On my view, Vygotsky’s theory is one of the theories that try to explain the cognitive development of achild. Lev Vygosky (1896-1934) postulated this theory. I also think that social interaction plays an important role in cognitive development.
The theory explains that social learning comes before development. The functions that a child develops are firstly social before being incorporated into individual level. The observation and participation in a given activity will later result to higher comprehension of the activity.
I have seen that, during the first years of development, a child will observe his or her mother take a call. Before the child understands anything, there is a lesson that a ringing phone stays close to the ears. It is no wonder that a child might even place a silent phone on the ear. This is interpsychological lesson between them mother and child.
In my opinion, language development as suggested by Vygosky has some truth. Language develops as an external tool for interacting with other people around. A baby will cry to demand something because, during that time, the thoughts cannot be turned into words. Even before learning to speak, a child learns to communicate with the people around.
In addition, a child learns other social experiences and what it means before intra-psychologically being able to comprehend what it means. Learning passes from a more knowledgeable other to another person who does not have the expertise.
A peer, for example, will cunningly convince an innocent to smoke a cigarette without knowing. After feeling the effects of smoking and internally experiencing difference from normal, the victim will understand smoking.
Through the interaction, persons who know how to do something and others who do not, learning occur. The difference between the ability to do an activity while under instructions and when not guided gives zone of proximal development (ZPD).
Consequently, learning occurs because of interaction in the zone of proximal development. A young scientist, for example, acquires the skill to use a pipette after either one or several trials.
In conclusion, it is imperative that there is social interaction for development to occur as suggested in Vygotsky theory. The interaction gives the opportunity to internalize what is happening around.