Theories of Learning and How They Can Be Used to Inform Practice in the Classroom.

2279 Words Dec 2nd, 2008 10 Pages
This essay discusses two of the theories surrounding children's learning and development. It further goes on to discuss how they could be used to inform practice in the classroom. The two theories to be discussed are Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory.

Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who lived from 1896 to 1934. He was widely involved in developing the education program of the emerging Soviet Union. At the time of his death, his theory was not known outside of the Soviet Union because it was repressed. During his life, he created a completely new and scientific approach to psychology, which did not become publicised in the West until 1962. (Hausfather, 1996)

Vygotsky’s work later
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Scaffolding is a useful strategy to access the zone of proximal development. Scaffolding not only produces immediate results, but also instills the skills necessary for independent problem solving in the future. Scaffolding can be described as a temporary helpful structure that enables a person to successfully complete a task she or he could not complete without the aid of the scaffold (funderstanding, n.d.).

Scaffolding often means doing some of the work for the student who isn't quite ready to accomplish a task independently. Scaffolding is a temporary supportive structure that the teacher creates to assist a student to accomplish a task that they could not complete alone. During the learning process scaffolding can be gradually dismantled or erected as required. Reciprocal teaching is an instructional strategy used to teach reading where students take turns being the teacher for a pair or small group. The teacher’s role may simply be to clarify or ask questions. Guided instruction involves the teacher and students exploring problems and then sharing their different problem solving strategies in an open dialogue (Hausfather, 1996).

Vygotsky’s theories can be used to inform practice in the classroom by changing the physical layout of the classroom. The workspaces should be “clustered” so that the pupils can easily collaborate. The content and design of material to be learned also needs

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