Vygotsky

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					    Lev Vygotsky
Independent vs. Group Learning
            By: Priscilla Carey
   Biographical Facts
 Born on November 17,
  1896 in Orsha
 Grew up in Gomel
 Russia in the midst of a
  Revolution as people
  expelled the Tsars and
  embraced socialism
 Educated as a lawyer,
  philologist but worked
  as a schoolteacher
Biographical Facts
    Continued
          Became a Faculty
           member at Moscow
           State University
          Died in 1934 from
           tuberculosis
          Books banned by the
           Soviet government
           because of intelligence
           tests that the
           Communist Party
           condemned
    Zone of Proximal
      Development
“It is the distance between the actual
 development level as determined by
 independent problem solving and the
 level of potential development as
 determined through problem solving
 under adult guidance or in collaboration
 with more capable peers”
                            Vygotsky
                   Terms
 Socially meaningful activity- humans know
  themselves and others through their interactions.
 Psychological Tools- refers to signs that enable
  humans to have control over their mental behavior.
 Natural and Cultural Mental Behavior- lower form
  of behavior that humans share with animals that
  through mediated activity like signs humans obtain a
  higher form of behavior.
 External and Inner Speech- at first speech occurs
  only in a social context but later turns inward.
 Sociohistorical Theory- through the interaction with
  culture in children's education they will develop a
  cultural mental behavior.
        Question
Will students actually perform a task
better when they work together versus
when the students work independently?
          Hypothesis
From my knowledge of Vygotsky, I believe that
students who work together as a group will
perform better than the students who work
independently.
                   Study
I went to a second grade classroom at Holy Family.
 Where I divided eight of the students into two groups
 composing of two boys and two girls that worked on a
 dog puzzle together. The rest of the seven students
 worked independently on a Superman puzzle. I went
 back in a couple of days to see if the students in the
 group or the independents would be able to complete
 the puzzle better.
                                              Groups
Groups     Names of     Peer     Level of        Time        Level of        # Pieces            Comments
           Children              Difficulty     Engaged    Engagement       Connected

Group      Chance          M         2           35 min.            1           All        Girls worked together
 #1        Jonathan        L                                                               and boys worked
           Tracy           M                                                               together. Worked on
                                                                                           dogs and then rest of
           Natalie         A                                                               the puzzle. Asked if
                                                                                           they were being timed.
Group      John            A         3           1 hour             2           All        John and Jason
 #2        Jason           L                                                               worked on outside
           Lauren          M                                                               pieces while the girls
                                                                                           worked on the dogs.
           Melissa         A                                                               Lauren and Jason
                                                                                           were talking, Lauren
                                                                                           said I do not work on
                                                                                           the outside pieces, I
                                                                                           am not normal.
         Key
         Peer                                 Level of Difficulty       Level of Engagement
         M- More Capable Peer                 1- Easy                   1- Fully Engaged
         L- Least Capable Peer                2- Medium                 2- Partly Engaged
         A- Average Peer                      3- Hard                   3- Not Engaged
                                 Independents
 Child’s   Level of     Time Engaged       Level of       # of              Comments
 Name      Difficulty                    Engagement     Pieces
                                                       Connected
Jason          3            40 min.          2                30   Did not seem interested.
Soomin         2            40 min.          1                37   Worked on outside, was
                                                                   intently working for a while
                                                                   until he got disgusted that he
                                                                   could not find a piece.
Tyler          3          1 hr. 5 min.       2                24   Worked on the inside.
Katrina        2         1 hr. 10 min.       2                45   She wanted to continue
                                                                   working on puzzle, started
                                                                   with the inside.
Gaberial       3            35 min.          3                7    Wanted to work with a group.
Matthew        2            35 min.          2                30
Sam            2            35 min.          2                24   Worked on the inside.
Key        Level of Difficulty             Level of Engagement
           1- Easy                         1- Fully Engaged
           2- Medium                       2- Partly Engaged
           3- Hard                         3- Not Engaged
    Groups- Independent Visit #2-3
Groups   Child’s       Level of     Time       Level of     # of pieces   Comments
         Name          Difficulty   Engaged    Engagement   Connected
Group    Chance-M          2        1 hr. 10       2            All       Got up and talked to
 #1      Visit # 3                  min.                                  other students a lot.
         Jonathan-         2        1 hr.          1            All       Like Tracy he took
         L                                                                the puzzle pieces
         Visit # 2-3                                                      and compared to the
                                                                          box.
         Tracy-M           2        1 hr. 5        1            All       Took puzzle pieces
         Visit #2                   min.                                  and compared them
                                                                          to box.
         Natalie-A                                                        Absent

