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Socio Cultural Dimensions Of Learning

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Learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations, and communication with others. Learning can be enhanced when the learner has an opportunity to interact and to collaborate with others on instructional tasks. Learning settings that allow social interactions, and respect for diversity encourage flexible thinking and social competence. In interactive and collaborative instructional contexts, individuals have an opportunity for perspective taking and replective thinking that may lead to higher levels of cognitive, social and moral development, as well as self-esteem. Quality personal relationships that provide stability, trust, and caring can increase the learner’s sense of belonging, self-respect and self-acceptance, and provide a positive climate for learning.

Family influences, positive interpersonal support and instruction in self-motivation strategies can offset factors that interfere with optimal learning such as negative beliefs about competence in a particular subject, high levels of test anxiety, negative sex role expectations, and undue pressure to perform well Positive learning climates can also help to establish the context for healthier levels of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Such contexts help learners feel safe to share ideas, actively participate in the learning process, and create a learning community. Culture is a broad and encompassing concept. Often, we equate culture with race or ethnic identity but that is not always the case. Culture refers to characteristics of the individual/society or of some subgroups with the society…(it) includes values, beliefs, notions about acceptable and unacceptable behavior and other socially constructed ideas that members of the culture are taught are “true” It is also defined as the shared products of a human group of society. Although culture is shared, it must be learned by each new generation, through the process of social instruction.

The sociology of culture shows that our way of thinking and categorizing, our hopes and fears, our likes and dislikes and our beliefs and habits are social creations, strongly influenced by the time and place in which we live. Even so, culture does not dictate thoughts and behavior- it leaves room for action. Each culture is different because it is adapted to meet a specific set of conditions both physical and social factors help shape a particular culture…In short, culture governs how we think and feel. It shapes our beliefs about what it important in life and our interpretations of what events mean. As our world continues to change, students interact with others with quite different backgrounds from their own, especially in the classroom. 8.The manner in which they respond to others who seem different can have an impact on their success in school, work and harmonious relationship with others. If they take time and make the effort to understand these differences, they may develop better relationships and succeed academically.

Lev Vygotsky – was born in Russia in 1896. – His work began when he was study-ying learning and development to im-prove his own teaching. – he was a Russian psychologist who lived during Russian revolution. Vygotsky’s work was largely unkown to the West until it was published in 1962. In his lifetime, he wrote on language, thought, psychology of art, learning and development, and educating students with special needs. Vygotsky’s ideas about language, culture, and cognitive development have become major influences in psychology and education today. Social Development Theory argues that social interaction precedes development, consciousness and cognition are the end product of socialization and social behavior.

Three Major Themes of Social Development Theory  Social Interaction  More Knowledgeable other (MKO)  The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) 13.Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development. In contrast to Jean Peaget’s understanding of child development. (in which development necessarily precede learning) Vygotsky felt social learning precede development. He states “ Every function in the child cultural development appears twice: first —- On the social level and later, on the individual level, first between people (interpsychological) And then inside the child ( intrapsychological) 2. The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) Refers to anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. The MKO normally thought of as being teacher, coach or older adult, but the MKO could also be peers, a younger, or even a computers. 3. The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)- is the distance between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance and or/peer collaboration and the students ability solving the problem independently.

According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in this zone. Scaffolding should involve the judicious assistance given by the adult or peer so that the child can move from the zone of actual to the zone of proximal development. As a learner become more proficient, able to complete tasks on their own that they could not initially do without assistance. The guidance can be withdrawn this is called scaffold and fade- away technique. 17.Scaffolding when done appropriately can make a learner confident an eventually he can accomplish the task without any need for assistance. 18.INSTRUCTION With scaffolding L E A R Zone of Pro- N ximal Develop I ment (ZPD) N G 19.Language Opens the door for learners to acquire knowledge that others already have. Learners can use language to know and understand the world and solve problems. 20.It helps the learner regulate and reflect on his own thinking. Children talk to themselves.

For Vygotsky, this “talking-to-onself” is an indication of the thinking that goes on the mind of the child. This will eventually lead to private speech. Private Speech A form of self –talk that guides the child’s thinking and action. Vygotsky believed in the essential role of activities in learning. Children learn best through hands-on activities than when listening passively. Learning by doing is even made more fruitful when children interact with knowledgeable adults and peers. Many schools have traditionally held a transmissionist or instructionist model, in which a teacher or lecturer “ transmits” information to students. In contrast Vygotsky’s theory promotes learning context in which students play an active role in learning. Meaning role of teacher and students are therefore shifted, as a teacher should collaborate with his or her students in order to facilitate meaning construction in students. Learning therefore become a reciprocal experience for the students and teacher. 23.“ Train up a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart form it.” Proverbs 22: 6 Reported by: Veronica L. Asuncion

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