Monday, December 10, 2012

Social interaction and individual understanding in a community of learners: The influence of Piaget and Vygotsky

Brown, A. L., Metz, K. M. & Campione, J. C. (1996). Social interaction and individual understanding in a community of learners: The influence of Piaget and Vygotsky. In A. Tryphon & J. Von├Ęche (Eds.), Piaget- Vygotsky: The social genesis of thought. (pp. 145-170). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Piaget and Vygotsky have more in common than is usually supposed.

Piaget's Influence

  • What can children be reasonably expected to learn and understand?
  • Piaget argued that the development of logical thought is enhanced by the need to defend one's ideas to actual or imagined audiences.

    Grade school child as a scientist (or theorist) concept:
  • children of this age are able to identify variables, determine cause, and refine theories
  • children's reasoning can be much more sophisticated in familiar situations and well developed knowledge
  • children's thinking often reflect a natural inductive logic

    Vygotsky's Influence

    Participant structures:
    1. Reciprical teaching
    2. Jigsaw
    3. Guided writing

    Main principles
    1. classrooms invoke multiple zones of proximal development
    2. a community of academic and scientific discourse is developed
    3. meaning is negotiated and refined
    4. ideas are seeded and appropriated; and
    5. common knowledge and distributed expertise are both essential
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