Child Care

Vygotsky sociocultural theory of child development has direct application towards the experiences of children in classroom settings (Berk, 2008). Vygotsky’s theory was that all people in a child’s environment were important to a child’s growth, which would apply directly to classroom settings. In 1945, Rene Spitz wrote concerning the high death of infants under one-year-of-age who resided in institutions (Spitz, 1945). Spitz noted that the reason for the high death rate was a lack of stimulation and not disease along with the absence of the mothers. The work of Spitz and other researchers supports Vygotsky’s ideas that a child is not only a product of their cultural environment, but also affects their environment (Berk, 2008). Vygotsky theorized that the various individuals in a child’s environment are not only required for successful growth and development, but also for life itself (Gordon &ump; Browne, 2010).
A classroom presents a perfect place for Vygotsky’s idea of a child o being surrounded with interactive people (Berk, 2008). According to Vygotsky, children are to be taught by instruction as well as by other people working with them in hands on situations. Vygotsky looked at a child’s development as a kind of apprenticeship for life. As Pressley and McCormick (2007) noted, creating a classroom environment conducive to providing an apprentice type of experience for children requires a very focused and energized teacher. A child learning and interacting within his surroundings builds language and cognitive growth as well as social skills for not only the child but also for the teachers (Gordon &ump; Browne, 2010; Jenkins &ump; Hewitt, 2010).
Vygotsky did not preclude other children from becoming stimulating parts of a child’s environment. A retired professor (personal communication, Nicholas Parashont, September 19, 2011) described an experience from his own adolescence. He was fifteen and his friend Johnny who was thirteen, was having trouble with a broad...