Kaprov’s The Neo-Vygotskian Approach to Child Development
Chapter 5: Three to Six Year Olds: Socio-drama Play as Learning
1. Describe Socio-drama play as the leading activity during early childhood, according to Vygotsky, 2 paragraphs. In your discussion, cite 2 theorists and their research.
Lev Vygotsky, believed sociodramatic play inspires the development of conceptual thought. In his theory he emphasized that development is directed by culture and social interaction through play. Vygotsky and Elkonin studied how play stimulates self-regulation skills in children. In dramatic play, a child follows a role and the rules of that role (Karpov, 2005 p. 140). Their investigation indicated that preschool teachers could foster the development of self-regulation by allowing students to create and participate in various types of role-play. The issues of adults’ involvement in children’s pretend play has been controversial. Theorist like Freud have dispute that adults should not interfere in child’s play. However, Vygotsky, believed adults could provide support to young children to help them to reach higher levels. Studies were done in a kindergarten class located in Israel, a team of teachers followed Vygotsky’s theory of play, which points higher mental functions to social dialogue. The findings of sociodramatic play are that it is important for development in many areas. Young children not only obtain knowledge through play, but they express and represent their ideas, thoughts, and feelings when absorbed in socio-dramatic play. It was also suggested that socio-dramatic play should be an important part of the preschool curriculum.
According to Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, self-regulation is an outcome of socio-dramatic play. Skills acquired socially or from the external environment, as through dialogue are adopted and then acted on. This process is demonstrated during socio-dramatic play. During socio-dramatic play, while children are mimicking adults, they are required to follow rules and social norms. They engage in higher-level tasks and complex socio-dramatic play, which involves Vygotsky’s notion of the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Vygotsky felt that children’s ZPD involved skills that are not yet fully developed but are ‘on the edge of emerging’ and will emerge if the child is given proper support. Adult mediation in sociodramatic play is a “major determinant”. The Neo-Vygotskian view is that play is “anything but natural phenomenon in children’s life.” (Karpov, 2005 p. 151). Furthermore, when a child is involved in sociodramatic play, private speech is often sourced. The findings suggested that sociodramatic play improved self-regulation in preschoolers. Additionally, as children self-regulate, they need less adult assistant/ mediation. Moreover, it was discovered that it is through the activities planned by the preschool teacher and the interaction skills that inspires and cultivates sociodramatic play. Additionally, self-regulation prepares preschoolers for the challenges of school.
2. Briefly describe Smilansky and Shefatya's research, 2 paragraphs. What is your opinion of their work, why, list your reasons for your answer.
There has been a great deal of analysis about play over many decades. In overall the research shows strong links between creative play and language, physical, cognitive, and social development. According to researchers Smilansky and Shefatya, children who show the greatest capacities for social make-believe play also display more imagination and less anger, and a greater ability to use language for speaking and understanding others (Karpov, 2005 p. 149).
A study compared 3- to 6.6-year-old children in low-SES backgrounds in mediation of sociodramatic play in 3 groups. “Only 30% of them were engaged in any sort of dramatic play, and only 10% engaged in sociodramatic play.” (Karpov, 2005 p.147) The children who were involved in