Vygotsky's Social Development Theory

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He applies the theory of the cognitive development that now we know as the Social Development Theory. Vygotsky's theories stress the fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition (Vygotsky, 1978), as he believed strongly that community plays a central role in the process of "making meaning." He placed more emphasis on social contributions to the process of development. Vygotsky claimed that infants are born with the basic materials/abilities for intellectual development. Lev Vygotsky refers to 'elementary mental functions' • Attention • Sensation • Perception • Memory Cognitive development Much important learning by the child occurs through social interaction with a skillful tutor. The tutor may model behaviors…show more content…
• Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): This is an important concept that relates to the difference between what a child can achieve independently and what a child can achieve with guidance and encouragement from a skilled partner. Vygotsky and Language: • Social speech: which is external communication used to talk to others (typical from the age of two). • Private speech: (typical from the age of three) which is directed to the self and serves an intellectual function; and finally private speech goes underground, diminishing in audibility as it takes on a self-regulating function and is transformed into silent inner speech (typical from the age of seven). Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) has developed a sociocultural approach to cognitive development. He developed his theories at around the same time as Jean Piaget was starting to develop his ideas (1920's and 30's), but he died at the age of 38 and so his theories are incomplete - although some of his writings are still being translated from…show more content…
Adults transmit their culture's tools of intellectual adaptation that children internalize. To prove the Vygotsky theory, about the ZPD, Freund (1990) conducted a study in which children had to decide which items of furniture should be placed in particular areas of a dolls house. Some children were allowed to play with their mother in a similar situation before they attempted it alone (zone of proximal development) whilst others were allowed to work on this by themselves (Piaget's discovery learning). Freund found that those who had previously worked with their mother (ZPD) showed greatest improvement compared with their first attempt at the task. The conclusion being that guided learning within the ZPD led to greater understanding/performance than working alone (discovery learning). A contemporary educational application of Vygotsky's theories is "reciprocal teaching", used to improve students' ability to learn from text. In this method, teachers and students collaborate in learning and practicing four key skills: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. The teacher's role in the process is reduced over
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