PSYC 304 - Ch.9

PSYC 304 - Ch.9 - Chapter 9 Cognitive Development The...

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Chapter 9 Cognitive Development: The Sociocultural Approach Nature of the Approach The sociocultural approach claims that people are the results of a mixture of their environment and genes, and that these environments are organized by culture. Culture : the accumulated knowledge of a people encoded in their language and embodied in the physical artifacts, beliefs, values, and activities passed down from one generation to the next. The Social Origins of Thought Vygotsky ’s first theme was that children gain knowledge and skills by participating in cultural activities with more experienced partners. The zone of proximal development : the distance between what a child can accomplish on their own and what can be achieved under guidance of an adult. Scaffolding : method in which adults adjust the level of help in response to the child’s level of performance to gear the child towards independent performance. Guided participation (Rogoff) : the process by which young children become competent by participating in everyday activities under guidance of more experienced members of their culture Tools and Artifacts Vygotsky’s second theme is that human thought and action are mediated by material and symbolic tools. Tools: all the means individuals have at their disposal to achieve goals o Ex: language (the most powerful tool) Higher mental functions: complex mental processes that are intentional, self- regulated and mediated by language and other sign systems. o Ex: attention, deliberate memory. The Cultural-Historical Context of Development Vygotsky’s third theme is that to understand human cognition, we need to understand its origins and transitions it has undergone over time
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He proposed 4 inter-related time frames: 1) Ontogenetic: development across years of one’s life 2) Microgenetic: moment-to-moment learning working on specific problems 3) Phyogenetic: development of the species 4) Cultural/historical: occurs over a much larger time frame and leaves a legacy of tools+artifacts, value systems, practices, etc. Comparisons with Cognitive-Developmental Theories Both the sociocultural approach and cognitive developmental theories (Piaget) have similarities: Viewing the child as an active participant of his or her own development Individual undergoes qualitative, and quantitative changes There are also differences: Mechanisms of change: o
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PSYC 304 - Ch.9 - Chapter 9 Cognitive Development The...

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