Supporting Children's Learning: A Guide for Teaching Assistants explains all the key ideas on how children learn and how best to support children in that learning. Covering all major themes, this book offers an introduction to main theories of learning and development from birth to primary including brain and emotional and social development; an introduction to what motivates learners to learn, and how much learners understand about how learning takes place; a glossary of terms; and case studies, research summaries and tasks for reflection.

Big Theory 3: Vygotsky and Social Constructivism

Big theory 3: Vygotsky and social constructivism

Learning for Piagetian constructivists can be a solitary activity, but for another group of cognitive development theorists it is a social activity. Vygotsky and his followers suggest that learning happens where there are groups: a family a class, or the workers in the supermarket. Furthermore, for Vygotsky instruction is an essential element of learning. This chapter introduces Vygotsky's theory and considers how it is used:

  • Vygotsky's theory
  • Implications for teaching: social constructivism

What is Social Constructivism?

Rather than the construction of knowledge being a solitary activity, Vygotsky argues strongly that individuals learn most effectively in groups. Learning, he suggests, is a social activity hence the term social constructivism.

Vygotsky's Theory

Piaget's idea that the child learns and develops ...

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