The mention of the name Vygotsky takes me right back to university, where his name as an influential psychologist and educational theorist was first introduced. Inquiring Minds would like to share some of his more noteworthy insights on education, primarily because of their relevance to 21st Century Learning. Ironic, when you consider Mr. Vygotsky was born in 1896 and died from tuberculosis at the young age of 37, in 1934.
1. We would like to credit Pat Johnson, co-author of Catching Readers Before they Fall, for the following observations on the relevance of Vygotsky’s work. In her post on catchingreaders.com, Ms Johnson cites an article from the January 2013 issue of ‘Language Arts’ magazine. It’s called “What Does Vygotsky Provide for the 21st Century Language Arts Teacher?” by Peter Smagorinsky: He explains how speech should be used as a tool. In other words, students shouldn’t be expected to speak in final draft form, but should be given opportunities for talking that allow them to figure out and work through what they are trying to say. Kids need to use speech to explore their ideas and opinions. The author says, “Teachers overlook the potential of classrooms to encourage the development of thinking through the relatively unfettered opportunity to use speech as a tool for generating new ideas through the process of speaking.”