EDN221: Language and Teaching Assignment 1 Understanding Vygotsky’s learning theory and considering the implications of his ideas for future tea...

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Theories abound about the learning process. Learning can occur in all different environments but what is it that truly fosters cognitive development? Lev Vygotsky theorised that children’s cognitive development is explicitly related to language and social interaction, and that through social interaction, children learn how to use language and experience the world as a member of their specific culture. In examining Vygotsky’s theories it is important as a future teacher to consider the implications of his ideas in my own teaching. I considered Vygotsky’s concept of the zone of proximal development.
The learning process according to Lev Vygotsky (10 marks – 400wrds
Lev Vygotsky’s theory of learning begins with the idea that cognitive development occurs from sociocultural origins, that through social interaction children learn how to think (Duchesne, McMaugh, Bochner & Krause pp. 84) and how to use and access language and communication skills specifically as members of their culture and society.
Through social interaction, for example a parent with their child, the parent will provide interaction that is tied to their own cultural background and social situation and beliefs. The child experiences the interaction and learns communication and language through the parent. Vygotsky theorised that then, cognitive development occurred when the child had experienced a social process and afterward, within their own mind, transformed it into a process within themselves, (Duchesne et al. 2013 pp. 84) a progression which he called internalisation.
In learning, Vygotsky theorised that in order for learning to occur effectively, the learning experiences had to be meaningful and authentic in cultural context (Eggan & Kauchak, 2010. pp 48). He...

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...mal development and the concept of social interaction and its benefits to cognitive development, will be at the forefront of my mind as I work on planning meaningful and effective lessons and learning experiences in my future classroom.

In considering Lev Vygotsky’s learning theories and thinking about their implications in my own future teaching as an early childhood and primary teacher, I know that Vygotsky’s connections between social interaction and cognitive development give a strong argument against the industrial methods of schooling we can see in the classroom today. My feelings as a teacher about how I want my classroom to work and how I see my role and involvement in my students’ learning mesh well with Vygotsky’s theory, especially with regard to providing meaningful, social learning experiences. I plan to work hard to apply his theories in my classroom.
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