Designing Instruction to Develop Complex Cognitive Functions

The Foundational Psychological Functions
•Conscious awareness •Mastery (volitional control) of one’s mental activities

Teaching Writing
•Written speech lacks of the expressive intonational qualities of oral speech •Writing often a massage addressed to no one in particular- confusing to the child •Thought or inner speech must be expanded into inelligible writen form •Important factor in teaching reading and writing is that instruction should be organised so that these activities are necessay for a goal important to the child.

The Role of Subject-Matter Concepts
•The learning of subject matter concepts (scientific concepts) also is important in developing complex mental functions. •Learning subject matter concepts differs from learnng spontaneous (every day) concepts, which are learned through experience. •Concepts in subject matter domain typically are abstract in that they are removed from the object or event they represent and they form a system.

parents. The Teachers. which allows for what has already been achieved developmentally.Designing Instruction to Develop Complex Cognitive Functions (2) The Role of Peers. and mentors attuned to a learner can recognize where he or she is within the zone of proximal development by asking questions and recognizing the learner’s individual learning style. the zone of proximal development enables educators and parents to define the learner’s immediate needs and the shifting developmental status. and for what the learner will be able to master in the future. and The Learners • Teachers. Thus. .

. the teacher must plan activities that encompass not only what children are capable of doing on their own but what they can learn with the help of others (Karpov & Haywood. for the curriculum to be developmentally appropriate. 1991) According to Vygotsky. 1998). 1995. Wertsch.Classroom Applications of Vygotsky’s Theory Vygotsky’s concept of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) is based on the idea that development is defined both by what a child can do independently and by what the child can do when assisted by an adult or more competent peer (Daniels.

Instruction can be planned to provide practice in the zone of proximal development for individual children or for groups of children. hints and prompts that helped children during the assessment could form the basis of instructional activities. Scaffolding (Wood. 1976) is a tactic for helping the child in his or her zone of proximal development in which the adult provides hints and prompts at different levels. 2. In scaffolding. 3. . 1984. Bruner. Cooperative learning activities can be planned with groups of children at different levels who can help each other learn. p. For example. 119).Classroom Applications of Vygotsky’s Theory Teachers can use information about both levels of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development in organizing classroom activities in the following ways: 1. & Ross. but the role of the learner is simplified “through the graduated intervention of the teacher” (Greenfield. the adult does not simplify the task.

The situation is more complex. Piaget’s stages are underpinned by genetics si the theory has an element of nature 2. Social interactions determine language use and language then helps to drive further cognitive development 4. Underlying genetic stages suggest a universal theory of learning to all children in all cultures 5.Review of the Theory Piaget 1. Individual development is far more dependent upon the individual child’s social interaction and their culture 5. The child determines their own development by active exploring and discovery learning-> the child consider as “little scientist” 3. Development of language arises from cognitive development 4. Being a Marxist. Teachers and other MKOs are crucial for the child development . Teachers have limited role to play Vygotsky 1. Vygotsky fails to mention genetics and takes an extreme nurture stance believing society is crucial in determining development 2. particularly the MKO (More Knowledgeable Other)-> the child consider as a little apprentice 3. Social factors play an important part in the development of the child.

Schaffer (2004) believes emotional factors such as struggles. young children seem unable to grasp abstract or hypothetical ideas regardless of the amount of scaffolding provided. As we shall see with education. Motivation Vygotsky does not consider the importance of the child’s desire to learn. This provides support for Piaget but questions Vygotsky’s views. Social interactions These can sometimes be counter-productive. still develop at a slower rate. For example there is no mention of how brain maturation during the early years may alter the ability of children to think in more advanced ways. This suggests that there are qualitative differences between the thinking of young children and older ones. there is no mention of stages but instead an underlying assumption that children function and think in similar ways throughout their life. including genetic must be involved. regardless of help given by others. Individual differences Some children. frustrations caused by failure and the joys of success are all important factors in the level of motivation experienced by the child. Not all criticisms are useful or well received! Durkin (1995) points out that often advice from parents can serve to make the child even more determined to do things its own way. suggesting that other factors. • • • • . Vague Vygotsky did not say what types of social interaction are best for encouraging learning.Review of the Theory • Criticisms Unlike Piaget.

The ZPD can serve as a guide for curricular and lesson planning 3. Relate out of school experience to the child’s school experience . School learning should occur in a meaningful context 4.Conclusion • Four main principles of Vygotsky’s Theory: 1. Learning and development is a social. collaborative activity 2.

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