Vygotsky's Theory of Sociocultural Development

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Vygotsky studied the Sociocultural Theory, which had three themes: the social sources of individual thinking, the roles of cultural tools in learning and development, and the zone of proximal development (Driscoll, 2005; Wertsch & Tulviste, 1992 as cited in Woolfolk 2013). In other words, Vygotsky believed that the happenings of people occur in cultural settings and cannot be understood outside of these situations. This theory emphasizes the relationship between children and those who are more knowledgeable because children learn through the culture of their environment and through their interactions. According to Vygotsky, a child’s development appears two times: first, on the shared level and later on the individual level. Co-construction is the social process in which an individual (in this case, child) interacts with another to create an understanding which is then internalized and becomes part of the child’s cognitive development. He argues that social interaction is more than just influence but rather it is the foundation of sophisticated thinking processes. The zone of proximal development is crucial to this theory where the “zone” is the area of study for which the student is cognitively prepared. Yet, he requires help and social interaction to fully develop. For instance, this is seen when a teacher or a more skilled peer is able to provide the learner with scaffolding to support the student’s growing understanding of the material. Anna Iddings, Victoria Risko, and Maria Paula Rampulla do their research on how to properly teach English Language learners. They argue that even monolingual teachers can play a great role in teaching English language learners by providing them with “opportunities to seek their own understandings of the text and to serve as intellectual, linguistic, and social resources for each other” (Iddings, 52). Their main points is…...

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