vygotsky Theory of Constructivism b.ed Notes
Constructivism refers to a collection of learning theories that lay midway between cognitive and humanistic perspectives. Constructivism is a modern educational method that says individuals are better equipped to absorb material they have created themselves. Learning is a social progress that incorporates language, real-world settings, interaction, and cooperation among learners, according to constructivist ideas. The learners are seen as fundamental to the learning processes. Constructivism converts today’s classrooms into a knowledge creation site where the learner absorbs information and builds knowledge.
The most significant bases of a social constructivist theory were laid down by Vygotsky 1896-1934, in his “Zone of Proximal Development” theory (ZPD). “Proximal” simply means “next.” He observed that when children were tested on tasks on their own, they rarely performed as well as when they worked in collaboration with an adult; it was not always the case that the adult was teaching them how to perform the task, but that the process of engagement with the adult enabled them to refine their thinking or performance to make it more effective.
Over the last several decades, the work of Lev Vygotsky and other developmental psychologists has served as the framework for much study and theory in developmental cognition, notably what has come to be known as social development theory. Vygotsky’s ideas emphasise the critical significance of social contact in cognitive development (Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1985).
because he was convinced that community is essential to the process of “creating meaning.” Vygotsky stated that, contrary to Piaget’s belief that children’s growth must always precede their learning, “Learning is an essential and universal component of the process of culturally structured, particularly human psychological function development.
“In other words, social learning usually comes before growth.
To understand Vygotsky’s theories on cognitive development, one must first grasp two of his fundamental principles:
- The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) and
- The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).
The MKO is self-explanatory; it refers to someone who understands or has a higher skill level than the learner in relation to a specific activity, process, or concept.
Although the impression is that the MKO is a teacher or an elderly person, this is not always true. Many times, a child’s classmates or an adult’s children will have greater knowledge or experience. (For example, who is more likely to know about the latest teen-age music groups, the “raddest” skating abilities, how to win the latest Nintendo game, or how to appropriately perform the latest dance craze-a youngster or his parents?)
In reality, the MKO does not have to be a person at all. Some businesses are already utilising electronic performance support systems to assist employees in their learning process. Electronic tutors have also been employed in educational settings to help pupils learn and guide them through the process. MKOs must have (or be designed with) more information about the topic being learnt than the learner has.
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
The idea of the More Knowledgeable Other is intimately connected to Vygotsky’s second major premise, the Zone of Proximal Development. Vygotsky is well-known for this notion. It relates to the fact that youngsters, while learning a certain activity or body of information, begin by being unable to do the task. Then they can accomplish it with the help of an adult or older kid mentor, and lastly they can do it alone. They can accomplish it with help, but not alone, at the ZPD level. As a result, the instructor frequently helps to lead a kid or group of youngsters as they face various learning problems.
The ZPD is defined by Vygotsky (1978) as the difference between “actual developmental level as measured by autonomous issue solving and prospective developmental level as determined by problem solving under adult direction or in partnership with more capable peers.” Vygotsky felt that when a student arrived at the ZPD for a certain activity, offering the necessary support (scaffolding) would provide the student with enough of a “boost” to complete the work. Once the student has mastered the activity while using scaffolding, the scaffolding may be removed and the student will be able to accomplish the work on his own.
Example of ZPD
Bilal just started college and opted to take an introductory tennis course. Each week, her class learns and practises a different shot. They practise serving and hitting a backhand for weeks. The teacher realises Bilal is quite unhappy throughout the week of mastering the forehand because he continues shooting her forehand strokes into the net or well over the baseline. He observes her swing and preparation.
He observes her flawless posture, prepares early, rotates her body accordingly, and strikes the ball at exactly the right height. He realises, however, that he is still clutching her racquet in the same way she strikes her backhand, so he walks up to her and instructs her how to adjust her hand to smash a correct forehand, emphasising the importance of keeping her index finger parallel to the racket. He demonstrates a nice forehand for her before assisting her in altering her grip. Bilal’s forehand becomes a powerful weapon for her with a little effort!
Bilal was in the Zone of Proximal Development in this scenario after successfully hitting a forehand shot. He was doing everything right else, but she simply needed some mentoring and scaffolding from a “More Knowledgeable Other” to assist her succeed in this assignment. He was able to fulfil her aim after receiving that aid. Students in our classrooms will be able to complete things that might otherwise be too tough for them if they receive proper help at the appropriate times.