Kudos to René! --
Cognition in Childhood
Theories and Models of Cognition
René van der Veer
First published: 13 January 2020
Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist active in the 1920s and early 1930s. He developed a theory of human development that emphasized the role of education and language. In his view, language not only serves communication but also allows children to regulate their behavior. Communicative speech undergoes a series of transformations and becomes inner speech. Vygotsky believed school instruction to be important because it introduces academic concepts, which ideally lead children to think more rationally. Instruction at large is essential, because it creates children's zone of proximal development. This is why it is important to establish children's ability to profit from cues, models, and other forms of mediation. In doing so, we get an idea of children's learning potential. Although many of Vygotsky's ideas will have to be amended, his general approach continues to inspire modern research.