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Vygotsky Ann Jones Institute of Educational Technology.

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1 Vygotsky Ann Jones Institute of Educational Technology

2 Why ? Research practices developed based on his writings: sociocultural studies distributed cognition; situated cognition (and communities of practice) activity theory (Vygotsky & Research, Harry Daniels, 2008)

3 Trajectories of inquiry learning (Littleton and Kerawalla, 2012) The focus in this chapter is on understanding how connections are made between ideas and events over time. Specifically, we will explore how connections, between known and new (Rogoff 1990) and between everyday and scientific understandings (…) are negotiated in talk and interaction between learners and their their teachers, and how this process is mediated by representations and technologies

4 Plan Context Main concepts from Vygotsky’s work Brief examples of work where used Further resources

5 Context Vygotsky worked mainly in the 1920s in Russia Charged with developing a system for educating pedagogically neglected children Developed psychological theories Work translated into English in 1970s

6 But… “Vygotsky’s..theory..resembles a city... with broad new avenues and ancient, narrow backstreets known only to longtime residents, with noisy crowded plazas and quiet, deserted squares………………The city changes, grows, and is rebuilt. Whole neighbourhoods are demolished. The centre is sometimes over here, and sometimes over there. And so it goes” (Puzyrei, 2007) “The Vygotsky described in the books of J. Wertsch (1985a) does not resemble the Vygotsky in the works of A.V. Brushlinskii (1994) or V.P.Zinchenko (1996)….” ….(Koshmanova, 2007) Also in Daniels, 2008 (p2)

7 Some key concepts and emphases in Vygotsky’s work All learning is mediated, distributed (social) and situated Importance of language Vygotsky’s ZPD

8 Mediated learning Everything we do is ‘done through’, or mediated by, cultural artefacts: We remember by using lists or by grouping things into categories We talk and think using language Web 2.0 tools

9 Learning is social - distributed Learning is inherently a social activity, taking place through social interaction: …learning presupposes a specific social nature and a process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them (Vygotsky, 1978) Cognition is ‘spread over’ (Lave, 1988) the artefacts present

10 Learning is social - distributed 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). (Vygotsky, 1978)

11 Learning is situated A concern with the processes of learning and on meaning making in social setting. In investigating learning the focus is on individuals-using-technology-in-settings (Crook, 1994).

12 Language as a social tool for learning and communication Seen as having two main purposes: 1.Social, communicative or cultural tool for sharing and jointly developing knowledge 2.Psychological tool for organising our thoughts, reasoning, planning, reviewing Children learn with the help of their speech, as well as their eyes and hands (Vygotsky, 1978 ) It enables people to share and consider new ideas and to reflect together on their actions” (Mercer, 2000 Words and Minds)

13 Zone of proximal development (ZPD) What we are able to do with the help of others – that we cannot do alone "the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development …. under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers." (Vygotsky, 1978)

14 Examples of use & approaches Timmis,Joubert, Manuel & Barnes (2010) sociocultural approach to studying students’ use of digital tools for communication Rose Luckin’s work with ZPD and Learner Centric Ecology of Resources

15 Timmis, Joubert, et. al (2010) studied use of multiple digital tools for communication in HE (collaborative learning) grounded in socio-cultural theories of learning understanding practice analysis looked for different kinds of communication: transmissive, ritual and transformative Transmissive – go beyond common body of knowledge or ‘expand the ways of knowing’ Refer to challenges of building social presence, trust and commitment to task

16 Timmis, Joubert, et. al (2010) … how can communications be understood as transmissive, ritual or transformative and what are the different roles of these different communication forms? Communications data from the module; student-led group interviews; preparatory questionnaires; VLE discussion postings

17 Timmis, Joubert, et. al (2010) Choice of tool related to friendship groups and home context, access and economic factors rather than task Transformative communications mainly in instant messaging conversations but were scarce

18 Luckin’s work on ZPD I…. came up with a design framework that operationalised the 'Zone of Proximal Development'. The key thing.. was to.. quantify the nature of the assistance that you were giving people So we built a Bayesian belief network model of the ZPD, and quantified the amount of assistance that people got. It's a piece of software called Ecolab. It offered learners domain-level help.

19 Rose Luckin’s work Develops notion ZPD of and contextualised learning Software developed to help learners understand Science concepts Help offered on basis of the learner model Identifies the context and the resources BUT how do we scaffold learning in a connected world where resources no longer tied to desktop Learner generated context enabled through technology might support learners in collecting data, offering information resources, local resources, communication support

20 Examples of use & approaches Rose Luckin’s work with ZPD

21 Resources Greg Kearsley:Theory into Practice Database James Atherton: Learning and Teaching website (no Vygotsky though) Rose Luckin see view&id=114&Itemid=115 view&id=114&Itemid=115 Practise based learning in Educational Technology

22 References Crook, C. and Dymott, R. (2005) in Monteith, M. (ed.) Teaching Secondary School Literacies with ICT, Maidenhead, Open University Press. Littleton and Kerawalla (2012) Trajectories of Inquiry Learning; in (eds Littleton Scanlon and Sharples) Orchestrating Inquiry Learning, Routledge Mercer,N (2000) Routledge Words and Minds Vygotsky and Pedagogy (2001) Daniels, H. Routledge Vygotsky and Research (2008) Daniels, H. Routledge Luckin, R. (2008) Computers & Education 50 (2008) 449–462 461 Timmis, Joubert, et. al (2010) Transmission, transformation & ritual: an investigation of students’ and researchers’ digitally mediated communications and collaborative work, Learning Media and Technology

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