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Lev Vygotsky And Social Development Theory

1092 words - 4 pages

Lev Vygotsky(1896-1934) was a Russian psychologist who created the Social Development Theory/ Sociocultural Theory. Vygotsky believed that children's mental, language, and social development is supported and enhanced through social interaction. Vygotsky also believed that beginning at birth, children seek out adults for social interactions and that development occurs through these interactions. The belief that social development sets a precedent for development(appeals to the nurture side of development). The general idea from this theory is that being aware, consciousness, and cognition are the end results of socialization and social interaction. It stated that, "Sociocultural approaches to learning and development were first systematized and applied by Vygotsky and his collaborators in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. They are based on the concept that human activities take in cultural contexts, are mediated by language and other symbol systems, and can be best understood when investigated in their historical development(John-Steiner & Mahn, 1996)." At the core of this theory, " Vygotsky focused on the way that a child co-constructs meaning through social interaction, and the role word meaning plays in the development of thinking(Mahn, 1999)."
It seems as though Vygotsky's socio-cultural theory is continuous. This theory is continuous due to the emphasis it places on the need for social interaction in the growth of humans mentally, linguistically, and socially. It is continuous in the sense that humans will always have a need for social interaction and learning new things. The theory of social development is something that will continue from birth until death, there are no stages just constant growth. There are many courses of development within socio-cultural theory. The course of development is through social interaction, and social interaction can appear in many forms. One concept Vygotsky applies to this theory is the Zone of Proximal Development(ZPD). This concept is explained as "The range of things that children can do with the help of adults or in collaboration with them, the range of these processes, Vygotsky called the “zone of proximal development,” distinguishing it from the zone of actual development, within which children manage all actions independently (ZaretsKii, 2009)." The help of adults through the theoretic concept of ZPD proves one course of development in this theory. This theory strongly emphasizes nurture. The nurture aspect is the core of this theory. Social interaction is the core of Vygotsky's theory of social development, social interaction is the nurture of Vygotsky's theory. A person who develops normally is someone who has grown and learned many things through social interaction. For example, Kylie is a young girl who learns how to read with the help of her mother. A person who does not develop normally is someone who does not have the opportunity to engage in social encounters to learn. For example,...

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