Vygotsky's Cognitive Development Theory Analysis

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Vygotsky had three basic assumptions of cognitive development. Firstly, he believed that thinking is influenced by one’s culture. Secondly, he said that social interaction is the primary cause of cognitive development. “Human learning presupposes a specific social nature and a process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them” (Vygotsky, Mind in Society, 1978, p.88). He proposed that the most important things a society passes on to members are psychological/ mental tools.

Vygotsky proposed two cognitive learning zones.
1. Zone of current development (ZCD) – What a learner can do independently is said to be contained within one’s ZCD.
2. Zone of proximal development (ZPD) – Gap between what a child can do on his
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The main difference between the two are; Piaget believed that there were four stages of cognitive development whereas Vygotsky thought that a child had continuous development that was not set out in stages. McLeod (2015) explains the applications of Vygotsky’s development theory

Vygotsky’s theory permits the student to play an active role in learning. The roles of student and teacher are hence shifted, as it is common practice that a teacher should collaborate with his or her students in order to facilitate meaning construction in students. Therefore, learning becomes a reciprocal experience for students and teacher

Impact on learners:
Many children diagnosed with dyspraxia have difficulty with reading and spelling. They have very little concentration and are poor listeners inside and outside of the classroom. They have a poor understanding of basic concepts in language which makes it difficult for them to express themselves fully when answering questions in class. Students may also be reluctant to read aloud in class due to a lack of self-confidence. It is essential to differentiate the curriculum for these
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Differentiating instruction may mean teaching the same material to all students using a variety of instructional strategies, or it may require the teacher to deliver lessons at varying levels of difficulty based on the ability of each student (Weselby, 2014).

There are many ways to differentiate content, the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning which is a “classification of levels of intellectual behavior going from lower-order thinking skills to higher-order thinking skills” (Weselby, 2014) is one of the most effective in my opinion. Six levels have been identified by Bloom. These include; remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating.

Students who are unfamiliar with a lesson could be required to complete tasks on the lower levels: remembering and understanding. Students with some mastery could be asked to apply and analyze the content, and students who have high levels of mastery could be asked to complete tasks in the areas of evaluating and creating. (Weselby,
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