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Vygotsky's Theories. By: Mary Maxwell Ed 218/220. Lev Vygotsky Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. The Mozart of Psychology. -Russian Cognitive Psychologist. -Believed that development and learning influence each other.

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Vygotsky's Theories

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Vygotsky's Theories

By: Mary Maxwell

Ed 218/220

Lev Vygotsky


Lev Semenovich Vygotsky

The Mozart of Psychology

-Russian Cognitive Psychologist

-Believed that development and learning influence each other

-Zone of proximal development


-Inner Speech

-Believed language plays a crucial role in development

the role of society in cognitive development
The Role Of Society in Cognitive Development
  • Vygotsky places importance on social interaction and views the child’s culture as a critical factor that determines cognitive growth

Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development

inner speech
Inner Speech
  • Vygotsky believed that children use inner speech to develop higher mental functioning skills. By using self-talk, children can regulate their own behavior by talking situations out internally.

Zone of Proximal Development

The zone of proximal development is the distance between the actual development level of an individual and the level of potential development of an individual.

Level of actual development

Zone of proximal development

Level of potential development

  • Scaffolding is the support that an adult gives a child as the child tries to solve problems beyond his or her current knowledge.

Language Development

Vygotsky believes that language is crucial for development. He believed that people with highly developed language skills can perform more complex task than people with poorly developed language skills, because those with high language skills can verbalize information better.



How Can Teachers Apply Vygotsky’s Ideas To The Classroom?

-Determine at what level students work effectively and what they are capable at working at with guidance

-Work individually with all students

-Encourage students to use inner speech

-Make your classroom a community of learners


6 Ways To Help Students Learn

1. Model a behavior for students to imitate.

2. Reward students for desired behavior.

3. Give students feedback.

4. Provide students with the needed information to learn.

5. Ask questions that require students to use higher thinking skills

6. Provide students with the cognitive structure for organizing and understanding new information.


Vygotsky’s Contribution to the United States

Vygotsky stressed the importance of adults and guidance for a child to develop cognitive growth. Vygotsky also stressed the importance of creativity and play in the classroom. This was vital for educators.

Vygotsky’s theories tell us that learners internalize information better with the guidance of teachers as role models assisting them.

Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind