11 February 2013

Key Ideas of Lev Vygotsky

Lev. I always pictured someone more like Karl Marx.
I get to take the Praxis PLT this year to level up to a professional teacher. I don't know what PLT stands for, but I know that this is the test that asks about educational philosophers. So, to force myself to study, I'm going to write short blogs about each one. At least that's the plan.

The philosopher of the day is Lev Vygotsky. His name has always been the first one to come to mind when I think of educational philosophies just because it's a cool name. I couldn't recall any of his philosophies, though, until this review. Here come his main ideas summarized first by my district onto a study packet, then by me onto this blog:
  • Culture and Language. At first our language is purely to communicate to others. Then it evolves and we start talking to ourselves. Then it evolves further into talking to ourselves silently.
  • Zone of Proximal Development. From what I remember, this is the area between what a kid knows and what he can currently stretch himself to know. Technically, that disparity is more of what he can do by himself versus what he can do with assistance. Same thing, right?
There you have it: Lev Vygotsky in a double nutshell.

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