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Vygotsky, Mead, and Internalization

Diposting oleh belajarpsikologi on 26 November 2010
Vygotsky, Mead, and Internalization
Attempting to develop a psychological theory based on dialectical materialism, L. S. Vygotsky (1978) also assumed that cognitive advances are rooted in social interaction. The central process was described as “internalization,” through which the child acquires both equipment for thinking and the social rules governing the use of this equipment. For social interaction to lead to cognitive development, conversation and modeling must occur within the “zone of proximal development,” defined as the difference between what the child can accomplish independently and what can be achieved with the help of others, and must involve problem-solving attempts tuned to a level just beyond the child’s own. 
These exchanges initially induce cognitive change at an external (social) level that gradually becomes “interiorized.” The child is an active participant in these events, so that internalized skills are not necessarily identical to what the socializing agent represents. Moreover, they are generalized and abstract, not situation specific (Rogoff, 1998).
Vygotsky, Mead, and Internalization
Across the world’s cultures, the social interaction needed for cognitive development occurs with individuals of many different ages. While expert collaborators are usually needed for the social interactions that lead to internalization, effective collaborators are not always adults. In fact, experience with peers is significant in social and cognitive development, because play and child-caretaking offer many learning opportunities rarely found in interaction with adults. George Herbert Mead (1934) shared the idea that cognitive attributes originate in social interaction. Most readers associate this writer with his notions about the social origins of the self, but these notions were actually part of a more general theory, whereby social interaction is understood to be the main vehicle driving cognitive development. Within conversations and gestures (a broader construct than hand waving) lies the basis
Vygotsky, Mead, and Internalization


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