I can hear my lecturer from the 300 level Human Development paper I took, from over a decade ago, rejoicing at the fact that I am about to write about Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky was well before his time and had, in his day, unique ideas about the way individuals learn.
Vygotsky’s four principles around how individuals learn, known also as the Vygotskian Framework are as follows:
1 Individuals construct their knowledge.
2 Development can not be separated from its social context.
3 Learning can lead development.
4 Language plays a central role in mental development.
How is the Vygotskian Framework applied in classrooms today?
Lev Vygotsky believed 4 basic principles underlie learning. Principles that wouldn’t sound to out of place in a classroom today where educators encourage agency, autonomy, contextualised and authentic learning. Fortunately, Vygotsky taught in a classroom setting. (Wertsch, J.V, 1991). This expereience undoubtably gave Vygotsky an insight into how to connect his theories with practical application in the classroom. To better understand Vygotsky’s theories we must think about principles that underpin many educators philosophy towards teaching toady – agency, autonomy, contextualised and authentic learning.
Student Agency – Students live, learn and play in a media saturated world. Often students are told what to think, how to act by the media. As educators, surely we are wanting students to have the a clear understanding of what they know and how they can construct knowledge for themselves – moving themselves forward as learners (Briceño, E, 2013).
Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)
Briceño, E (2013) Mindsets and Student Agency. Unboxed online. A Journey of Adult Learning in Schools.
Wertsch, J.V. (1991) Voices of the mind: A sociocultural approach to mediated action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.