Born November 17, 1896 - June 11, 1934
Died from Tuberculosis at a very young age of 37
Mainly worked in developmental psychology and proposed a theory of development of higher cognitive functions for children.
Came up with the concept of the "Zone of Proximal Development" or ZPD. The idea is that a child follows an adult's example and develops the ability to do certain task without help.
Vygotsky and some educators believed that education played a major role in giving children experience, therefore encouraging advancing their individual learning.
He also has a process called "Socio Cultural Development"
In essence a growing child should have a strong support or a role model in help start a task, or more complex studies like puzzles. Cooperative assistance is key to letting a person grow and expand.
Concepts In Action
When children are young they use certain objects or things as a pivot to do things that they cannot because they are not old enough or not capable of doing so. As the children get older the reliance on pivots and such diminishes. They have "internalized " these pivots as imagination and can understand the world better.
He has created many works including "Instrumental" (1920). In this book he goes in depth on cultural mediation and internalization. He explained internalization as in one respect as "knowing how".
Other works include "Mind in Society" and "Thought and language" that have been translated to English and are easily accessible.
Application of his Theory Today
His theory is used widespread especially in the classroom as teachers need to study and find out what the most effective way of teaching their students are. How far should I push them? How much homework? Ect. Ect.
The principle that he argues was that play leads to development. It helps with development, builds character, and achieve a mastery of abstract thought.