Ideas > Architects of the Intellect > Vygotsky: Social Interactions

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Social Interactions

Vygotsky's (1978) theory suggests that one learns first through a social setting of person to person interactions and then personally through an internalization process that leads to deep understanding. This belief in the socialization process of idea-making permeates the essence of the interactive classroom.

Student to student engagements range from small groups of kids bent over the map of the Anarctica, deep in discussion of human survival, to pairs of students going head to head as they debate the most efficient method to solve the "tower problem".

To see the incredible influence of Vygotsky's designs, one need only look at the innumerable studies focused on classroom interaction patterns.

Teacher to student interactions bridge the spectrum from a teacher-directed whole group discussion on the changes in Pip's character as he evolves in Great Expectations to the skillful questioning orchestrated by the teacher as one student illustrates her understanding of the Pythagorean Theory . Reflective probing by the teacher guides the social interactions in the classroom and is evidence of the influence of Vygotsky's thinking.