Cognitive Development
(Social Development Theory)
Lev Vygotsky
Week Two: Lecture
11th July 2011
Table of Contents
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Vygotsky’s Basic Concepts
The Social Development Theory
Zone of Proximal Development
Learning as process of Enculturation
Individual and Social Constructivism
ZPD Development Stages
Scaffolding
Applying Vygotsky’s theory to Education
Test your understanding
Vygotsky awakes our eyes to the
powerful
role
of
community in learning.
culture
and
His theory
presents the radical idea that our very
thought and intelligence is really not
our own. It’s the product of history
and culture.
Mediated Activity
Signs
(Help us do mental work--So we
call them mental tools)
Tools
(Help us do physical work)
Vygotsky’s Basic Concepts
• Cultures create mental tools which
transform our mental work just like
physical tools transform our physical
work.
The Social Development Theory
• Children socializing with their peers or adults
plays a major role in their cognitive
development.
• Vygotsky stresses dialogue between children
and adults in order for knowledge to be passed
to the child.
The Social Development Theory (Cont…)
• Knowledge originally exists outside the
child, but through interaction with the
adult, knowledge can be internalized.
• Zone of Proximal Development
(ZPD): The gap between what a
learner can do independently and
what a learner cannot do even with
assistance.
Tasks I cannot do
even with help
Tasks I can do only
with help
Tasks I can do all by
myself
ZPD
Vygotsky in a Nutshell
• The mental tools of our culture are what make
us smart. We acquire these mental tools best
through meaningful participation in authentic,
social activities. The ZPD describes how we
learn from others as we participate in social
activity.
• Overall, learning is a process of enculturation.
Learning as a process of Enculturation
Think about a group you were a part of in high
school.
1. What were some of the defining qualities of this
group?
• What “look” did you need to have?
• How did you need to talk?
• What unique values did the group have?
• What activities did you engage in?
2. How did you learn to be a part of this group and
adopt these qualities?
Individual and Social Constructivism
• Individual: individuals construct meaning out of
what they already know and through their
interactions with the environment.
• Social: Groups or cultures construct meaning
together out of what the group or culture already
knows and experiences.
• Vygotsky’s extension: Individuals construct meaning
through their interaction with others (i.e., they internalize
the meaning constructed by the group or culture as they
become enculturated).
Zone of Proximal Development Stages
Stage 1: Assistance from “more knowledgeable other”
(capable peer or adult)
Stage 2: Assistance from self (prior knowledge and
research)
Stage 3: Automatization (practice, trial-and-error)
Stage 4: De-automatization (provide explanation to
others)
Zone of Proximal Development Stages
Scaffolding
Cognitive development in the
zone off proximal development
stresses the role off a social
partner off the student (a
teacher or a more skilled
peer)..
Images of scaffolding ?
Which picture is the odd one out
and why?
Applying Vygotsky’s Theory to Education
Group Working:
Collaborative learning is beneficial for using and developing
skills.
Importance of Language:
Language is used differently at different times in
development, so type of language used at any time is
important. Eg: talking to oneself while solving problems,
parents talking with their children…
Scaffolding:
Scaffolding means that the teacher need not wait until the
child appears to be ‘ready’ to learn, as the child can be
supported during their development
Test your understanding!
• What theory did Lev Vygotsky
contribute to education?
A. Zone of Proximal Development
B. Social Learning Theory
C. Scaffolding
D. Socialization Process
Correct!
Keep going!
Incorrect!
Try again!
Test your understanding!
•
How many stages are there for
the development of the Zone of
Proximal Development?
A.
B.
C.
D.
2
3
4
5
Correct!
Keep going!
Incorrect!
Try again!
Test your understanding!
• Vygotsky’s theory supports social
interaction between students and
more capable peers’ or adults.
A. True
B. False
Correct!
Congratulations! You are finished!
Incorrect!
Try again!
Tutorial work
• Explain the 4 steps in Vygotsy’s theory with
example. Take one mathematics concept
when explaining.
• What is the role of scaffolding in ZPD. Give an
example.