Lev Semenovich Vygotsky was born in 1896 (Mooney, 2013; Lowe, 2008). Vygotsky was Jewish, and it was a hard time for his community during the time he grew up (Lowe, 2008). Fortunately, he was from a middle-class family that supported his studies. (Mooney, 2013). Graduating from the University of Moscow, Vygotsky taught literature in secondary school where his interest in how people learn got sparked (Mooney, 2013). Vygotsky was especially interested in children and their approach to learning (Mooney, 2013). He observed that children at same developmental level shown different learning ability, which is a critical discovery to the development of his later theories (Mooney, 2013). Vygotsky died at a very young age of thirty-eight, which was a loss to the field of early learning, but his work, including Vygotsky’s sociocultural perspective, has gained a lot of attention recently, and it provides a theoretical basis for other researchers in the field (Mooney, 2013).
Vygotsky believed that the sociocultural perspective is essential for children’s learning (Rathus, 2013). “Socio-cultural” refers to the environment surrounding the children is constructed by their families, communities, socioeconomic status, education, and culture (Mooney, 2013). According to sociocultural perspective, in addition to personal experience, children as social beings also learn from values and beliefs of adults and other children, because children are adaptive members of a society who are influenced by the one’s social interactions and cultural background. (Mooney, 2013; Rathus, 2013). Sociocultural perspective addresses the effect on children of human diversity including factors such as ethnicity and gender (Rathus, 2013).
First, the scaffold is an analogy to starting construction a building (Rathus, 2013). Specific to the developmental process, scaffolding is a process that temporary cognitive structures or methods of solving problems help the children learn to function independently (Rathus, 2013). In most cases, those scaffolds, problem-solving methods, are provided by teacher and parents. For example, parents may teach children to use their fingers and toes as a scaffold to do simple calculations at first (Rathus, 2013). As the children keep learning and forming permanent cognitive structures for math, the finger-toe calculator will not be needed (Rathus, 2013).
Second, private speech is also called inner speech (Rathus, 2013). Vygotsky believed that children at a very young age would think out loud because the thinking and speaking are united, and language is simply a convey of thoughts (Rathus, 2013). For example, a three-year-old often give oneself instructions verbally as one plays with toys (Rathus, 2013). However, the language would gradually be internalized, and the private/inner speech is the ultimate binding of language and thought (Rathus, 2013). As a result, the three-year-old may not speak much while he or she plays with toys as one grows older....