Lev Vygotsky 's Theory Of Cultural Development

1399 Words Dec 10th, 2016 6 Pages
Background of Theory
Born in 1986, Lev Vygotsky took up a passion for philosophy, literature and culture throughout his adolescence. Although intelligent and filled with brilliant ideas, he was unfortunately very limited due to the fact that he was a Jew in anti-Semitic czarist Russia (Newman, 1993). Despite all of this, as well as contracting tuberculosis at the age of 24, he managed to overcome these difficulties and compile a long list of accomplishments in his short 37 years of life. These accomplishments include completing a law degree, writing a dissertation on the psychology of art, teaching and publishing literary works, and finally turning his attention to fundamental questions of human development and learning, where he made his biggest impact in the psychological field. Vygotsky proposed a general genetic law of cultural development in which cognitive function occurs on two planes: first on the social (between individuals), followed by the individual (internalized by the child) (Bjorklund, 2005). For a number of years, his theory mainly gained attention in Russia and Eastern Europe but instead of disappearing from the scientific world over time, it began to gain more attention from other countries (Kozulin, Gindis, Ageyev, & Miller, 2003). He believed that human cognition and learning is a social, rather than an individual experience, and that the creation of a learning environment can be conceived as a shared problem space, inviting the students to participate…
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