SOCIAL interaction The Cultural-Historical Theory of Lev Vygotsky
COGNITION • All the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering and communicating • Cognitive development – the development of the ability to think and reason
Cognitive development • Children (6-12) develop the ability to think in concrete ways • How to combine (addition), separate (subtract or divide), order (alphabetize or sort) and transform objects and actions. • Performed in the presence of the objects and events being thought about. • Adolescence marks the beginning development of more complex thinking processes. • abstract thinking (thinking about possibilities) • the ability to reason from known principles (form own new ideas or questions) • the ability to consider many points of view according to varying criteria (compare or debate ideas or opinions) • the ability to think about the process of thinking.
Lev Vygotsky • 1896-1934 • Russian psychologist • Published 6 books on psychology over a 10 year period • Died of tuberculosis @ age 38 • Theory on cognitive development • Cultural-Historical Theory • Social Development Theory • Sociocultural Theory
Cultural-historical Theory • Child development is the result of interactions between children and their social environment. • Interaction with people (parents, teachers, playmates, schoolmates, siblings) • Interaction with cultural artifacts (books, toys) and practices
Zone of proximal development Level of Maximum Assisted Performance ZPD Level of Difficulty of the Task Level of Independent Performance
Zone of Proximal Development • Interaction with peers is an effective way of developing skills and strategies • Vygotsky’s theory suggests that teachers use cooperative learning exercises • Less competent children learn and develop skills from more capable classmates. • Also known as “scaffolding” and “guided learning” • This method of learning must exist within the ZPD • Student finishes learning about the structure of DNA • Expecting the student then explain how to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA would be outside the ZPD • A more reasonable next step would be to understand how DNA is duplicated.
Comparison of Two Theories Vygotsky’s Theory Piaget’s Theory Stages to development Individual cognitive constructivism Focuses on the effect of personal experiences Involves schema, assimilation, accommodation & adaptation Basic source of learning is the child itself • Development is continuous • Social constructivism • Considers the effect of social setting and culture • Involves guided participation, collaborative learning & scaffolding • Basic source of learning is the Zone of Proximal Development
Essay assignment • Recall the viewing of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and reflect on how the social interactions between Charlie and his family, friends, and classmates affected his cognitive development. Site specific examples from the film and hypothesize how Charlie may have been a different person without specific social interactions.
References • http://www.toolsofthemind.org/ • http://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html • http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html • http://www.simplypsychology.org/Zone-of-Proximal-Development.html • http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2174/Learning-Theory-CONSTRUCTIVIST-APPROACH.html • Myers, David G. (2004). Psychology (7th ed.). Michigan: Worth Publishers. • Woolfolk, Anita. (2005). Educational Psychology (9th ed.). New York: Pearson Education, Inc.