Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lev Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory

         This is really it. My post about Lev Vygotsky. Hehehe... Lev Vygotsky is one of the social constructivists, who believe the importance of social interaction in learning. Learning is seen as an interactive and interpersonal activity. Development will not be fully understood if the social and cultural contexts are not considered, hence the name Sociocultural Theory.
Our handsome man of the moment...Lev Vygotsky...applause!!! Woohooo!!!

The Role of Social Interaction
          According to Vygotsky, learners learn through social interaction. Socially interacting especially with knowledgeable adults like parents, teachers, older peers, etc, gives them the opportunity to acquire learning. The people that surround the learner contribute to learning because they are the ones who explain, model, assist, give directions and promote feedback to enrich learning. They also are the media in which learners learn the ways of thinking and behavior that make up culture.

          Language plays an important function especially in social interaction. However, it also has an important role in developing the thinking activities inside the mind of the learners. Language, as Vygotsky puts it, serves as a mediator between the learners' mind and their environment. As learners communicate or perform interpersonal dialogues, these dialogues will develop into intrapersonal dialogues in which will later become inner speech. Inner Speech is a form of self talk that guides the learner's thinking.

Zone of Proximal Development
          Vygotsky advocates learning by doing. However, he added that learning by doing, together with social interaction will result to a more effective learning. In relation to this, the Zone of Proximal Development was introduced. This is the level at which a child finds a task too difficult to accomplish alone, but which he/she can complete with the assistance of an adult or older peer. To achieve this, scaffolding can be used. Scaffolding is the aid or assistance than enables learners to complete certain tasks that they cannot do on their own. However, scaffolding is not doing the task for the learners, rather the adult/instructor only serves as a tool for that adjusts the amount of guidance to fit the learners current level of performance. Example, if a child doesn't know how to tie his/her shoes, an adult can do scaffolding by tying the shoes half-done, then letting the child finish it.

Photo credits courtesy of google image search..hehehe...sorry I wasn't able to copy-paste the exact web-site...I hope I don't violate netiquette(not sure about the spelling) hehhehe...

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