Group    John-A            3        1 hr. 10       1            All
 #2      Visit # 2-3                min.
         Jason-L                                                          Did not want to work
         Visit # 3                                                        on the puzzle.
         Lauren-M          2        1 hr.          1            All       Started to work on
         Visit # 2                                                        the puzzle from
                                                                          inside then outside
         Melissa-A         3        45 min.        2             30
         Visit # 3
               Independents Visit # 2-3
Child’s Name   Level of     Time            Level of     # of pieces   Comments
               Difficulty   Engaged         Engagement   connected
Jason                 3     1 hr. 40 min.        3            44       Like last time
Visit # 2-3                                                            he did not
                                                                       seem
                                                                       interested
Soomin                2     1 hr. 40 min.        1            All      Did not have
Visit # 2-3                                                            as much
                                                                       trouble as
                                                                       last time
Tyler                 3     2 hr 15 min.         2            All      He never
Visit # 3                                                              gave up.

Katrina               2      1 hr. 5 min.        1            All      Did very well.
Visit # 2
Gaberial              3        30 min.           3            17       Did not want
Visit # 3                                                              to do the
                                                                       puzzle
                                                                       anymore.
Matthew               3         1 hr.            3            31       Wanted to
Visit # 3                                                              stop.
Sam                   2     1 hr. 20 min.        2            All
Visit # 2-3
Comparison of Groups vs. Independents

                                                    Independents
           Groups
                                            Name       Level of     Time       Finish
                                                       Engagement   Engaged

Name       Level of     Time       Finish   Jason      3            1 hr. 40   44
           Engagement   Engaged                                     min.
Chance     2            1hr. 10    Y        Soomin     1            1 hr. 40   Y
                        min.                                        min
Jonathan   1            1 hr.      Y        Tyler      2            2 hr. 15   Y
                                                                    min.
Tracy      1            1 hr. 5    Y
                        min.                Katrina    1            1 hr. 5    Y
                                                                    min.
John       1            1 hr. 10   Y
                        min                 Gaberial   3            30 min.    17
Lauren     1            1 hr.      Y        Matthew    3            1 hr.      31
Melissa    2            45 min.    30       Sam        2            1 hr. 20   Y
                                                                    min.
    My Hypothesis was Correct!




In the first 20 to 30 minutes of starting the puzzle,
both the groups and the independents were equal in
their knowledge of the puzzle. After this time period,
the students who had worked in groups started to put
the puzzle pieces together at a much faster rate
then the students who worked on the puzzle
independently the first time around.
          Today’s Classrooms

 At Holy Family, the second grade students had
  two folders set upright on their desks. So, they
  would not cheat on their spelling test.
 Many classrooms do not have group work
  instead they focus on the individuals
  performance.
Implications for Today’s Classrooms
 Vygotsky is starting to take hold.
 Several recent studies on group learning in junior
  and high schools that focused on subjects like
  Math and English.
 Studies have also shown more interest in play for
  elementary children. It is no longer just free time.
          Benefits for Students

 Express ideas to a group
 More Focused
 Engage in higher-order thinking
        Benefits for Teachers

 Group learning allows the teachers to see
  the students who understand the material
  and the students who do not understand
 The teacher then has time to know each
  individual student and can help them
  individually in their learning process.
      Evaluation of the Study

 Have the children solve the opposite
 puzzle to see if the students in the
 group still work better.
 Allow the students to work all at the
 same time because the students became
 disinterested in the puzzles once most
 of the class was done.
          Nature vs. Nurture


         Where would Vygotsky go?




Nature            Vygotsky          Nurture

				
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