Analysis Of Lev Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory

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Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory stems from the idea that our cognitive development is heavily dependent on our social interactions with others. Vygotsky categorizes children’s elementary mental functions as attention, sensation, perception, and memory. It’s his theory that through engagement with the people in their environment, these elementary mental functions will be molded into higher level mental functions that are guided by the more experienced, intelligent people, also known as an MKO (more knowledgeable other), around them such as a parent or a teacher at school. These interactions between child and a more experienced person is what the child internalizes and uses as a basis for developing their behavior and transitioning to higher mental functions. These higher mental functions result in the blossoming of independence in work and thought, using cooperative and collaborative discussion as a catalyst. The idea of collaborative learning aligns with Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. The zone of proximal development is the sensitive area where a child can learn something, but only with the guidance and modeled behavior of a more knowledgeable other. The areas that need guidance in the zone of proximal development are often fashioned with collaborative learning that utilizes the interaction and passing on of one’s skills to another while they’re learning something new. Vygotsky stressed the value of language in the process of learning, including private
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