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Deepti Sawhney

on 7 October 2012

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Transcript of Vygotsky

Developmental Psychologist Lev Vygotsky Lev Semenovich Vygotsky


Born in Russia.
Graduated from Moscow University, 1917
Hometown was beset with problems stemming from German occupation, famine and civil war.
Social Development Theory
Conducted extensive research in developmental child psychology and developed pioneering work in the area of cognitive development.
Vygotsky’s work was largely unknown to the West until it was published in 1962. Instructional Scaffolding:
A teacher might do most of the work initially, after which the teacher and the learners share responsibility. As the learners become more competent, the teacher gradually withdraws the scaffolding so learners can perform independently. Reciprocal Teaching:
This involves an interactive dialogue between the teacher and small group of students. Initially the teacher models the activities, after which the teacher and students take turns being the teacher. Major Contributions to Instructional Development

Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development. In contrast to Jean Piaget’s understanding of child development (in which development necessarily precedes learning), Vygotsky felt social learning precedes development. He states: “Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological).” (Vygotsky) The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO). The MKO refers to anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. The MKO is normally thought of as being a teacher, coach, or older adult, but the MKO could also be peers, a younger person, or even computers. The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

The ZPD is the distance between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance (scaffolding) and/or with peer collaboration and the student’s ability solving the problem independently( learning potential) According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in this zone. Applications of the Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory Many schools have traditionally held a transmissionist or instructionist model in which a teacher or lecturer ‘transmits’ information to students. In contrast, Vygotsky’s theory promotes learning contexts in which students play an active role in learning. Roles of the teacher and student are therefore shifted, as a teacher should collaborate with his or her students in order to help facilitate meaning construction in students. Learning therefore becomes a reciprocal experience for the students and teacher. Peer Collaboration:
This reflects the notion of collective activity. When peers work on tasks cooperatively, the shared social interactions can serve an instructional function. This has to be planned with caution, though. Research shows that cooperative groups are most effective when each student has assigned responsibilities and all must attain competence before any are allowed to progress further. Like Piaget's theory, Vygotsky's also is a constructivist theory; however, Vygotsky's places more emphasis on the social environment as a facilitator of development and learning (Trudge and Scrimsher, 2003). He contended that unlike animals that react to only to the environment, humans have the capacity to alter the environment for their own purposes. This additive capacity distinguishes humans from lower forms of life.
Understanding Vygotsky's position requires keeping in mind that he was a Marxist and that his views represented an attempt to apply Marxist ideas of social change to language and development (Rohrkemper, 1989).
During the 1917 Russia Revolution, Vygotsky's strong sociocultural theoretical orientation fitted well with the revolution's goals of changing the culture to a socialist system.
Some of his work were at odds with Stalin's views and not published. References to his work were banned in the Soviet Union till 1980s. But in recent years, his writings have been translated and circulated, which has expanded their impact on disciplines such as education, psychology and linguistics. Key points in Vygotsky's theory:

Social interactions are critical, knowledge is co-constructed between two or more people.
Self-regulation is developed through internalization (developing an internal representation) of actions and mental operations that occur in social interactions.
Human development occurs through the cultural transmission of tools (language and symbols).
Language is the most critical tool.
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is the difference between what children can do on their own and what they can do with assistance. Interaction with adults and peers in the ZPD promotes cognitive development. Apprenticeship:
In apprenticeships, the novice works closely with experts in joint work-related activities. This fits well with the ZPD because they occur in cultural institutions e.g., schools, agencies, etc. and thus help to transform learners' cognitive development. Learning Theories, An Educational Perspective-Dale H. Schunk

Modified version of Tharp & Gallimore's Four-Stage Model of ZPD Acknowledgments The zone of proximal development is the distance between a child’s “actual developmental level as determined by
independent problem solving” and the higher level of
“potential development as determined through problem
solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more
capable peers.”

Vygotsky, L. (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Psychological Processes. Theories of Learning

Lev Semonovich Vygotsky

Deepti Sawhney ICTlogy.net
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