Why The Social Development Theory is Important in Classroom Learning


Social Development Theory, formulated by Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, emphasizes the effect of culture and social factors in contributing to cognitive development. It argues that social interaction precedes development; consciousness and cognition are the end product of socialization and social behavior. According to Vygotsky, emphasis should be placed on culture affecting / shaping cognitive development and more weight on the role of language in cognitive development. Vygotsky believes that community plays a central role in the process of learning. He believed that social interaction plays a critical role in children's learning. Through such social interactions, children go through a continuous process of learning. Vygotsky noted, however, that culture profoundly influences this process. Imitation, guided learning, and collaborative learning all play a critical part in his theory. Major themes regarding social interaction include:


Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

The zone of proximal development is the zone of the closest, most immediate psychological development of the children that includes a wide range of their emotional, cognitive, and volitional psychological processes. It is the difference between what a learner can do without help, and what they can't do without teacher's assistance. Vygotsky argued that a child gets involved in a dialogue with the "knowledgeable other" such as a peer or an adult and gradually, through social interaction and sense-making, develops the ability to solve problems independently and do certain tasks without help. Our role of education is to give children experiences that are within their zones of proximal development, thereby encouraging and advancing their individual learning such as skills and strategies. 


The More Knowledgeable Other

Vygotsky conceived the more knowledgeable other as a person who has greater knowledge and skills than the learner. In many cases, this individual is an adult such as a parent or teacher. Children also learn a great deal from their interactions with their peers, and they often pay even greater attention to what their friends and classmates know and are doing than they do to the adults in their life. No matter who serves as the more knowledgeable other, the key is that they provide the needed social instruction with the zone of proximal development when the learner is so sensitive to guidance. Children can observe and imitate or even receive guided instruction to acquire the new knowledge and skills. R.I.S.E. features a terrific student-to-teacher ratio providing more focused guidance.


Sociocultural Theory 

Vygotsky also suggested that human development results from a dynamic interaction between individuals and society. Through this interaction, children learn gradually and continuously from parents and teachers. This learning, however, can vary from one culture to the next. At R.I.S.E. we emphasize the dynamic nature of this interaction. Society doesn't just impact people; people also affect their society.


In addition to Rossinca International STEAM Education Academy's classical time-tested Carden language arts program (with the latest teaching methodologies in math, science, STEM, liberal arts, and cultural studies), R.I.S.E. Academy incorporates Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory ensuring various aspects of development including social, emotional, and cognitive growth are instilled in R.I.S.E. students.


The R.I.S.E. Academy’s Faculty has worked together for over a decade to deliver seamless support of our students and parents from K – 8th Grade, assisting with their daily homework in study hall while coaching every child towards self-reliance, thinking independently to develop personal communication skills, emotional stability, and earned self-confidence. We work hard to help every child find her/his place in this world we share. Confidence is contagious. Our students build it daily, by challenging ideas and themselves. Extemporaneous speaking, collaborative presentation, speech and debate, and performing arts are woven into school assemblies, concerts, musicals and celebrations within and without the R.I.S.E. Academy.


To learn more about our school, please contact us at 408-495-3000 or email us at office@riseacademyusa.org. See our Campbell Campus today by scheduling your tour! 

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