Vygotsky

Vygotsky - Psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed an important...

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Psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed an important theory regarding child development in which he categorized a number of important actions – dubbed “leading actions” – that a child does that facilitate his or her learning and development. According to Vygotsky, “[every] function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological), and then inside the child (intrapsychological)” 1 . Of the important leading factors he discussed, play was of paramount importance. Determining that child as psychosexual beings seek gratification a la the pleasure principle, it follows that the majority of a child’s growth will occur when he or she is seeking satisfying stimuli. In many ways, a child’s play is his or her ability to find these stimuli. Thus, it becomes very important to look at play through the glass of Vygotsky’s leading actions theory to derive conclusions in the realm of developmental psychology and to better understand the implications of play advancement through the stages of the child’s life. In early life, infants use their physical bodies as the primary avenue to explore the world 2 . This form of leading activity results in the infant’s learning to participate in and control simple interactions with direct caregivers. This is the first instance of a developed social interaction, albeit a very simple one. The infant learns a classically conditioned model of cause-and-effect relationships with regards to other social beings. In other words, the child learns to pair certain stimuli with given responses. In addition, infants develop a spatial-oriented understanding of the physical world through interactions with objects. And while the initial understanding is rudimentary, the child gains the ability to understand, recognize, and explore objects, sights sounds, textures, and tastes. In these stages, interaction with simple objects helps to develop an
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understanding of how the world can be controlled through interaction. Infant play is a
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This essay was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course LITR 5C taught by Professor Tucom during the Winter '06 term at UCSD.

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Vygotsky - Psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed an important...

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