Who is my Educational Guru?
By: Brittany Orwig
Lev Vygotsky is my educational guru. His cognitive development studies and theories are critical to a child’s development. Child development is viewed as a socially facilitated process in which children acquire cultural values, beliefs, and problem-solving techniques through collaborative play, according to Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. It is important, to emphasize the importance of social interaction in the development of cognition. Vygotsky has three qualities that I admire: he values culture and how it influences cognitive development, he stresses social elements that influence cognitive growth, and he feels language is extremely important in cognitive development. The Zone of Proximal Development, as defined by Vygotsky’s theory, is a crucial application for a child’s development. When provided guidance and assistance from others, a child’s potential capacity is represented by the Zone of Proximal Development. According to the article Simply Psychology, “to apply the concept of the zone of proximal development, teachers instruct in small steps according to the tasks a child is already able to do independently. This strategy is referred to as scaffolding. The teacher should also support and assist the child until he or she can complete all of the steps independently” (Mcleod). Another teaching style from Vygotsky that will be useful in my classroom is reciprocal teaching, “A contemporary educational application of Vygotsky’s theory, used to improve students’ ability to learn from text. In this method, teachers and students collaborate in learning and practicing four key skills: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. The teacher’s role in the process is reduced over time” (Kurt). Vygotsky’s research will be extremely useful for me as a teacher; I believe it will aid in my ability to plan out my lessons. It will help me in determining what my students are expected to master and in determining the order in which I should teach those skills. If kids don’t understand a concept, I’ll be able to detect if it’s outside their zone of proximal development and, as a result, help scaffold mastery and be able to apply reciprocal teaching. Because of Vygotsky’s theory, I will be able to determine each student’s ZPD, encourage group work, and have them think aloud. These techniques will aid in the advancement of learning and will assist me in being a more effective teacher.
Mcleod, Saul. “Lev Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory.” Simply Psychology, https://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html.
Kurt, Serhat. “Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding.” Educational Technology, 18 Aug. 2020, https://educationaltechnology.net/vygotskys-zone-of-proximal-development-and-scaffolding/.