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HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 1 PSYCHOLOGY 3050: Social Construction of Mind

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Presentation on theme: "HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 1 PSYCHOLOGY 3050: Social Construction of Mind"— Presentation transcript:

1 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 1 PSYCHOLOGY 3050: Social Construction of Mind
Dr. Jamie Drover SN-3094, -- Fall Semester, 2012

2 Sociocultural perspective
Focus on species typical structure-function relationships that underlie thought Cognitive universals Attention, learning, memory, information processing However, cognition develops in the child who develops in a familial, social, and cultural context

3 Sociocultural perspective
Cognitive development is inseparable from its cultural context Only humans have developed culture Provides a unique source of influence How we develop and learn to think is primarily a function of the social and cultural environments in which we are reared Family, school, community, social institutions, etc.

4 Sociocultural perspective
Focuses is on what makes us different, rather than on the universals that make us similar.

5 Interaction: Four interrelated levels of development are important
Ontogenetic: development of the individual across the lifespan Microgenetic: changes over brief periods of time Changes in problem-solving over a school year Phylogenetic: development of a species through evolution Understanding species development (history) informs individual development Sociohistorical: changes that occur in one’s culture, values, norms, and technologies Literacy, info technologies

6 Tools of Intellectual Adaptation
We enter the world with elementary mental functions. Culture provides us with tools of intellectual adaptation. Methods of thinking and problem-solving that children internalize from interactions with more competent members of society. Enable children to use mental functions adaptively, i.e., how to think.

7 Tools of Intellectual Adaptation
These cultural tools do indeed affect development. Some cultures have numbers only for 1, 2, and “many”. Members of these cultures can operate on small amounts, but have difficulty with larger numbers.

8 Tools of Intellectual Adaptation
Even more subtle differences in number names can affect development. Miller et al. (1995) provided evidence that Chinese children are superior counters at 4 and 5 years of age than American children. Numbering system is more logical.

9 Tools of Intellectual Adaptation
Culture also transmits beliefs and values. What to think The relevance of cultural tools can be seen in the computer. Access to and the use of computers will have effects both between and within cultures. Computers will affect how we think and process information.

10 The Social Origins of Early Cognitive Competencies
Vygotsky emphasized the social contributions to cognitive development. He believed that all higher psychological processes originate socially and then develop on a psychological plane. General genetic law of cultural development

11 The Social Origins of Early Cognitive Competencies
Much of what children learn occurs within the context of cooperative or collaborative dialogues between a skillful tutor and a novice pupil. i.e., collaborative or guided learning The pupil seeks to understand the tutor’s instruction and then internalizes this information. This fosters cognitive growth (see puzzle eg, p 83).

12 Zone of Proximal Development
The difference between a child’s actual developmental level determined by independent problem solving and his/her level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under the guidance of others New cognitive growth can occur in “the zone” and instruction should be targeted there

13 Zone of Proximal Development
Children can learn material that is just a bit more advanced than what they know at any given point Too advanced – can’t be incorporated Scaffolding occurs when experts are sensitive to the abilities of a novice and work to guide the child’s performance so that his/her understanding increases

14 Zone of Proximal Development
Scaffolding will be most effective in the “zone of proximal development” Commonly observed as parents and young children solve a problem or have a conversation together. See dice example pp

15 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
Rogoff (1990) viewed transactions between adults and children as reflecting “apprenticeship in thinking” novice improves their skills and understanding through participation with more skilled partners in culturally organized activities. All the responsibility is not placed on adults. Rogoff extended the idea of “zone of proximal development.”

16 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
Rogoff applied to “guided participation” to adult child interactions during explicit instructions, but also to day to day activities and everyday life. Doing chores, watching TV In post-industrial societies, transactions between parents and children are designed for the schooling that will follow. Context-independent learning

17 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
Another school-related skill associated with parent-child interactions is reading. Whitehurst (1988): interactive reading led to gains in verbal expressiveness Parents use scaffolding when reading to children. They are more directive when children are younger, but less so as children get older.

18 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
Parents and older siblings can also guide children’s development in symbolic play. Requires mental representation Mothers tend to bring out high levels of symbolic play in their children. Bring out challenging play interactions Symbolic play is related to other aspects of cognitive development. E.g. theory of mind

19 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
Guided participation is universal, but there are differences in the nature of guided participation. Occurs in two cultures Cultures in which children are segregated from adults and receive instruction in school (middle class) Cultures in which are in close contact with adults while performing culturally important activities (traditional) Rogoff studied interactions and guided participation in both types of cultures (pp 90-91).

20 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
Middle-class communities place more emphasis on verbal instruction and provide plenty of structure. Use praise to motivate children. Traditional communities Use explicit nonverbal instruction Don’t provide direct instruction Children possess good observational skills

21 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation
In different cultures, different forms of guided participation are likely to be used. One form is no better than the other. Cognitive development is rooted in one’s culture.

22 Implications for Education
Vygotsky stressed active learning and assessment of what the child already knows. Teachers should structure activities and provide helpful hints or instructions tailored to the child’s abilities. Cooperative learning between children could also be used.

23 Implications for Education
Freund (1990) found that children who practiced a dollhouse furniture sorting task with their mother showed dramatic improvement. Cooperative learning between students is also beneficial Enhances motivation, requires explanation, higher quality strategies.

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