Vygotskys Theory Of Cognitive Development Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Vygotskys Theory Of Cognitive Development Deck (12):

What did Vygotsky believe about cognition and development

It is driven by the influence of others, who are more knowledgeable than the child.


What are the two major influences on children's development

-Social interaction


What did Vygotsky argue?

- Children benefit from a number of cultural "tools" that are passed from others, the most essential of which is language.
- Technological tools
> Directed toward external world.
- Psychological tools
> Directed toward internal world of
thought and behaviour


What is the Zone of proximal development

The area between the child's actual developmental level and the potential level which could be achieved with the help of adults or a more experienced peer.


What is scaffolding?

The support and promoting that is usually provided by an adult or MKO, which helps a child achieve cognitive tasks the could not achieve alone.

There is a gradual withdrawal of support as the child's knowledge and confidence increase.


What does the aid of effective scaffolding include?

- Making takes simple
- Gaining and maintaining the learners interest in the task
- Demonstrating the task
- Controlling the child's level of frustration
- Emphasising certain aspects to help create a solution

Scaffolding is most effective when support is matched to the needs of the learner.


What are Semiotics?

The use of symbols to create meaning, which Vygotsky saw as essential in assisting cognitive development

Mental functions are always mediated by psychological tools, and therefore introducing a psychological tool to a mental function causes a fundamental transformation in thinking.


Why did Vygotsky emphasise the importance of language acquisition

Allows higher mental functions to develop.

Children are born with elementary mental functions (perception, attention, memory) but these develop into higher mental functions (problem solving, decision making etc), as a result of language.


What are the three stages of development

- Social speech (1-3yrs)
>Used only to communicate with others
- Egocentric speech (3-7yrs)
>language and thinking combine
-Internalised speech (7+yrs)
>Audible language now used for social communication only, thinking becomes internalised/silent


What are Vygotskys stages of concept formation

- Vague syncretic stage
>largely trial and error
without understanding
-Complex stage
>Some appropriate strategies are
used but the main attributes are
not identified.
-Potential concept stage
>Only one attribute (feature) can
be dealt with at a time (e.g talk)
-Mature concept stage
>the child is able to deal with
several attributes simultaneously


Outline Wood and Middleton 1975 study

>observed mothers using
various strategies to
support 4 year olds
building a model that was too
difficult for the children to do
>Mothers who were most effective
where those who varied their
strategies according to how well a
child was doing.
- When a child progressed, less
specific help was offered.
- When a child struggled, more
specific help was given.
> Scaffolding is most effective when matched to the needs of the learner.


Evaluate Vygotsky

+Emphasis on the role of
social/cultural factors
+Helps explain cross
cultural differences.
+Explains why children successfully
complete piagetian test at an earlier
age when they are made more
meaningful to the child
-May overemphasise the importance of
social influence - Does not take into
account cognitive readiness
+/- Application to education