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Vygotsky sociocultural development

Video transcript

all right the next theory that we're going to take a look at is vygotsky's theory of development which is also the socio-cultural theory of development so building upon the importance of social interaction Vygotsky studied the role that social interaction plays in the development of cognition so he was really focused on the social interaction between children which are obviously growing so he focused on children in their growth development the interactions they had with those around them in the development of their cognition in their higher-order learning now Vygotsky actually unfortunately passed away at a very young age she was only 38 so much of his theory was left unfinished but from what we do know of what he did discover and what he did theorize gives us a lot of insight into this theory of development so but God's could develop this theory and he said that babies have elementary mental functions in there four of them so these elementary mental functions I'm going to just write shorthand M F for mental functions so he said there are four of them one of them is attention so we have attention we have sensation as babies remember we have perception and we also have memory so these are the four elementary mental functions that babies have now eventually through interaction with their environment the socio-cultural environment these elementary mental functions are developed into more sophisticated and effective mental processes or strategies and this is what we call our higher mental functions so much of our important learning that a child goes through occurs through the social interaction with a skillful tutor so whether it's their teacher their parents and someone older so this tutor acts as a model and they model their behaviors or they provide verbal instruction for the child so the child often tries to understand the actions or instructions provided by the tutor often the parent or the teacher and then they internalize it and they use that to actually guide and regulate their own performance so let's take a little trip down memory lane memory lane think about when you were a little kid and when you were given your first puzzle to put together I remember when I had my first puzzle and I was trying to solve it all alone I had a really hard time but I also remember my dad sitting right next to me and describing and demonstrating some basic techniques and tips and strategies to solve it so he first told me to put or actually find all the corner and edge pieces and to separate those from the middle pieces and he gave me a couple pieces to put together and kept on encouraging me as I went along so eventually I became more competent and my father didn't have to sit next to me and he was just able to watch me solve the puzzle I was able to learn I was actually able to work more independently so higher mental functions are characterized more by independent learning and thinking but that can only be cultivated by the elementary mental functions which involve a tutor or someone older who acts as a guide through which we model our behavior so according to Vygotsky this type of social interaction involves cooperative and collaborative dialogue and that's what promotes this cognitive ability or development so in this example I was telling you about my dad was an mko which is a more knowledgeable other so this is the first key term that I want you to know MK o stands for more knowledgeable other so this is one term that Vygotsky defined so the more knowledgeable other is basically someone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner which in this example was me I was a learner so this mko has a higher level of understanding and ability with respect to whatever the task is at hand so in this case my dad was an MK oh because he had a better understanding of how to put the puzzle together than I did so an MK oh is someone else but then we have to add in that socio-cultural factor so the interaction of my self which is right here with the MK oh the other person is what leads to learning which we'll put over here and it's what also leads to these higher mental functions and independence now the second key term that I want you to know is called the zone of proximal development so Z PD for short but I'll just write it out here so it's called the zone of proximal development and basically I'm going to illustrate in a second for you what this looks like but this zone of proximal development is the part where the most sensitive instruction or guidance should be given so in my puzzle example I was in that zone of proximal development because I was most sensitive to the information my father was given me I was between the ability of being able to do something and not being able to do something and then that zone of guidance that I received is what allowed me to transition from the set of skills I already have to a more expanded set of skills by learning and going beyond what I had already known so this is what develops these higher mental functions so let's pretend that this is our right here I'm going to draw a box and this box right here represents everything that's beyond our reach and what we can't do so I'm going to do put a big can't do over here and then this little circle inside over here represents everything we can do currently in our current state it's what we can do nakorn of Vygotsky this zone of proximal development is the link between the two right in here your zpd and that is the zone or the area that's most sensitive to instruction or guidance that allows the learner or child to develop the skills they already have and to use it on their own and go beyond into the areas they can't do to expand that learning so for example I couldn't solve the jig's up jigsaw puzzle by myself when I was little it would have taken me such a long time to do or at all but I was able to solve it following the interaction with my father's the zpd involves an interaction with the mko and eventually I develop that competence of that skill that I can also use in the future so this area right here just going to show you is what represents all of our learning in our development now another important part of vygotsky's theory was the importance of language so I'll put that right over here number three is language so Korena Vygotsky he said that language is the main means by which adults transmit info to children and it's also a very powerful tool of intellectual adaptation so he looked at private speech now private speech is also called internal speech it's when people talk out loud to themselves which happens most likely with what type of population do you adults speak out loud to themselves a lot or do children well it's actually children most children engage in private speech and he vygotsky's sees this as a way for children to plan activities and strategies and this aids in their development this active speaking to themselves talking out loud so he said that language is therefore an accelerator to thinking and understanding so children who get engaged in large amounts of private speech are actually much more socially competent than children who do not use it that much so he believed that language develops from social interactions for communication purposes and later language ability becomes internalized as thought so as we grow older it becomes more internalized which is called our inner speech so basically thought is a result of language an ability to think for ourselves and develop that independence of executing skills comes from this importance of language according to Vygotsky so there you have it these are the three main parts of his theory you