Famous Psychologists Lev Vygotsky
Published on Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 7:48 am and is filed under Famous Psychologists
Lev Vygotsky is best known for:
- Zone of proximal development – ZPP (proximate development area)
- Socio-cultural theory
Lev Vygotsky was born on the 17th of November 1896 and died on 11 June 1934. He was born in Orsha, a city in the western region of the Russian Empire, now Belarus. He studied at Moscow State University, where he graduated with Law Degree in 1917.
Lev Vygotsky studied a range of subjects, including sociology, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. However his works in psychology training didn’t appear until 1924, when he attended the Institute of Psychology in Moscow and began to work with Alexander Luria and Alexei Leontiev.
Lev Vygotsky was a prolific writer, publishing 6 books on psychological topics for a period of 10 years. His interests were quite varied, but centered on issues of child development and education. He also explored topics such as psychology, art and language development.
Some of the most important theories developed by Lev Vygotsky include:
Zone of proximal development: According to Vygotsky, the zone of proximal development is “distance between the level of act development, such as is determined by independent solving of problems and the potential development as is determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with colleagues more able”. Learning is achieved by models in social context. It covers the “distance” between what is and what one will become in the social meditation. Thinking – learning consequence – is related to language with support of knowledge individuals build their understanding.
Lev Vygotsky distinguished the level of current development thinking of child from potential development (necessary and possible). Current development thinking of child allows solve problems independently. Potential development of thinking allows solve problems as tasks only with other’s support, by collaboration. Between the two “development” (current and potential” are emerging learning activities and the space is called the proximal development. Russian psychologist is assigned to the concept of “social constructivism” in the sense that student builds his learning in collaboration with others. Before the child thinking develops occurs “learning”: “rational learning is situated on the forefront of development and carries it” , “development processes follow the learning processes that create the proximal development”.
After it, the human mind acts not only as a series of reflexes and behavior adaption (I.P. Pavlov, I. Watson). Mental activity requires interaction with the environment, through language, through man transforms. Each individual (child) builds on his own knowledge “filling” the gap between the independent performance and performance assisted by group or teacher. Thanks to Vygotsky’s theory, behavioral theories have been improved (SR), being able to develop speculations related to learning building and personality development.
Socio – cultural theory: Lev Vygotsky also suggests that human development results from a dynamic interaction between individuals and society. Through this interaction, children learn gradually and continuously from parents and teachers. This study, however, can vary from one culture to another. It is important to note that Vygotsky’s theory emphasizes the dynamic nature of this interaction. Not only society has an impact on people but people also have an impact on society.
Contributions to Psychology:
Lev Vygotsky is considered a thinker in psychology and lot of his work is still in the discovery and exploration today. While he was contemporary with Skinner, Pavlov, Freud and Piaget, his work has not reached their glory while he was alive. A part of it was because his work was often blamed by the Communist Party from Russia and his writings have been inaccessible to the Western World. Despite this, his work continued to grow in influence after his death, especially in the domains of development and psychology of education.