Notetoself: Finish Piaget...


HISTROY• 1896-1934, born in western Russia
• law degree from University of Moscow in 1917
• 1924, accepted psychology professorship at Moscow Institute of Psychology under
• died at 38 of tuberculosis
• writings banned in Soviet Union until 1956

• The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition
• Cognitive skills and patterns of thinking are not primarily determined by innate factors, but are the products of the activities practiced in the social institutions of the culture in which the individual grows up.
• All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals.

-individuals create psychological tools to master their behavior - signs
-signs are culturally developed
-examples of signs are writing, numbering system, language
-speech - single most important psychological tool
-child undergoes a process of internalizing social speech
-follows process of internalizing social interactions
-Speech is internalized to become a major part of verbal thought process
- mind is a product of social-historical change
-influence of dialectical theory

Social Speech --> Ego Centric Speech --> Thought

• According to Vygotsky, all higher order psychological functions, including learning and problem solving, emerge first on a social, and then later on an internal plane.
• Vygotsky's theory was an attempt to explain consciousness as the end product of socialization. For example, in the learning of language, our first utterances with peers or adults are for the purpose of communication but once mastered they become internalized and allow "inner speech".
• Consequently, the history of the society in which a child is reared and the child's personal history are crucial determinants of the way in which that individual will think. In this process of cognitive development, language is a crucial tool for determining how the child will learn how to think because advanced modes of thought are transmitted to the child by means of words
• Language is not merely an expression of the knowledge the child has acquired. There is a fundamental correspondence between thought and speech in terms of one providing resource to the other; language becoming essential in forming thought and determining personality features
Zone of proximal development is the difference between the child's capacity to solve problems on his own, and his capacity to solve them with assistance
• Actual developmental level refers to all the functions and activities that a child can perform on his own, independently without the help of anyone else. On the other hand, the zone of proximal development includes all the functions and activities that a child or a learner can perform only with the assistance of someone else. The person in this scaffolding process, providing non-intrusive intervention, could be an adult (parent, teacher, caretaker, language instructor) or another peer who has already mastered that particular function.

EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS• Vygotsky's zone of proximal development has many implications for those in the educational milieu. One of them is the idea that human learning presupposes a specific social nature and is part of a process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them According to Vygotsky, an essential feature of learning is that it awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is in the action of interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers.
• If speech internalized is to become a major part of verbal thought process, then the quality of speech becomes critical.
• Teachers need to be aggressive in their strategies to facicilatate the development of speech during the formative years, before internalization process concludes.
• Teachers should not overlook the extent to which outside assistance undermines child's independence? (force the child to rely on others rather than think for self)
• focus too exclusively on child's future development (rather than child's intrinsic interest)

Question: if development is largely a function of the environment, how do individuals introduce novelty and creativity into the system?