Lev Vygotsky's Cultural-Historical Perspective

2059 Words 9 Pages
In modern psychology, many different viewpoints are used in order to study the mind. Among these views is the cultural-historical view, which uses cultural and social interactions to explain cognitive development. This view, founded by Lev Vygotsky, provided a revolutionary new perspective on learning and cognitive development which is still used today in order to teach children.
The unique circumstances which Lev Vygotsky faced in his allowed allowed him to produce many new and effective theorems on cultural-historical psychology. Lev Vygotsky was born in 1896 in the town of Orsha, Russia. Vygotsky lived in a dysfunctional country, often persecuted for his Jewish background, facing sickness and poverty from a young age. In spite of this, Vygotsky
…show more content…
Here, Vygotsky studied law, graduating in 1917. However after a short career as a lawyer, Vygotsky continued on to the Institute of Psychology in Moscow. At the Institute of Psychology, Vygotsky became fascinated by childhood development, studying teaching and childhood psychology. Vygotsky stayed at the Institute of Psychology until his death in 1934, having written 6 prominent volumes over a span of 10 years. Lev Vygotsky 's environment provided him with many unique opportunities and encouraged him to develop to his full potential, allowing him to become a pioneer in the field of psychology (Pass, 2004).
One of Vygotsky 's most important theorems of his cultural-historical view involves zones of proximal development. Zones of proximal development are a central part of the development of a child in the theory of constructiveness. Zones of proximal development are defined as the difference between what a child is able to do on their own, and what they are able to accomplish with the help of an adult. According to Vygotsky: “The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have not yet matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that will mature tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These functions
…show more content…
According to this theory, children are able to construct knowledge and cognitive development from lifetime experiences. Zones of proximal development are central to the idea of constructivism. Students are presented with experiences which are outside of their zone of proximal development. This causes the students to engage themselves ahead of their cognitive development. If the student is engaged ahead of their cognitive development, they will become intrinsically motivated to learn from a new-found interest in the subject. At some point, the child will be able to make a connection between social situations and their studies at school. According to Vygotsky, this is a crucial point in the cognitive development of a child. When the student is able to connect their schoolwork to practical situations, they are once again motivated to develop a greater understanding of the material. This gradual increase in the difficulty of work, but constant application to other fields allows a child to develop a scaffolding which they can use to base all cognitive development from. Constructivism is a popular and effective teaching method that is still used in the classroom

Related Documents