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Interacting with Rad

Interacting with Rad

Assignment #2: Interacting with Rad

Relying on both textural information and at least two (3) outside references, write a three to five (3-5)
page report that answers the following:

  1. Describe the behavioral goal you set for Rad in Assignment #1.
  2. Choose either Bruner�s or Vygotsky�s Theory of cognitive development, and explain the
    fundamental tenets of the chosen theory.
  3. Describe the key ways that the approach to the desired goal would change with the chosen theory.
    Explain the assumptions to the chosen theory and the manner in which they may impact Rad or you as
    the Instructor.


Interacting with Rad

The quest to understand the development of a child physically, emotionally and even
intellectually, has attracted the attention of many theorist. The author deliberates on the
behavioral goals set for the previous assignment, explains fundamental tenets of Vygotsky’s
Theory of cognitive development and describes ways the approach to desired goals would
change with this theory selected, as well explains assumptions of the theory and its impacts on
Behavioral goal of Rad
In the assignment 1, the behavioral goal set for Rad was to inculcate positive values to
embrace and appreciate other people situations and feelings. Rad exemplifies bad habits such as
being forceful, violence, and throwing of tantrums to colleagues at school, and at home towards
the mother. Such behaviors need appropriate strategies for Rad to avoid them and collaborate
with others as well respect others feelings. Punishment and rewards can help Rad transform and
behave well towards other children and even his mother and teachers.
Tenets of Vygotsky’s Theory of cognitive development
Vygotsky’s Theory of cognitive development is one of the theories that for long time
remain relevant in understanding the cognitive development of children (Gredler, 2009). The
theorist- Vygotsky believed that the social community shapes the thinking of a child (Vygotsky


& Luria, 1994). The important tool that aids children to gain social knowledge is through
language. Vygotsky, theory of cognitive development gives credit to social cultural factors in
shaping the intellect of children as they develop.
The major tenets of the theory are developed from other theorists writing and
contributions such as Engels, and Marx, a, Spinoza and Hegel (Gredler, 2009). One of the tenets
argues that cognitive development is a complex dialectical process that changes always (Gredler,
2009). This means that child development is under continuous process of transformation as the
child learns new words and information. The second tenet is that people transform their thinking
as they develop mastery of their cognitive process (Gredler, 2009). Children are able to improve
and understand issues as they continue to understand the way their minds functions. The third
tenet argues that advanced thinking forms across human race develop based on historical
development (Gredler, 2009). This means that the present generations depend on the tools of the
previous generations in developing their thinking.
Furthermore, Vygotsky argues that the child learning happens through social interactions
with a tutor or a parent or even with peers with more understanding (Yilmaz, 2011). The teacher
models behaviors or provides instructions verbally as the child internalizes the information with
the use of a guide or through own performance regulation. The tenets are therefore based on the
two principles; Zone of Proximal Development and more knowledge other (MKO) (Gredler,
2012). MKO is someone that fills the gap because has higher understanding than the learner does
when it comes to handling particular task, understanding concepts, and processes. On the other
hand, zone of proximal development is the difference between the activities the child can handle
independently and those that require guidance and encouragement from someone skilled
(Gredler, 2009). Language is also an important part of the tenets in Vygotsky theory. Children


develop language from social interaction for the purpose of communication. Through language,
people convey information to children and are a powerful asset when it comes to promoting
intellectual adaptation. Imaginative play is also essential in the development of a child as it
enables them to make sense of the world. Thinking skills and their language use as well develops
through such plays.

Ways approaches to desired goals would change with this theory
In respect to this theory, the approaches will have to change to achieve the desired goal.
Teachers, parents, and Rad must collaborate to ensure behavior change. The role of the teachers
and parents will have to reduce over time for Rad to embrace positive behaviors (Gredler, 2012).
Rad as well should be allowed to engage in imaginative play, as this will contribute to
development of his thinking and better understanding of the world. Parents and teachers on some
occasions will be expected to use instructional approaches in structuring tasks for Rad to change
his behaviors. They as well should use language to communicate with Rad to influence his
behaviors and actions. Advanced peers in his class can as well help him to change his behaviors
to achieve the behavioral goal.
Assumptions of the theory and its impact on Rad
The theory has various assumptions. One of the assumptions is that through formal and
informal conversations as well as education, parents or adult pass unto their children their ways
of interpreting culture and approaches concerning the world (Levykh, 2008). Through their
interactions, older people share with their children the meaning they assign to events, objects,
and experiences. Going back to the example of Rad, teachers and parents have experience and
need to direct him to behave well by avoiding violent behaviors. The theory as well assumes that


language and thought in the first few years is more independent as opposed to later years. The
child places more emphasis on what they are taught and through messages communicated. The
third assumption is that complex mental process on children starts as social activities. Children
internalize processes gradually as they develop, hence use the same independently in social
contexts. If Rad is not corrected, he will internalize the bad acts as he grows into adulthood.
Therefore, through initiatives to change his behaviors, he will slowly learn to adjust and to
behave well as he internalizes what he is told by the seniors (Yilmaz, 2011). The fourth
assumption is the notion that children have the capability to perform challenging tasks if assisted
by competent or advanced people (Gillen, 2000). Rad requires assurance and encouragement
from parents and teachers that he can change his bad habits. The fifth assumption of the theory
argues that challenging tasks are helpful when it comes to promoting or ensuring maximum
cognitive growth also described as zone of proximal development by Vygotsky (Levykh, 2008).
The final assumption asserts that allowing children to play makes them stretch their cognitive.
Through play, children can take up roles that they are unable to play in real situations. In the case
of Rad, he can take up other roles when playing to help in behavior modifications. For instance,
he can take up a role of a child to enable him adjust his behaviors. Such arrangements can help
achieve the desired goal.
The assumptions as well impact on the instructors. An instructor must understand the
process of human intellectual development to adapt to appropriate learning and teaching
strategies. Instructors should provide a conducive environment to transform the thinking
capability of the children. Instructors should therefore, collaborate with the children to achieve
the goal of behavior change in children such as Rad.


Theories provide frameworks to understand behaviors as well approaches to solve
problems better. Understanding the cognitive development of a child is therefore important to
provide guidance on the suitable approaches to promote their learning. Vygotsky’s Theory of
cognitive development s has provided insights on the child development. Social interactions play
a major role in the cognitive development of a child. Therefore, the environment must remain
conducive to promote effective learning. Children like Rad can change behaviors if they get
support from their parents and teachers.



Gredler, M. E. (2009). Hiding in Plain Sight: The Stages of Mastery/Self-Regulation in
Vygotsky’s Cultural-Historical Theory. Educational Psychologist, 44(1), 1-19.
Gredler, M. (2012). Understanding Vygotsky for the Classroom: Is It Too Late?. Educational
Psychology Review, 24(1), 113-131.
Gillen, J. (2000). Visions of Vygotsky. British Journal of Educational Studies, 48(2), 183–198
Levykh, M. G. (2008). The Affective Establishment and Maintenance of Vygotsky’s Zone of
Proximal Development. Educational Theory, 58(1), 83-101.
Vygotsky, L. S., & Luria, A. R. (1994). Tool and symbol in child development. In R. van der
Veer & J. Valsiner (Eds.),The Vygotsky reader(pp. 99–174). Cambridge: Blackwell.
Yilmaz, K. (2011). The Cognitive Perspective on Learning: Its Theoretical Underpinnings and
Implications for Classroom Practices. Clearing House, 84(5), 204-212.

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