Lev Vygotsky (1896 – 1934)

  • Vygotsky’s basic premise was that social interaction plays an important role in intellectual development
  • The child’s development appears twice – first on the social level, then on an individual level
  • He believed  skills develop to a higher level with adult guidance or peer collaboration (social interaction)
  • His theory attempts to explain consciousness as the end product of socialization – ie. The learning of language is first for communication, it then becomes internalized and allows “inner speech”

Robert Coles (1929 – )

  • Learning occurs through life’s stories
  • He found children possess a keen moral sensitivity to ideas and values, what is right and wrong, and to the reasons underlying what people do, feel and think
  • Children are concerned morally with issues linked to their everyday lives
  • Decide what is right and wrong from their observations of life around them
  • Moral standards come to be set aside as children reflect the values of society
  • Children’s political lives come to merge with their moral lives – this learning coming from parents, school, peers
  • The connection between stories and volunteer service has a transforming influence on those who participate – that volunteer service should be an essential component of higher education

Carol Gilligan (1936 – )

  • Critical of Kohlberg’s theory  – his study was biased against women as only males were participants
  • Her view – the morality of caring and responsibility is premised in nonviolence, whereas

the morality of justice and rights is based on equality

  • She emphasized gender differences
    • the morality of care is not to turn away from someone in need – it emphasizes an interconnectedness and emerges to a greater degree in girls thought to stem from the early connection in identity formation with their mothers
    • the morality of justice emerges within the context of coordinating interactions of ourselves which is more prevalent in boys as the relationship with their mothers is separate and individuate from their mother
    • for boys there is an awareness of differences in power relations between self and adults – leads to a concern over inequalities
    • for girls because of their attachment to their mothers, they are not as aware of inequalities and fairness as an issue

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