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Socio Cultural View Of Psychology Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

The Socio-Cultural View of Psychology
200840-PSY-2012-21Z-General Psychology 1
Word Count: 1,205

The Socio-Cultural View of Psychology


The effects of Socio-Cultural development and learning can be seen in many facets of life in the twenty first century. When first beginning to write this essay, I had no clue where it would lead, and believed that it would be somewhat boring. Much to my surprise I was able to tie it into something that I was involved with a few years ago. This essay will show how unbeknownst to me, I witnessed difficulties in learning due to cultural differences while teaching people from other countries to fly helicopters.

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He then started to study the individual human development with respect to their surroundings and culture.
Vygotsky coined the phrase “cultural mediation”, which in effect means that adults or care givers will assist a child in understanding a principle or concept. Once understood, the child will associate certain actions and relate them to their “learned” culture. One of the best examples would be the one given on Wikepedia. (Wikepedia). Imagine a four year old girl sitting down on her birthday in front of a cake with candles. She feels joy and happiness, not because of the cake, and for how good she knows it will taste, but for what it represents in her culture. The cake and candles have far reaching meaning than just the cake, it means she is one year older and is growing up. The cake has meanings that are shown to her by her culture. So in effect, by growing up in a certain cultural background, a child will learn how to think and react to certain situations that would be acceptable in that particular culture.
Building on Vygotsky’s theory, Wood, Bruner and Ross, (Wood, Bruner and Ross.1976), coined the phrase “scaffolding”. They used it to describe the way in which an adult or teacher assists a child in learning. In essence, when teaching a complex task, initially, the teacher would complete the more difficult portions of the task, and as the child or learner progresses and get more competent, the teacher would slowly give less assistance. This metaphor is based upon the construction of a building—initially the building requires support or “scaffolding”, but as the building takes shape and gains strength, less scaffolding is required, and is therefore removed.
How these techniques are used in today’s world:
These same techniques are used in many forms of training today, not just with children but also in adult education. One area in which “scaffolding” is used is the task of teaching someone to fly a helicopter. A helicopter has four main controls, the collective lever, cyclic stick, anti-torque pedals and the throttle. Each of the controls has an effect on the aircraft, which in turn requires the manipulation of the other three controls. The cyclic for example controls your position over the ground; imagine balancing a broomstick upright on your finger—the movement of your hand equates to one control on the helicopter. If the broomstick starts to fall, you have to move your whole body laterally over the ground by moving your feet, and then the cycle begins again. While learning to manipulate a helicopter, there is way too much for a student to handle initially, therefore the instructor will normally operate three of the four controls, and allow the student to...

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