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Unit 2

Learning in the Wider Social Context

Social and Cultural Dimensions in Learning and Instructions

Group 1: The Presenters

Lev Semenovich Vygotsky

Jewish Russian
Moscow University; Shaniavsky
Social Development Theory - ZPD, MKO
Died of tuberculosis at the age of 37

The Sociocultural Theory of Development

learning as a social process and

the origination of human
intelligence in society or culture
social interaction plays a
fundamental role in the
development of cognition
the importance of cultural tools
to the sociocultural approach

Chapter 1: Tool and Symbol in Child Development

Chapter 2: The Development of Perception and Attention

Chapter 3: Mastery of Memory and Thinking

Chapter 4: Internalization of Higher Psychological


What are tools and signs?

In Chapter 4 Vygotsky explains how tools and signs are
different and how they are related to create a psychological

Tool= something that is external in the physical world (wheel, pulley, lever,
etc.). Vygotsky states it must lead to changes in objects (pg 55).
Sign= something that is internal or inside of the mind (gestures, language,

*When tools and signs are combined its called higher psychological function*


The internal reconstruction

of an external operation
(pg. 56)

Child sees object beyond their reach and attempts to

grasp it.

2. If a parent/adult sees child reaching for the object but the child
is unable to reach they understand the child wants it and will give
the object.

3. This develops an internal representation in the child through

the act of reaching or pointing.

What does this mean?


Activities begin as an external event then develop



A childs cultural development is something that is both social and an

individual process.


The transformation of interpersonal processes (social) into an

intrapersonal (individual) occurs during many developmental events (pg.

Chapter 5: Problems of Method

Previously Held View by

Vygotskys New View

-Based on Dialectical Approach

Stimulus-Response Framework
-Analysis of Higher Psychological
Functions called the Analysis

Any psychological process, whether the development of thought or voluntary behavior, is a process
undergoing changes right before ones eyes (pg. 60).

Explanation versus Description

Vygotsky uses K. Lewins work when he compares phenomenological analysis (external features),
and genotypic analysis (origins of phenomena) in establishing the importance of having scientific
analysis to distinguish between the external and internal.

Describe the whale

phenotypically (explanatory).

Describe the whale

genotypically (descriptive).

The Problem of Fossilized Behavior

Fossilized behavior is behavior that has been repeated

over and over that it has become mechanized (reflexes).
We need to concentrate not on the product of development but on the
very process by which higher forms are established (pg. 64).
In the past researchers viewed historical events of something in the past,
not as a process that is continuously going on before our eyes.
Vygotskys Casual-Dynamic Study of Choice Reactions

Chapter 6: Interaction Between Learning and


Learning and Development are totally independent (Piaget)


Learning and Development are equal (James)


Learning and Development influence each other (Koffka)

with these

Vygotsky states that learning is needed for a person to develop. Or, that
development occurs because a person learns.

Zone of Proximal Development


Things that an
individual can do

Zone of

Things that an
individual can
do with helpscaffolding


Take note that each

child has a different
ZPD...but what does
this mean for

Things that an
individual cannot
do, even with

Voices of Mind
James V.Wertsch, Chapter 2-4

Chapter 2: A Sociocultural Approach to Mind

action is mediated, carried out within the environment

linked with specific cultural, historical and institutional factors
Themes in Vygotskian
Sociocultural Approaches
to Mediated Action

Social Origins
of Higher

Genetic Analysis

foundation of the study of mind

understand the origin and transition to understand mental functioning

Social origins of Mental Functioning

to understand the individual, understand their social relation

general genetic law of cultural development

function in child development appears twice


Higher mental functioning and human action are mediated by tools and signs.

the study of thought and language - speech and thinking in individual

Chapter 3: Beyond Vygotsky: Bakhtins


Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin, Russian philosopher

Focus on dialogicality

The role of utterance

multiple authorship

the real unit of speech communication


utterance can exist only by being produced by a voice

Dialogicality and Multivoicedness

to understand another person's utterance, we must adapt with respect to it

Social Language

discourse peculiar to a specific stratum of society

a speaker invokes a social language to produce an utterance

Speech Genre

not a form of language but a type of utterance

Chapter 4: Multivoicedness of Meaning

Meaning is central to sociocultural approach to mediated action

shaped human action

master the dialogic speech on the intermental plane thereby shaping the intramental
plane of functioning
Function of text; convey the meaning and generate new meaning


fixed utterance and their meaning

only transmitted
reported speech

Literal Meaning

Bakhtinian perspective the notion of the literal meaning is problematic

Sociocultural Approaches to Learning and

Development: A Vygotskian Framework
John-Steiner & Mahn, 1996


Sociocultural approach to learning and development - first applied by

Vygotsky in Russia.
Concept - human activities occur in cultural context, mediated by
language and other symbol systems
Main key idea - the nature of interdependence between individual and
social process in cognitive development.

Social Source Development

Human development starts with dependence on caregiver.

The novice depends on the expert.
Over time, the novice will take responsibility for own learning and
participate in activity.

Semiotic Mediation

key to all aspect of knowledge construction

Means language,symbol system, art, writing
Mediate social and individual functioning and connect the external and
the internal, the social and individual.
Knowledge is not internalized directly but through the use of
psychological tools.
Representational activities and the sociocultural theory of semiotic
mediation - fundamental to Vygotskys concept of internalization and the
transformation of interpersonal processes into intrapersonal one.

Genetic Analysis

Genetic analysis - examines the origins and history of phenomena,

focusing on their interconnectedness
Understand many aspects of mental functioning only if one understands
their origin and the transition they went through - development of the
individual, sociocultural history, and the development of the species
Focus on the process whereby higher forms are established
Learning and development take place in society and in culturally shaped

Sociocultural Methodological Approach

Spontaneous and Scientific Concepts

The Ecological
Theory of
Development by Urie
Santrock, 2004


System closest to the person-direct contact.
Would be at home, school, daycare, or work.
Family, peers, or caregivers

Involve relationships between the microsystems in one's life.
Family experience may be related to your school experience.
For example, if a child is neglected by his parents, he may have a low chance of
developing positive attitude towards his teachers. Also, this child may feel
awkward in the presence of peers and may resort to withdrawal from a group of

Refers to a setting that does not involve the person as an active participant, but
still affects them.
Decisions that have bearing on the person, but in which they have no
participation in the decision-making process.
Example: a child would being affected by a parent receiving a promotion at work
or losing their job.

Actual culture of an individual.
The cultural contexts involve the socioeconomic status of the person and/or his
family, his ethnicity, race and living in a still developing or a third world country.
For example, being born to a poor family makes a person work harder every day.

Includes the transitions and shifts in one's lifespan. This may also involve the
socio-historical contexts that may influence a person.
Example - divorce, may affect not only the couple's relationship but also their
children's behavior.

Treasure Hunting


There are 4 clues hidden all across FCSHD. You

must find and collect ALL of them.
Each clue will lead you to the next. Figure out
what each clue could mean. It could refer to an
item, a person or a place. It could also mean
something big or small, or of any colour.
A prize awaits you at the end of the game.

Through others we become ourselves.

Lev S. Vygotsky


Learning is a process that can not just be simply

observed in controlled and isolated conditions.
Learning should be observed as it develops.
Each student brings to the table a variety of skills,
previous knowledge, influences, and a unique history.

Daily experiences between various people,

places, groups and society facilitates a
process in which the development of an
individual occurs through a variety of
external and internal means.

Thank You