Monday, March 4, 2013

Vygotsky on Children and Problem Solving

I looked at an article examining the different parts of social development Vygotsky observed in children, mainly those in the middle childhood stage (generally ages 6-11). One of the things I found interesting in the article was how younger children will often speak their thoughts aloud as a method of problem-solving, whereas by the middle childhood stage they are usually able to do this silently in their own heads. It made me wonder where the difference lies, what keeps younger children from being able to do so and what changes to prompt them to start to do it silently. It seems to be mainly the teachings of adults and older peers, as they guide younger children into completing tasks that they couldn't do on their own. There is a bit of a social stigma nowadays revolving around people who talk to themselves, but to me, at least, this seems to be a viable way of problem-solving, particularly if it is something most people do as children. Maybe with more complicated problems just by vocalizing them, even only to oneself, can help to work through it. After all, don't we all often hear that the best way to work through problems is to talk about them? Questions to think about, I guess. But hey, all I'm saying is that maybe the kids are onto something.

Vygotsky's Social Developmental Emphasis

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