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Sociocultural Approaches To Learning And Development: A Vygotskian Framework

V. John-Steiner, H. Mahn
Published 1996 · Sociology

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Sociocultural approaches emphasize the interdependence of social and individual processes in the coconstruction of knowledge. This article uses three central tenets of a Vygotskian framework to examine the relation between learning and development: (a) social sources of individual development, (b) semiotic (signs and symbols, including language) mediation in human development, and (c) genetic (developmental) analysis. The role played by culture and language in human development is an essential aspect of the Vygotskian framework and provides an overarching theme for this article. The methodological foundation of this framework is examined, particularly as it contrasts with other perspectives on the process of internalization of social interaction in the construction of knowledge. The article concludes by surveying sociocultural research on and applications to classroom learning and teaching, particularly that which examines the role of collaboration.
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