The Application of Vygotsky's Theory to the Design

2. Why does learning require disequilibrium according to Piaget? Provide an example of how teachers can create discrepant events. 3. What is the Zone of Proximal Development in Vygotsky’s thought? Do you think it is a good model of learning? Why or why not? The Application of Vgotsky’s Social Development Theory to the Designing of a School Curriculum Christina Nardone: 102150672 Educational Psychology 02-46-324-01 Assignment A: Conceptual Comment University of Windsor Instructor: Anoop Gupta October 1st, 2012

Lev Vgotsky’s theories have become central to understanding cognitive development and have influenced many research initiatives in the past couple years. Social interaction and culture are thought to be the back bone of learning in his theory of social development, where he argues that social learning tends to occur before development (McLeod, 2007). This theory is one of the foundations for Constructivism, which can be defined as an active learning process, in which new knowledge is built on previous knowledge (Hoover, 1996).

An important component of social development theory is the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). It has been defined as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving, and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 90). According to Vygotsky, learning occurs in this zone.

Scaffolding is a technique related to the ZDP in that the adult or peer adjusts their level of help to the learner depending on their performance in the task. (Young, 1993). These components of social development theory would be useful in designing an educational curriculum. Schools should retire the instructional approach to teaching and adopt a more interactive approach so that students can be actively involved in their learning. Incorporating scaffolding techniques to their lectures would be beneficial as well as adding some collaborative learning tasks with their peers.

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The focus of learning should be on how well students have developed their problem solving skills, not just how much information they have learned. Also, testing and assessment should take into account the zone of proximal development; two children could have the same actual levels of development but different potential levels of development, which one child could be more capable than another child in completing many more complicated tasks. Works Cited Hoover, W. A. (1996, August 3rd). The Practice Implications of Constructivism.

Retrieved September 30th, 2012, from SEDL: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory: http://www. sedl. org/pubs/sedletter/v09n03/practice. html McLeod, S. (2007). Lev Vgotsky. Retrieved september 30th, 2012, from Simply Psychology: http://www. simplypsychology. org Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Young, M. (1993). Instructional design for situated learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41 (1).

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