Vygotsky Constructivist Theory

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‘Constructivist’ theory of learning is considered to be the main developmental theories of learning currently working in the area of special educational needs. Constructivism is ‘child-centred development’. It is an active and building process, where learners use what they already know to learn new things, and infer new knowledge based on their interaction with new experiences outside themselves, using information and ideas from within themselves, or already obtained. In other words, knowledge is considered to be socially constructed because it is obtained in partnership between new experiences and knowledge already acquired. Constructivism is useful for understanding the way in which a child may progress educationally, which is important…show more content…
a teacher. The zone of proximal development is based on the idea of comparing the skills and abilities that can be obtained by the child on his or her own, with those that can be achieved with support from someone else who is more skilled. It doesn’t just have to refer to a teacher; the ZPD can be further developed through peer and parental interaction. Vygotsky’s style of teaching and learning is used within many approaches to learning for children with special educational needs. This type of support is known as ‘scaffolding’; where children develop into being able to carry out activities, and attain specific levels of knowledge, the support can be gradually removed, step by…show more content…
For example, children who are more able could effectively scaffold for the children who are less able when working together in a group. Dewey John Dewey also argued strongly for the application of child-centred learning. Similar to Vygotsky, he believed that the acquisition of knowledge and education was highly linked with social development, and that children should be able to access education as a social environment, to discover themselves and their own strengths and interests. He believed that ‘to prepare the child for the future life means to give him command of himself; it means so to train him that he will have the full and ready use of all his capacities’. Source: My Pegagogic Creed, John Dewey, 1897. (Page 2) Dewey believed that child-centred learning would help them build on their identified strengths and argued that children were unable to learn information unless they could apply it to their own lives and experiences. The active application in this way would ensure that the child had internalised the learning. On the same lines, he also viewed the construction of such knowledge as being subject to trial-and-error interactions between a child and his or her
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