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Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

Lev Vygotsky is considered the grandfather of sociocultural theory. His theory of human development emphasizes how an individual’s social and cultural worlds impact development. This theory can be applied throughout the life span and across cultures. According to his theory, a child’s social world is guided by language, and children use language to understand and experience their world. Eventually, the language they hear (and other cultural tools, symbol systems, and practices) becomes internalized and helps them control their behavior. As children get older, they use language to spread cultural values and, as parents, language helps transmit cultural norms to children, a process that continues for generations. For Vygotsky, development and education are inherently social. Many adult learning programs are beginning to incorporate activities into their ...

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