Vygotsky Theory

Vygotsky Theory: major elements and it’s role in Education


Vygotsky’s theory is the theory given by Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934). He was a Russian psychologist. Who propounded the socio-cultural theory which is also known as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).

According to Vygotsky, proper guidance or direction is needed to get the students to learn or develop and the students get this guidance and direction from the society and culture.

Vygotsky is called a structuralist. Vygotsky’s theory is also seen as a theory of learning in psychology and child psychology.

According to this theory by Vygotsky, the development of the child is done by society.

Vygotsky attaches an important place to social and cultural theories in the all-round development of the child. This theory of Vygotsky is also known as the Socio-cultural theory.

Today, through this post, we will know what is Vygotsky’s Socio-cultural Theory (Vygotsky Theory). This post can prove to be very beneficial for you for your CTET, UPTET, UTET, KVS, NVS, etc exams.

Vygotsky’s Socio-Cultural Theory (Vygotsky Theory)

Vygotsky was a creative-minded person who explained the cognitive development of students on the basis of social and cultural principles.

While Jean Piaget’s theory bases age on cognitive development, Vygotsky bases social and cultural theories on cognitive development.

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According to this theory of Vygotsky, the child learns through imitation by living in society and culture.

According to him, the child develops himself by interacting with society. Vygotsky propounds his theory by keeping society at the center.

Vygotsky gives an important place to –

  1. social interaction
  2. language, and
  3. culture

in the cognitive development of the child.

These three elements of his cognitive development are the basis, as he makes the entire explanation of his theory on the basis of these three.

  • Social Interaction – According to Vygotsky, children develop their cognitive development after getting directions from society and they do this process of development on the basis of imitation.
  • Language – Vygotsky considers language as a tool for cognitive development. With the help of this, the child interacts with society and culture. According to Vygotsky, in the absence of language, a person cannot develop his cognitive.

According to Vygotsky – “Communication with others is an important factor in the development of a child’s language.”

  • Culture – Culture has its own important contribution to Vygotsky’s theory. Culture develops moral values ​​in the child, inspires a man to behave decently and the child also learns all this through imitation.

Vygotsky also gives an important place to 3 other elements in his socio-cultural theory. which are considered the basis of this theory.

These three elements are known as ZPD, MKO, and Scaffolding. So let’s try to know it in detail.

1. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

According to Vygotsky’s Zone of Possible Development (ZPD), a person needs the help of another person to learn at this stage, which means in the absence of other knowledgeable people, a person’s development is not possible.

In this area of ​​development, the person needs proper direction and with the help of this, the person is able to achieve the goal ahead of him.

According to this concept, in this level, a person gets the solution to his problems through his friend or any of his relatives.

According to Vygotsky students learn to do individual learning in this stage and they feel very eager to adopt new ideas.

Example – Children acquire a lot of knowledge by staying at home without going to school. But to solve the problems arising from the points in which they face problems, they learn with the help of teachers and their friends and this is called Vygotsky ZPD.

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2. More Knowledgeable Other (MKO)

Vygotsky’s MKO refers to a person who has more knowledge, experience, and skill than the person who learns.

For example, a child who is ignorant, a teacher who is a storehouse of knowledge. In such a situation, the learner is able to do his best cognitive development.

According to Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, if the learner has more intelligence than the teacher or has the same intelligence, then in such a situation the cognitive development of the child will not be done well.

In simple words, for the cognitive development of the child, the person who is the teacher must have more knowledge than the person who is the learner. It is called More Knowledgeable Other (MKO).

3. Framework / Scaffolding

According to Vygotsky, a child needs a framework for learning, that is, a ladder that can lead him to that peak of learning, by reaching the peak, he can solve all the problems that come under his learning periphery.

This framework is essential for the better development of the student’s experience, skills, and knowledge. Under this, the student makes his cognitive development sequentially.

1. Vygotsky gives an important place to society and culture for the cognitive development of the child.

2. According to this theory, learning first is essential for development.

3. According to this theory, the qualities of cognitive development are already present in the student, but the work of bringing out these qualities is done by society and culture.

4. Vygotsky considers social interaction, language, and culture to be very important for the cognitive development of the child.

5. Vygotsky considered the concepts of ZPD, MKO, and Scaffolding essential for student learning.

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Difference Between Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Theory

  • Vygotsky gives importance to society and culture for the cognitive development of the child, while Piaget gives importance to age for cognitive development.
  • Vygotsky was a person with social structural views and Piaget was a person with cognitive structural views.
  • Vygotsky considers guidance to be essential for learning and Piaget considers learning to be a part of self-activation.
  • According to Vygotsky, first thoughts are born in the child, later on, the language Piaget believes exactly the opposite.

Role of Vygotsky Theory in Education

This theory has an important contribution to the field of education. This principle is used in the present education system to make students learn.

It gives confidence to the teacher, that through them the cognitive development of the students can be done in a better way.

It is very beneficial for simplifying any complex topic and making the teaching process effective. This theory of Vygotsky works to connect the child with society and culture. Which are helpful in developing the moral values ​​of the student.


Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory is an important part of the theory of learning. It serves to show the role of society and culture in the development of students.

It gives an important place to the guidance and guidelines received by society for the cognitive development of students.

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