The Sociocultural Theory

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The sociocultural theory was developed by a theorist named Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky was born in 1896 and was from the former Soviet Union. He was a psychologist who had an abundance of ideas and put them into many theories and writings. Although Vygotsky died from tuberculosis at the young age of thirty-eight, his most prominent work was done in a short period of ten years. When he died in 1934, the Soviet Union held most of his work and it was not until about 1960 that his work was translated into English. Currently in the education field, Vygotsky’s main work on the sociocultural theory is getting a lot of attention.

Vygotsky believed that during the early stages of life as infants, language (nonconceptual speech) and thinking (nonverbal thought) were separate areas of development. Nonconceptual speech would be a child mumbling words without completely understanding their meaning. A child observing or playing with an object without using words would be nonverbal thought. As intellectual development continues, verbal thought begins connecting these two areas during early childhood. When this starts happening, children start using self-directed speech, “a verbal behavior in which children talk to themselves, naming objects or narrating their actions-particularly as they solve problems” (Trawick-Smith, 2010, p.53). This action demonstrates that children are being guided in learning through using language. Vygotsky believed that this verbal thought became more and more prominent throughout development and this learning continued to progress within the rest of the child’s life.

The basic principal of the sociocultural theory is the belief that intellectual development is “highly influenced by language, social interaction, and cul...

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...ces in attempts that they will appreciate and gain knowledge of different cultures. The child’s personal needs or ways of learning will also be taken into consideration when planning activities. Knowing about this theory will give me an idea of what to expect when teaching and how I can facilitate the teaching and learning experience for both myself and the child.

Works Cited

Grace, E. (2010). "Vygotsky & Socio-Cultural Theory - Kids Development." Kids' Progress, Behaviour, Learning and Thinking at Kids Development (UK). http:// www.kidsdevelopment.co.uk/vygotskysocioculturaltheory.html

Scott, S. & Palincsar, A. (2003). Sociocultural Theory. Education.com. http:// www.education.com/reference/article/sociocultural-theory/

Trawick-Smith, J. W. (2010). Early Childhood Development: a Multicultural Perspective. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
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