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Master in Education Specialty: Educational Philosophy - Research Paper Example

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According to this theory, the process of cognitive development is dependent on social interaction (Kozulin, 2003). Vygotsky distinguished the stages of learning in terms of the…
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Master in Education Specialty: Educational Philosophy
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VYGOTSKY’S SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT THEORY 28th, July, Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory is largely considered within the concept of constructivism. According to this theory, the process of cognitive development is dependent on social interaction (Kozulin, 2003). Vygotsky distinguished the stages of learning in terms of the learning that takes place in the course of interactions between the individual and the society and the learning that takes place within the individual. Some of the key concepts of the theory include the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) (Kozulin, 2003). The ZOP refers to the space between the ability of a learner to perform a task under guidance and the ability to perform the same task without guidance. According to Vygotsky this is a major indicator of cognitive development.
The MKO is the superior source of information that impacts on an individual’s cognitive development (Kozulin, 2003). This could be a teacher or any system, group or individuals with more knowledge than the learner could. This theory emphasized on the cultural element in the learning process. Tools fashioned within a culture, such as language and speaking are important cognitive implements, according to this theory. This theory opposes the teacher-centric forms of learning where the teacher of instructor appears to be the focal point of the learning process in the sense that the students remain passive recipients of information. Instead, the theory advocates for a student-centered learning process in which the students participate actively and the teacher collaborates in the process.
Within the context of leadership in educational organizations, this theory could be appropriated in the development of inclusive and participatory policies (Firestone & Riehl, 2005). These policies would allow for consultative approaches in the leadership process. For instance, the implementation of new policies or the establishment of systems of organizational change would not be limited to the opinion and perspectives of the leader. As a leader I would seek the opinion of my subjects in a collaborative manner in order to gain consensus on matters of education development. In the context of learning system, I would use my leadership position to actively advocate for changes in the educational policies, which would promote student-centered approaches in learning. This would include revisions in the curriculum in order to promote learning schedules and modules that promote the active participation of students in the learning process.
For an individual within the specialization of curriculum development, this theory would assist him or her to design structures that promote collaborative and participatory approaches to education. Challenges in redesigning of education systems have often been blamed on the rigid structures imposed by curriculum developers (Barrow & Woods, 2006). Changes in the systems of education must entail structural adjustment of the systems in order to mirror the desired objectives. An appraisal of the merits of the Social Development Theory would help a curriculum developer to rethink aspects of learning that limit the cognitive development of the students.
According to experts of curriculum development, the process of changing the technical aspects of an education system requires a strategic replacement of the theoretical foundations on which these technicalities are anchored (Barrow & Woods, 2006). Such changes could involve the recognition and inclusion of the social and cultural aspects within the education system. In sum, the Social Development Theory could provide fresh insights into the weaknesses of systems thus necessitating the need for revamping in order to achieve the element of efficiency in the learning process with particular regard to students cognitive developments.
Barrow, R., & Woods, R., G. (2006). An Introduction to Philosophy of Education. New York: PublisherTaylor & Francis.
Firestone, W., A. & Riehl, C. (2005). A New Agenda for Research in Educational Leadership. New York: Teachers College Press.
Kozulin, A. (2003). Vygotskys Educational Theory in Cultural Context.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Read More
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