Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development
Psychologist Vygotsky believed that Piaget in his theory of cognitive development emphasized the process of cognitive development by children independently exploring the environment. In that, Piaget considered maturity to be important. But the socio-cultural context, supported by Vygotsky, was not accepted by Piaget. He has described work and language as important in children’s cognitive development. Hence Vygotsky is also called the sociocultural theory of cognitive development.
Piaget made it clear that the role of culture and education is not important in children’s cognitive development. Vygotsky rejected it and said that in reality, it is not the case, and at whatever age children learn any cognitive skills, they have a greater influence on whether they are getting relevant, information and instruction from the culture. Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development explained that cognitive development is in fact, an end man’s social conditions. In which the children tried to move away from their level of actual development as far as they can do any task without their help and their level of potential development which they can achieve with the help of meaningful and important persons.
The level between these two levels is the proximal development area. In other words, it can be said that the area of proximal development refers to the defeat of such difficult tasks for the children which he cannot do alone. But with the help of other adults and skilled colleagues, it becomes possible to do it. They considered it to be real cognitive development.
The area of proximal development can be explained by example as follows: –
Suppose that 5 years old Kavita and Savita cannot solve the conservation problems given by Piaget. But Kavita is not able to solve these problems by getting instruction from parents, teachers or other children older than themselves. While Savita does it. While both these girls are on the same cognitive level. Vygotsky’s answer will be never. Because there is a difference between what the area of proximal development of the two can do independently and what adults can appreciate.
Now the question arises that why is the area of proximal development so important in Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development?
- This helps identify what children can do quickly at their level.
- This also suggests that we can enhance children’s cognitive development within a range or area in the light of children’s biological maturity.
- Studies by John-Steiner & Holbrook Mahn make it clear that children must seek the help of some person to learn any important facts in society. Vygotsky believed that children are good but unconcerned, unorganized and selfish. When the children’s dialogue or conversation is with more accomplished people, their theory changes into non-logical logical and logical theory.
Educational implications of Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development: –
1. For his pre-school student, under his theory, the main educational message of Vygotsky is that more and more socially strong and meaningful activities should be promoted in the field of proximal development of children and to do their utmost to generate self-confidence. The seeds of self-discipline can be sown for further school education.
2. When children formally start going to school, Vygotsky’s theory emphasizes literacy activities. When the children in the class start talking about literature, mathematics, science, social science etc., the teacher gives them some new information about the subjects. Revise their new ideas and also ask them to explain the subject. The result is that children’s thinking becomes strong.
3. According to Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development, mutual learning method is considered to be a universal method. The purpose of this teaching method is to improve the ability of understanding. This method is an educational innovation inspired by Vygotsky’s theory in which one teacher and 2 to 4 students form a collaborative learning group together and have a conversation about a text portion. In which, among other things, four types of numerical tips such as questioning, summarizing, clarifying and forecasting are emphasized.
4. Collaborative learning is made important in Vygotsky’s theory. In this learning, a small group of students forget about mutual discrimination and perform a common goal and work. In this, the student participates in the discharge of responsibility and one removes his misunderstanding by providing a poetic interpretation to others.