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Flashcards in Vygotsky Deck (15):

Similarities between Vygotsky and Piaget:

-they agreed that children’s reasoning abilities develop in a particular sequence and that such abilities are qualitatively different at different ages


Differences between Vygotsky and Piaget:

-Vygotsky saw cognitive development as a social process of learning from more experienced others (experts)
-Vygotsky emphasised more than Piaget the role of other (more knowledgable people in children’s development)
-argues that children acquire the mechanisms of learning as a result of the social interactions between themselves & the adults around them e.g. finger pointing becoming a gesture


Zone of Proximal Development:

Where the child can perform activities with the help of others (what the child can do with help of someone knowledgeable)


What did Vygotsky believe?

That higher mental functions, such as formal reasoning, could only be acquired through interactions with more advanced others


What is scaffolding?

-refers the help others give children to cross the ZPD
-process through which a teacher or more competent peer gives aid to the student in her/his ZPD as necessary, and tapers off this aid when it becomes unnecessary
-scaffolding refers to the way the adult guides the child’s learning via focussed questions & positive interactions


Roazzi & Bryant ( AO3 support for ZPD):

PROCEDURE: they gave 4-5 year olds the task of estimating the no. of sweets in a box. Condition 1: children worked alone
Condition 2: worked with an older child

RESULTS: most children working alone failed to give a good estimate but condition 2 ( with help) older child was seen offering prompts, pointing the younger child in the right direction; most of these children successfully mastered the task.


Wood, Bruner and Ross identified 5 aspects of scaffolding which are general ways in which an adult can help a child better understand & perform a task: 1) recruitment

Engaging the child’s interest in the task


Reduction of degrees of freedom:

Focussing the child on the task and where to start with solving it


Direction maintenance:

Encouraging the child in order to help them stay motivated & continue trying to compete the task


Marking critical features:

Highlighting the most important parts of the task



Showing the child how to do aspects of the task


What happens as the learner crosses the ZPD?

The level of help given declines and they can do the task independently, so they are eventually not learning anymore


Conner and Cross: evidence for scaffolding, comes from research showing that the level of help declines during the process of learning:(AO3 support for scaffolding)

-followed 45 children, observed them doing problem solving tasks with the help of their mothers at 16, 26, 44 & 54 months old.

RESULTS: distinctive changes in help were observed over time; mothers used less & less direct intervention & more hints & prompts as children gained experience


Keer et al. supporting research for scaffolding:

Found that 7 year olds tutored by 10 year olds, in addition to their whole class teaching, progressed further in reading than controls who just had standard class teaching


Vygotsky application in education A03:

-the idea that children can learn more through scaffolding has raised expectations of what they should be able to achieve.
-social interaction in learning through group work, peer tutoring & teaching assistant, has been used to scaffold children through the ZPD.