Developing Socially: Vygotskian Theory and LIS
Filed under: Parenting

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The rising social constructivist metaphor stands in contrast to traditional approaches to LIS research, which focused on individuals, their information needs, and independent seeking strategies [23, 24].

While studies of youth IB have found that information-seeking supports the developing social self (e.g., [16, 18-20, 22]), information-seeking among youth has Shoes Online not been situated as a social practice.

The current study goes one step further in not only recognizing social manifestations of IB but also suggesting a social ontogenesis of that behavior in youth. Agosto and Hughes-Hassel’s [18-20] study of urban teens, for example, appears to understate the critical importance of social factors in the development of young adults.

They present a theoretical and empirical model of the urban teenager, incorporating seven aspects of the developing self. While their model situates the “social self” equally among six other areas, including the emotional, reflective, physical, creative, cognitive, and sexual selves, their qualitative data suggest that the social self is the crux and driving force behind these other aspects.

The sexual self, for example, is discovered, explored, and actualized only in relation to other people. An-thony Bernier reminds us, in a recent collection of youth information-seeking behavior research: “Like it or not, all adolescent literacy acts come embedded in social contexts” [25, p. xviii].

The social constructivist metaphor is based in the developmental theory of Vygotsky, developed and refined in theories of situated action and learning (see also [26, 27]). Vygotsky [3, 4] conceived of adolescence as a critical period in the development of children’s mental and social functioning.

Qualitative changes in social development and meaning-making define this period. Preteens begin to think conceptually and to take steps toward the formation of Cheap Shoes higher mental processes. They also begin to grasp their own personality, the outward reality that surrounds them, and the “self” in relation to broader social structures.

Tweens can conceptualize activity and its consequences through reflection and metacognition that younger children cannot [28, 29]. Conceptions of morality develop, although moral concepts and behavior may not be aligned.

The issue of fairness becomes paramount, as preteens become cognizant of the choices that others make with regard to their lives. More complex relationships among preteens, their peers, and adults drive this process forward. This is similar to the stage that Jean Piaget [30] defines as “formal operations.”

The emphasis on relationships distinguishes Vygotsky’s work from that of his contemporary, Piaget, who presented stages that were predetermined and highly internalized. Vygotsky writes: “Human learning presupposes a specific social nature and process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them” [3, p. 88].

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