Sociocultural Theory : Vygotsky 's Zone Of Proximal Development

1161 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Behaviour is the dynamic interactions between people and the environment; it is complex, intricate and informed by factors within and without an individual’s control (Gray & Macbain, 2012). Biermeier (2015) and Lindon (2012) both state that sociocultural theory justifies behaviour by recognising the whole ecological system of the child. Moreover, sociocultural theory emphasises the importance of social interactions and cultural practices as being instrumental in cognitive development and children learning specific attitudes and behaviours (Nolan & Raban, 2015). A key feature of sociocultural theory is Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, where children are supported by an adult or more knowledgeable other to scaffold learning (Kearns, 2010). Kearns (2010) and Lindon (2012) acknowledge that using a child’s zone of proximal development allows the more knowledgeable other to build on what the child currently knows to what can be achieved with assistance, taking the child’s knowledge to the next level.
Therefore, children learn how to behave by interacting with others and these social experiences help shape and teach children acceptable and unacceptable behaviour practices within their society (Kearns, 2010; Nolan & Raban, 2015; Lindon, 2012). For example, acceptable behaviour often includes co-operating, sharing, empathy, manners and being friendly etcetera. Whereas, unacceptable and challenging behaviour can include aggression, tantrums, calling out, swearing,…

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