Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory
Vygotsky born in same year as Piaget, Russia and Switz. Early 20th century, became prominent.
His take was that it depended on social context which the person existed in.
Social contexts-other people contribute to cognitive development. Cognitive development was
not possible without a social context.
Maturation-Piaget's stages had to pass through to take on new tasks. Maturation until that child is
ready. Maturation in social interaction, Vygotsky argued that it was the collective people around
that caused the development of the individual. Individual could not develop unless they had
interactions with other people that directed them. Reflection of his own society had the time,
ideas were not embraced by soviet union because of his background, jewish.
ZPD- tasks child cannot do alone but can learn with help of more skilled partners. This theory he
advanced, core of cognitive development, learning by example, from other people. Ie/cant learn
language until you are exposed to it. He suggested scaffolding, tool used. Child has to be
exposed to it socially, starts out simple and gets complicated, called scaffolding.
Categorization-sophisticated strategy, by age of 4 or 5, species cant do this. Colour, shape, size.
Size is very sophisticated. His ideas continued to be applied in the classrooms in NorthAmerica
and Europe. He said that it is social interaction that is most important which comes from teachers
and mostly peers to teach each other. Ie/open classrooms with no desks and walls which had
some success and some not.
Four ideas: (Short film)
1. Children construct knowledge. They are not passive, in contrast to Piaget.
Learners create new representations of their own learning. They both agreed occurred early
young age but vygotsky syas always learning occurs with another individual. Vygotsky
created block test, own tools different from piaget.
1. Learning can lead development. Vygotsky envisioned a more complex, like
piaget, believed there were maturational prereqs. Ie/need language to do tasks. But argued
learning impacts development ie/ early counting. Uses strategies to further their capacities.
First time child does on his own-incorrectly. Second time teacher guides child and do it
together correctly. Third time- child does on his own. This is the ZPD. Level of
independent performance-first time himself-The child's cognitive development. Will not
develop further until you have experience which comes from other people. Second part:
Level of assisted performance-ie/can be peer. What child can do with the assistance of
somebody else.A child can perform at a higher level with any peer, imaginary peers as
well. Ie/what would teddy say. The zone is not static, but changes as child can learn mor