What are a few of the characteristics of Vygotsky’s sociocultural learning theory that are applicable to classroom learning?
Think back on previous classes you have taken. What assignment was modeled after sociocultural learning, i.e. done in a group or with a partner? Include a screenshot of the final assignment, if it’s available, with your reflection. Make a few connections between this assignment and Vygotsky’s sociocultural learning theory.
* Note. Once more, your reflection need not be more than 200 words, but you may opt to write more
H3 – Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning. To me, this standard means creating an environment within the classroom in which learning is the clear visible purpose, guiding all interactions within the classroom. I find this HOPE standard very applicable to Vygotsky’s sociocultural learning theory. Vygotsky believed strongly, in the influences our environment creates on learning. As such, we will need to create an environment that has rich interactions based around the desired content. Pressley and McCormick (2007), state “excellent instruction involves social interactions between an apprentice student and a more expert adult” (p. 158). The more feedback that we are able to provide, the more opportunity our students will have to learn. All learners are unique and will be operating at different stages. Our one-on-one interactions will be limited due to the numbers of students in the classroom. To counter this problem, teachers can rely on peer tutoring to help provide more apprenticeship style interactions that Vygotsky speaks of.
The suggestion was made during this week’s lecture that a poster about peer tutoring could be made for the classroom. As suggested, the poster could include the following; effective questions, suggestions, hints, scaffold, and no freebies. I would want to create this poster with student involvement and potentially include suggestions students’ voice that fit into the previous categories. It is crucial to teach students how to do this. The point must be made clear to students that it is o.k. not to know everything! We must make students feel like this is normal and expected for all students. Learning from each other should also be a part of the classroom environment. Medina (2008), suggest that in the early elementary years students have a natural tendency to work towards establishing hierarchies. I would discuss this with my students, and let them know that we will not be establishing any hierarchies in here based on knowledge. I also like peer tutoring because it creates peer interactions. Students are craving to interact with one another and it is great if we create times for these interaction to occur while discussing our content.
This past summer, in a Behavior Management class, we did an assignment that involved writing up a functional behavior assessment (FBA), followed by a behavioral intervention plan (BIP). For this project, a classmate had created a scenario about a student that they had encountered. In order for us to complete the FBA and BIP, we had to work closely with each other to find out as much as we could about each other’s hypothetical student. It was great practice in collaboration and it also makes me think of scaffolding in the form of peer tutoring. The student that we were working with, through our questioning, was providing us with the behavioral characteristics of the hypothetical student. Without proper questioning, the assignment wouldn’t turn out that well. In other words, they were giving us just the right amount of information that would be needed for us to complete the FBA and BIP on our own. In completing this assignment, rich content specific interactions were created in our classroom. I have included the final page of my FBA for viewing.
Medina, J. (2008). Brain rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.
Pressley, M. & McCormick, C. B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New
York, NY: Guilford Press.