Psychology Research Paper: Lev Vygotsky
Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who contributed greatly to the field of psychology and education. His approach to early childhood education has served as a milestone in understanding how young children develop and learn. His contributions have served to be a positive impact on children and adults. Still today, Lev Vygotsky plays a vital role in society.
Lev Vygotsky was born on November 17, 1896. He was born in Orshe, Byelorussia, near the city of Gomel. During his elementary and middle school years, he received public and private school education in Gomel. He attended college at Moscow State University where he studied law. He later attended Shanyavskii Peoples University. He graduated from Shanyavskii Peoples University in 1917. After retaining a great amount of valuable information from his studies, he returned to Gomel to teach (McLeod, 2007).
While reading the book, “Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education”, his contribution to psychology and education and why it is important was heavily explained. Vygotskys contribution to psychology helps psychologists reevaluate how they think about an individuals development and the way educators work with young children (Bodrova and Leong, 7). His contribution to psychology is important, because it helps psychologists understand people differently. It also helps educators understand how children learn in a variety of ways.
While reading, “Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education”, it explained what his research was based on. It was based on how children construct their own knowledge, development can not be separated from a childs social environment, learning leads to development and how learning plays a role in a childs mental development. Vygotskys research was also based on children understanding on their own how the world works through social interaction with peers. He believed through play with peers, children are able to make up real life scenarios, communicate, and solve problems (Bodrova and Leong, 9). Vygotsky believed that social interaction with peers are necessary for development. Hands on experiences are important for a child to understand a concept better on their own. He also believed that teachers do not always have to play with children or give them the answer to a question for them to understand a social issue. The conclusion of his research was that depending on how a child plays and understands concepts they will be able to develop scenarios, communicate and solve problems. This can be analyzed by teacher observation in the classroom. It is the teachers responsibility when to decide to intervene in play and when to allow children to play on their own (Bodrova and Leong, 9). From his research, Vygotsky learned that children learn in different ways and at different paces. He also learned that teachers should not always intervene, but observing can at times be the best assessment tool (Bodrova and Leong, 9).
Scaffolding is a major part of his research as well. Scaffolding is a process that teachers conduct in the beginning to introduce a concept and continue on with it when students need extra assistance (Bodrova and Leong, 47). Vygotsky believed that scaffolding can better assist children to learn a concept (Wikipedia). For example, during a math counting game first the student can count 10 bears. If the teacher notices the student is having difficulty, the teacher can scaffold the student. Once the teacher notices the student understands the concept the teacher should only help