with their environment and how
they integrate new knowledge and information into existing knowledge. Briefly, he proposed that:
1. children are active learners who construct knowledge from their environments.
2. they learn through assimilation and accommodation, and complex cognitive development occurs through equilibration.
3. the interaction with physical and social environments is key for cognitive development.
4. development occurs in stages.
Vygotksy's theory is guided by six major assumptions:
1. children develop through informal and formal conversations with adults.
2. the first few years of life are critical for development, as this is where thought and language become increasingly independent.
3. complex mental activities begin as basic social activities.
4. children can perform more difficult tasks with the help of a more advanced individual.
5. tasks that are challenging promote cognitive development growth.
6. play is important and allows children to stretch themselves cognitively.
Extensions on Vygotskys theory
Applying Vygotsky's theory in the classroom
Provide cognitive tools that students can use in thinking about and tackling new tasks
Encourage students to talk themselves through difficult tasks
Present some tasks that students can perform successfully only with assistance
Provide sufficient support, or scaffolding, to enable students to perform challenging tasks successfully; gradually withdraw the support as they become more proficient.
Where he was a developmental psychologist
~ Thank You ~
Russian language ~‘Bolshoe spasibo’
Cultural Identity - builds us into who we are today.
Have students work in small groups to accomplish complex, multifaceted tasks.
Engage students in adult activities that are common in their culture.
Give young children time to practice adult roles and behaviors through play