Dewey And Vygotsky's Impact On Education

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Dewey (1959) sees experience and education as being dialectically connected. Hence, to Dewey, the experiences that the teacher designs and creates in the classroom, e.g. tools, activities or the environment, have an impact on students’ learning. The experiences must be relevant, authentic and meaningful to the students for effective learning to take place. Besides individuals’ experiences, Dewey gives space for social experiences as well. He believes that students’ interactions with others and the environment are crucial factors contributing to their learning. Dewey’s belief is further extended by Vygotsky’s (1978) model of Zone of Proximal Development. Vygotsky believed that collaboration with others helps one to complete tasks that one could not have done without assistance from and collaboration with others. The ZDP is the level at which learning takes place. It comprises cognitive structures that are still in the process of developing, but which can only develop under the assistance/guidance of or in collaboration with others For social constructivism, greater emphasis is placed on learning through social interaction and the value placed on cultural background. Vygotsky believes that language and culture strongly influence children’s cognitive development and that adults are children’s connection to language, history, social context and ICT, all of which are parts of culture. He also believes that our understanding and experiences of reality occur within this
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