Learning Theories: Group Assignment Group C Social Development Theory

Each group should do reading and research about their assigned theory, including the following sections in their wiki-based report:

Overview of the Theory

Describe what the underlying ideas about learning are for this theory.

Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who helped play a big part in the idea of constructivism, which uses his theory of Social Development. Vygotsky says that people (children/humans) learn knowledge and meaning from interactions/experiences with others. The Social Development Theory has three main parts: the idea that social interactions play a role in cognitive development, More Knowledge Other (MKO), and Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).
  1. Vygotsky believed that social learning occurs before development and plays a role children’s cognitive development. He believed that every function in a person’s development appears two times. The first time on a social level (between people) and the second time on an individual level (inside the child).
  2. More Knowledge Other (MKO) is exactly like it sounds, it’s like a mentor. The person who is the MKO usually has a better understanding or higher abilities (knowledge) than the person they are trying to help (not always the case, it could be another peer). The MKO can be thought of as a teacher, a parent, or an older adult who is knowledgeable.
  3. The last idea is Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD is the distance between what the child knows and can do by themselves and what they can achieve with guidance from an adult or more knowledgeable peer.
Vygotsky believed that people/children develop tools from their culture and use them in their social environments to communicate. This idea can be easily applied to teaching. Teachers normally pass on/teach information to their students. But with the social development theory students take an active role in their learning. The teachers and students work together so that everyone understands what’s going on. The teacher helps scaffold information to the students in ways that they will understand.

  • compare/contrast this theory with at least 2 others

Social Development Theory VS. Constructivism
Social Development Theory believes that social interaction precedes development; consciousness and cognition is what comes from social behaviors . Vygotsky (1978) states: "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals." This theory of Vygotsky is one of the foundations to constructivism. Both constructivism and social development discuss learning through experiences and activity. Both theories discuss the Zone of Proximal Development of ZPD which can be defined as: the distance between a child’s ability to perform or learn task with adult guidance or collaboration with other children, it also discuss the child’s ability to solve different problems without these collaborations.
The two theories are different in the aspect in how information is learned ultimately. A learner is an information conductor and learns from activities and a dialogical process according to constructivism. It is also based on the reaction to instructively approach behaviorism an innate instruction. Constructivism also believes the idea that, “a learner is not a blank slate but brings past experiences and cultural factors to the situation, which from Social Development Theory we can see that those experiences through interaction create learning through communication within students. However Vygotsky believe that the connection of people and the context in a way that they act and interact with the sociocultural context is how they experience knowledge. The main different between the two theories is the human interaction that is necessary for social development.
Experiential Learning Vs. Social Development
The obvious differences between experiential and social development is that experiential learning has four distinct stages of learning. The first stage is reflective on Social Development in which the learner is actively experiencing an activity. In social development they believe that learning should be active and interactive. When working on a task students should be working together. The Experiential Learning theory does not believe as strongly about communication and interacting through learning. However it’s stages reflect on social development on certain levels.

  • include pictures of the various theorists

Images_of_Lev_Vygotsky_1.jpg Images_of_Lev_Vygotsky.jpg
Pictures of Lev Vygotsky

Educational Implications

  • A teaching method that would reflect the Constructivist theory could be experimentation or having the students go on a field trip. Have the students work in groups so they learn from each other with hands on activity. The teacher should be acting as a model or coach. In the end the entire class should come together to share their findings. Piaget and Dewey researched this method.

  • A teaching method that would reflect the Objectivist theory would be something more along the lines of teacher to student, question and answers. The objectivist theory is more of a direct teacher instruction to student instead of collaborating with one another. When a student gets an answer right they could also be awarded whether it be something as sweet as candy or just a good grade.

Technology Implications

  • Due to the introduction and integrations of technology in society, it has increased the opportunities for social interaction. The social context for learning is transforming from only whereas collaboration and peer instruction was only possible in a shared physical space,now learning relationships can be formed from a distance. Students could use programs such as Skype to share information back and forth or to work on a group project. They could also use a collaborative site such as Wikispaces. These sites give students the opportunity to work together without having to be in the same vacinity.

Articles: 2-3 Journal Articles from ERIC

1) 'Good-fit' teacher-child play interactions and the subsequent autonomous play of preschool children
‘Good-fit’ teacher-child play interaction and the subsequent autonomous play of preschool children” was a research article that addressed adult-children interaction in the preschool classroom. It discussed Vygotsky’s theory of social development and the level of interaction of adult mediation with structured play. The study was done with eight preschool teacher, all highly trained in the subject, and thirty-two students. The data was collected over a six month period and then analyzed in a four step process. The model theory prediction of, “adults will often respond to children’s play behaviors with good-fit interactions and that these will lead to more independent subsequent play,” from the analyzed data of this stuffed resulting in a conformation with this sample size of teachers and students.
I support the research that was done in this article. I believe it illustrate a lot of positive ideas about child social development and learning. From learning about Vygotsky’s theory about social development I think that this reflects on his ideas about social interaction and play. Adult intervention as discussed in the article when used in the correct way can be very beneficial to the child’s development in social, cognitive, and language growth. My concern as also discussed in the introduction to the research was about over-directing children’s play can lapse into what the article refers to as , “ didactic play bumbling” and that it imposes on the correct way of child’s play. This article gives many good ideas about the right amount of intervention and I believe it would be beneficial for younger aged children.
Trawick-Smith, J, & Dziurgot, T. (2010). 'good-fit' teacher-child play interactions and the subsequent autonomous play of preschool children. Early Childhood Research Quartely, 26(1), Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ599904&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ599904

2) Dynamic assessment in the classroom: Vygotskian praxis for second language development

The article "Dynamic assessment in the Classroom: Vygotskian praxis for second language development" reported about the efforts of a second language speaking teachers efforts in an elementary school trying to implement principles of dynamic assessment (DA). It talked about DA as being neither an assessment of instruction or a method of assessing, but a "framework for conceptualizing teaching and assessment as an integrated activity of understanding learner abilities by actively supporting their development." DA is based on Vygotsky's proximal development which underlys the importance of providing support towards learners to help them with their performance independently. The teacher had used this approach of DA to reflect on her knowledge of instructional context.
I liked this article and thought that it was relevant to Vygotsky's theory of Social Development. The teacher had used the assessment to see how the development of a second language had affected their social development. After reading about the whole point of Vygotsky's theory of Social development I came to realize the importance of learning a second language and how it has enormous amounts of effects on one's social development.

James P. Lantolf and Matthew E. Poehner. (2010). Dynamic assessment in the classroom: Vygotskian praxis for second language development. In http://ltr.sagepub.com. Retrieved Febuary 8, 2011, from http://ltr.sagepub.com/content/15/1/11.full.pdf+html.


Find a relevant presentation about the assigned theory / theorician on http://slideshare.net and embed it below.


Find a relevant video on YouTube and embed it here.

Concept Map

  • Provide a concept map that integrates the information you've located into a visual drawing using one of the Concept Mapping applications that will be demonstrated in class.
  • Your map must include at least 2 hyperlinks to relevant textual resources, 1 hyperlink to a relevant video, clipart/images to make the concept map visually attractive, and appropriate coloring/organization to clearly showcase the ideas.Vygotsky.gif