Classroom Dialogue and Learning

Dr Victoria Cook, Dr Louis Major, Dr Sara Hennessy with Farah Ahmed, Elisa Calcagni and other colleagues from the Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group (CEDiR) | View as single page | Feedback/Impact

The sociocultural perspective

From a sociocultural perspective, there is an important relationship between language and cognitive development. Vygotsky (1962, 1978) was one of the first theorists to recognise the importance of social interaction and language in cognitive development. For Vygotsky, language is both a cultural tool (for the development and sharing of knowledge) and a psychological tool (for the development of individual thought). He argued that the development of thinking is a result of the dynamic relationship between these two uses of language, with ‘intermental’ activity (social interaction) influencing the development of important ‘intramental’ capabilities (individual thinking). From this perspective, language is an important educational tool (Mercer & Howe, 2012).