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ERIC Number: ED377473
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Vygotsky and the Socialization of Literacy.
Doolittle, Peter E.
An activity has been used successfully for several years in a middle-school computer class to integrate writing instruction with computer science. Taking approximately five class periods, the activity consists of three phases: (1) the 6th-grade students use paper and pencil to write a story in any literary format; (2) 11th- and 12th-grade volunteer editors from a typing and word processing class help the students edit the stories; and (3) the editors and authors work collaboratively to enter the text of the story into a desktop publishing program. The activity never fails to capture the imaginations of the students. The activity is repeated three or four times before the end of the trimester. The stories become more intricate and need less editing as students repeatedly participate in the activity. The students also become proficient at publishing their own text. The theoretical background to explain why the activity is successful lies in Lev Vygotsky's theory of the zone of proximal development. He proposed that a child's immediate potential for cognitive development is bounded on the lower end by that which the child can accomplish with the help of a more knowledgeable other. Three aspects are crucial: the use of whole activities, the need for social interaction, and change or growth. These concepts may be applied to numerous activities, in diverse domains, in many classrooms, including science and mathematics classrooms. The underlying assumption behind these concepts and activities is that cognitive development and instruction are socially embedded. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A