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Vygotsky (Social Psychologist):

Through social interactions students learn and develop

knowledge and skills.

With teacher assistance students can be pushed to
acquire new knowledge and skills that they would not
be able to accomplish individually.

His most famous work is the "Zone of Proximal

Classroom Application:


He believes in collaborative learning through the social process and the transmission of knowledge from one person
to another.

Teachers need to give learners the building blocks to progress to the next level.

Current Literature:
Vygotsky and Piaget Believe That:
Genetics play a role in development.
They develop as they react to their environment, not independent of it.
Need to perform or use skill to develop it.
Focused on the internal process, not the visual outcome.
Concepts build on themselves. Ex. walking is an extension of crawling, not a totally new concept.

Implications of Vygotskys Theory for Education
Vygotsky wants to use the educational process to teach new members of the community how to use
important, culturally developed tools in an effective manner (a top-down approach). Vygotsky sees inquiry as based
in progressive problem solving. Teachers/mentors must be a proactive force and take greater control in the
educational process. The teacher uses social environment to build activities that will lead to mastery. The society
and the individual are both more successful if individual and society work together towards a greater good. The
classroom is a social organization that is representative of the larger social community. The purpose of education is
to meld children into the larger social structure so they become productive members of the community.

Vygotskys theory applied to restorative action: How Vygotskys theory can be applied to restorative
action, which is the act of rebuilding a social issue or conflict.
Restorative action uses two of Vygotsky's main principles of scaffolding and collaborative learning. The
author recognizes scaffolding as a process that continues to build toward restoring a social issue or conflict. The
author also points out that social interactions and collaboration learning is the basis toward restorative action.
Vygotsky follows the premise that social learning is a primary factor and individuals become who they are as a
consequence of social actions. Social learning can be used in many ways, and restorative action is just one of the
many educational practices in which Vygotskys theory can be applied.


Leyla- I see that Vygotskys social theory has a lot of successful applications in the foreign language classroom. In
teaching Spanish there are many opportunities to incorporate collaborative learning and communication. He defines
the role of the teacher as a mentor in the learning process in which the student is part of the school environment, a
microcosm of the larger society. From our applications of Vygotskys theory I am reminded that in addition to
being experts in our content area, teachers prepare students to be successful critical thinkers for the real world.

Martin-I feel that Vygotskys ideas still have merit, especially considering the long delay from development and
acceptance in the United States. His focus on scaffolding and the transference of knowledge across society works as
we build on the knowledge of our predecessors. I truly find myself agreeing with his ideas more than Piagets,
especially as we focus on societal trends and realities.

Shane- I really liked learning about Vygotskys social learning theory, and I see a lot of ways it can relate to my own
teaching practice. The Macready article took a different spin on Vygotskys theory by applying it to restorative
action. I believe it is important to recognize the process of scaffolding when building toward restoring a social issue
or conflict. In a physical education setting I can see a real value to using scaffolding to teach and build social skills
to help students during collaborative learning assignments.


Glassman, M. (2001). Dewey and Vygotsky: Society, Experience, and Inquiry in Educational Practice; Educational
Researcher, Vol. 30, No. 4 p. 3-14.

Macready, T. (2009). Learning Social Responsibility in Schools: A Restorative Practice. Educational Psychology In
Practice, 25(3), 211-220.

Lourenco, O. (2012). Piaget and Vygotsky: Many resemblances and a crucial difference. New Ideas in Psychology,
30(3), 281-295. Retrieved July 22, 2013, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2011.12.006