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Vygotsky's Sociocultural theory of Cognitive Development

Vygotsky's Sociocultural theory of Cognitive Development

The Vygotsky 's theory is given by Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934). He was a Russian psychologist. Who propounded the socio - cultural theory. Which is also known as the zone of proximal devlopment (ZPD) .

According to the vygotsky, proper guidance or direction is required to develop or learn students and students get it from society and culture. Vygotsky is described as structuralist. The Vygotsky theory is also seen in the form of theory of learning in child psychology and in psychology. 

According to the theory of vygotsky, the child develops through society. The vygotsky provides an important place to social and cultural principles in the all round development of the child. Because of this theory of vygotsky, it is also known as the socio - cultural theory.

Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory

Vygotsky was a creative minded person. Who explained cognitive development of students based on social and cultural theories. While piaget theory is based on age in cognitive development, but vygotsky used social and cultural theories for cognitive development.

According to this theory of vygotsky, children live in society and culture through imitation. According to him, the child interacts with society and develops himself. The vygotsky expounds his theory with the core of society.

 Vygotsky imparts an important part of social interaction, language, culture in the child 's cognitive development. These three elements are the basis of his cognitive development, that is, by making the whole interpretation of his theory on the basis of these three.

1. Social interaction - vygotsky explains that children acquire guidance from society and develop their cognitive development and make this process of development the basis for imitation.

2. Language - vygotsky represents language a tool for cognitive development. With the help of which children interact with society and culture. According to the vygotsky, in the absence of language the individual cannot develop his cognitive.

 "Communication with others is an important element in the development of a child's language," - Vygotsky

3. Culture - the principle of vygotsky has an important contribution from culture. Culture develops moral values in the child. They encourage man to behave courteously and children learn them through imitation.

The vygotsky in his socio - cultural theory also places three other elements in importance. Which are considered as the basis of this theory. These three elements are known as ZPD, MKO and scaffolding. So let 's try to elaborate this.

Zone of Proximal Devlopment ( ZPD)

According to the zone of proximal development of vygotsky (ZPD) one requires the help of another to learn to this level, that is, it is not possible for a person to grow in the absence of another knowledgeable person. In this field of development, the individual needs proper guidance and with the help of this, the individual is able to achieve his/her goal.

According to this concept, in this stage a person gets solutions to his or her own problems through a friend or his/her family. According to vygotsky, students learn individual learning at this stage and are very eager to absorb new ideas.

For example, children acquire a great deal of knowledge at home without going to school. However, he learns by taking the help of his teachers and his friends to solve the problem caused by those points in which he faces problems, and calling it vygotsky ZPD.

More Knowledgeable Other (MKO)

Vygotsky 's MKO refers to a person who has more knowledge, experience and skills than a person who learns. For example, a child who is ignorant, and a teacher who is a repository of knowledge. In such situations, the learner may be able to develop his best cognitive development.

Vygotsky 's sociocultural theory (vygotsky theory) states that if the learner has more intelligence than the other person or has the same intelligence, then the child's cognitive development may not be well.

In general terms, a person who teaches to develop cognitive development of the child needs more knowledge than a person who learns. This is called the More Knowledgeable Other of the vygotsky.


Vygotsky states that the child needs a framework to learn that means a ladder that can take him to that peak of learning. The peak that they reach to solves all problems that come under their learning.

This framework is vital for the development of the experience, skills and knowledge of the student. Under it, students systematically develop their cognitive skills.

Characteristics of Vygotsky Sociocultural theory 

 1.  Vygotsky plays an important role in society and culture for the cognitive development of the child.

 2.  Learning takes place first for development according to this theory.

 3.  According to this theory, students already have the skills of cognitive development, but the work of taking them out is through society and culture.

 4.  Vygotsky considers social interaction, language and culture an important tool for cognitive development of the child.

 5.  ZPD, MKO and scaffolding concept are considered necessary for the student to learn.

Role of Vygotsky theory in Education 

This principle plays an important role in the field of education. This principle is used for learning students in the current education system. It gives the teacher the confidence that they can improve cognitive development of students in the best possible way.

This is very useful in simplifying a complex process and making teaching process effective. This doctrine of vygotsky links the child with society and culture. Which help in developing the moral values of the student.

Difference Between Piaget and Vygotsky Theory

Vygotsky values society and culture for cognitive development of the child, while piaget theory holds an important place for age.

Vygotsky was a person of social structural ideas and the Piaget was a person with cognitive structural ideas.

Vygotsky considers the guidance necessary for learning and the Piaget consider learning as part of self-activity.

According to vygotsky, there is born of first ideas in the child than language and while the Piaget considered vice versa.