Who is Lev Vygotsky?
Lev Vygotsky was born November 17, 1896
He died June 11, 1934.
Vygotsky's Early Life:
Lev Vygotsky was born in Orsha, a city in the western region of the Russian Empire. He attended Moscow State University, where he graduated with a degree in law in 1917. He studied a range of topics white attending university, including sociology, linguistics, psychology and philosophy. However, his formal work in psychology did not begin until 1924 when he attended the Institute of Psychology in Moscow and began collaborating with Alexei Leontiev and Alexander Luria. Vygotsky's Career:
Lev Vygotsky was a prolific writer, publishing six books on psychology topics over a ten year period. His interests were quite diverse, but often centered on topics of child development and education. He also explored such topics as the psychology of art and language development. Lev Vygotsky is considered a seminal thinker in psychology, and much of his work is still being discovered and explored today. While he was a contemporary of Skinner, Pavlov and Piaget, his work never attained their level of eminence during his lifetime. Part of this was because his work was often criticized by the Communist Party in Russia, and so his writings were largely inaccessible to the Western world. His premature death at age 38 also contributed to his obscurity. Despite this, his work has continued to grow in influence since his death, particularly in the fields of developmental and educational psychology. http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesmz/p/vygotsky.htm
What is Sociocultural Theory?
This theory stresses the interaction between developing people and the culture in which they live. Sociocultural theory states that children’s learning and cognitive development is a result of social interactions with more knowledgeable others and their culture. Children learn behavior and ways of thinking from interactions with others. Sociocultural theory is an emerging theory in psychology that looks at the important contributions that society makes to individual development. This theory stresses the interaction between developing people and the culture in which they live. Vygotsky explained areas in how social processes form learning and thinking. The areas are:
* The Social Sources of Individual thinking
* The role of Cultural tools in Cognitive Development
* The role of Language in cognitive development
We will also discuss how we can apply Vygotsky’s theory to teaching through: * Assisted learning – Scaffolding and Zone of Proximal Development.
The Social Sources of Individual thinking
Vygotsky believed that the social source of individual thinking is their interactions with people who are more capable or advanced in their thinking. He assumed that “every function in a child’s cultural development appears twice.” First, it appears in an interpsychological way and then in an intrapsychological way. Interpsychological means on the social level – interaction with others. Intrapsychological means on the individual level or inside the child. Higher mental processes first come about through a co-constructed process between people during shared activities and then later on it is internalized by the learner. For example, the solving of problems during class group discussions, a student may not know how to solve the problem before but after the group discussion and the help provided by all members of the group, he is able to solve the problem on his own. In other words, the steps of solving the problem have been grasped by the individual and he is now able to solve the problem on his own. This problem solving process has been adopted by the learner and now it has become part of the learner’s cognitive development. So for Vygotsky, social interaction is not merely an influence on a person but also a...