Friday, October 22, 2010

Vygotsky's sociocultural theory

Sociocultural theory:" it focuses on how culture-the values, beliefs, customs, and skills of a social group-is transmitted to the next generation. According to Vygotsky, social interaction -in particular, cooperative dialogues between children and more knowledgeable members of society-is necessary for children to acquire the ways of thinking and behaving that make up a community's culture (Rowe & Wertsch, 2002)".
Vygotsky believes that adult and more expert peers help children to learn culturally meaningful activities.
Vygotsky's theory is about the influences of culture, peer and adult on children's development. Vygotsky believe that children in different culture develop unique strengths.
Cultures selects different tasks for children's learning; children learn by watching adult specific task which is essential in that culture.
For example: In Iran, In rural area, children at early ages learn weaving techniques without any schooling or going to classes .
Vygotsky also emphasizes that rich social and cultural contexts profoundly affect children's thinking.
Communication between adult and more expert peer around children becomes part of children's thinking.
Vygotsky believes that through these interaction children learn the habits of their culture including, speech, written language, and other symbolic knowledge through which the child construct meaning and affects children's construction of knowledge.
Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development. Vygotsky believe that social learning precedes development. He states:"Every Function in the child's cultural development appear twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level' first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child( intrapsychological)."( Vygotsky, 1978).
According to Vygotsky, humans use tools that develop from a culture, such as speech and writing, to mediated their social environment. Initially children develop these tools to serve solely as social function, ways to communicate needs. Vygotsky believed that the internalization of these tools led to higher thinking skill.
Vygotsky's belief that social interaction leads not only to increased levels of knowledge, but that it actually changes a child's thoughts and behaviors.
Vygotsky believe that there are three ways that learning passes to a child. 1. Imitative learning ( child copes another person) ( culture). 2. Instructed Learning ( child/teacher). 3. Collaborative Learning.


Berk, Laura, E., & Shanker, Stuart, G. (2006). Child Development (2nd Cdn. Ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Canada Inc.


  1. Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. See the link below for more info.


  2. Life is a battle, if you don't know how to defend yourself then you'll end up being a loser. So, better take any challenges as your stepping stone to become a better person. Have fun, explore and make a lot of memories.