The main ideas of Vygotsky

The main ideas of the cultural-historical theory of Vygotsky Lev Nikolaevich are summarized in this article.

Vygotsky Lev Semenovich is a Russian psychologist at the beginning of the 20th century, known for connecting psychology with pedagogy. He belongs to the development of a fundamental theory of the formation and development of a child's higher mental functions. The main idea of ​​Vygotsky is a social mediated mental activity of a person whose instrument is the word. This theory is called the cultural-historical concept.

Vygotsky’s main ideas briefly

  • The social environment is a source of personal development.
  • In the development of a child, there are 2 intertwined lines.

The first line goes by natural maturation, and the second by mastering the culture, ways of thinking and behavior. Thinking develops as a result of mastery of the language, system of counting and writing.

Both lines are merged, interact hard and form a single complex process. Under these conditions, mental functions develop:

  • Elementary mental or natural functions - perception, involuntary memory, sensations, children's thinking.
  • Higher mental functions are intravitally forming, complex mental processes. They are social in origin. Features: indirect character, randomness. This is speech, abstract thinking, arbitrary memory, imagination, arbitrary attention. In a child, they arise as a form of cooperation with other people, but as a result of internalization, higher mental functions turn into individual functions. This process originates in verbal communication and ends in symbolic activity.
  • The role of the environment in child development

Lev Nikolaevich was the first to affirm the importance of the environment in the development of the child, which is capable of changing his psyche and leading to the appearance of specific higher mental functions. He revealed the mechanism of environmental influence - this is the internalization of signs, artificially created stimuli-means. They are designed to control strangers and their behavior.

Signs are a psychic tool that changes the consciousness of the subject who operates them. This is a conditional symbol with a certain meaning, a product of social development. Signs bear the imprint of the culture of society in which the child develops and grows. In the process of communication, children learn and use them to control their mental life. In children, the so-called symbolic function of consciousness is formed: the formation of speech, logical thinking and will takes place. The use of the word, as the most common sign, leads to the restructuring of higher mental functions. For example, impulsive actions become arbitrary, mechanical memory turns into a logical, associative flow of ideas is transformed into productive thinking and creative imagination.

  • The ratio of development and learning

Development is a process of qualitative and quantitative changes in the body, psyche, nervous system, personality.

Education is the process of transmitting socio-historical experience and the organization of the assimilation of skills.

Leo Vygotsky summarized the most common points of view regarding the relationship between development and learning:

  • These are independent processes. Development proceeds according to the type of maturation, and learning - according to the type of external use of development opportunities.
  • These are two identical processes: the child is as developed as he is trained.
  • These are interconnected processes.
  • Zone of proximal development

Introduced the concepts of levels of child development:

  • Zone of actual development. This is the achieved level of development of intellectual tasks that a child can solve independently.
  • Zone of proximal development. This is the achieved level of development of complex intellectual tasks that a child can solve together with adults.
  • Learning is ahead of development.

We hope that from this article you learned what are the main ideas of Vygotsky Lev Nikolaevich.

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