Developmental Theory Lev Vygotsky

Categories: LearningPetaTheory

Peta grew up with many different incidents throughout life. She experienced the devastating loss of her father in a terrorist attack that shook the entire nation and other negative incidents. Although she had many different negative incidents in her life, she also had some great ones. The cornerstone concept of Lev Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory is his zone of proximal development. ZPD is the area in which development occurs and is determined by autonomous problem solving and the achievable development determined through problem-solving with help from adults, peers, etc.

This theory works well with Peta’s life because of the people that are in her life and the people who influence her to be the way she is.


As an infant, Peta developed at a normal continual rate. She was growing progressively well both cognitively and physically. Amanda was a high school nurse and after giving birth to Peta, she had taken her maternity leave. Amanda questioned whether she should take her full leave or if she should only take a short leave.

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She decided to take the full leave due to the fact that there were not many childcare options due to the lack of financial abilities. Steven took two weeks off from work to stay home and help out as much as possible. Although Steven helped Amanda, they would often argue in front of Peta due to exhaustion from Peta crying throughout the nights.

After her twelve weeks of maternity leave were over, Steven agreed to switch his shifts to work nights so he could take care of Peta during the day and Amanda would take care of her at night so they would not have to spend money on childcare.

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In this time, Peta would engage in the concept of “spontaneous” learning. Peta would learn through observing, having direct experience with, and participating in her home life with her family and environment. At the age of one, Peta was put into daycare.  Steven had grown tired and exhausted of working night shifts to only come home and not be able to rest properly due to his responsibility of taking care of Peta.

Amanda would drop Peta off at the daycare in the mornings and would pick her up every other day due to Steven still being at work by the time she was out. Amanda’s mother had just retired and had offered to take care of Peta for the other two days of the workweek. Gradually, Peta began to recognize the workers at the daycare and gradually stopped crying when Amanda would drop her off. At daycare, Peta would interact with other toddlers, play games, listen to songs, and would be well taken care of. At this time, no counseling interventions are needed due to the fact that Peta is developing soundly both cognitively and physically.


After about a year at daycare, Amanda and Steven decided to put Peta into preschool. Peta, now at the age of two, noticed the change and began crying when Amanda would drop her off, however, she shortly stopped crying after being dropped off. At this age, Peta was now walking, talking, and was already potty trained. According to Vygotsky, the most crucial component in the development of a child’s speech and thoughts occurs around the age of two. At this age, children begin to link thoughts and speech in order to communicate with others. Now at preschool, Peta began to engage in the concept known as “scientific” learning. “Scientific” learning refers to schooling and a curriculum-based area of learning. Along with this, Peta’s ZPD is now extended to her teachers, who, according to Vygotsky, can help her accomplish tasks and can provide appropriate attention so that Peta can master this developmental level.

At the age of three, Peta continued preschool. Things in her life had pretty much stayed the same school wise, other than her learning increasing. In the past year, Peta had witnessed her parent’s argue on many different occasions. Steven’s drinking caused most of the arguments and because he was aware of that, he would become very defensive and aggressive but never became physical with Amanda or Peta. Although Peta was are of what was going on and the reasoning behind most of the fighting, it did not affect her relationship with Steven. Being that Steven often worked long shifts, Peta was happy to see him whenever she could because she knew her time with him would be limited. A counseling intervention that should be implicated here would be marital counseling. Steven and Amanda need to work on their problems and not aggressively argue in front of Peta.

Early Childhood

Peta is now four years old and has started Pre-K. Peta is now very vocal and loves to talk to people, play with neighbors, and loves to sing and make up songs with Amanda. At the beginning of the year, Peta found out the Amanda was pregnant and that she would be getting a brother very soon. While she wanted a sister, she was still happy to get a sibling. After her brother Casey was born and brought home, Peta noticed a shift from her parents. She noticed that most of the attention was on Casey and not on her anymore. Peta was ok was this shift in attention because it made her feel like a big girl. Peta was able to do most things on her own now and would often help her parents with Casey.

At this age, Peta can now brush her own hair and teeth, can count up to ten easily, and can dress her self. Peta loves doing things by her self so she can impress Steven and Amanda and see their happy faces. Peta also loves going to school and learning. Peta is now five years old and going to kindergarten. Both her cognitive and physical development is progressing well and on track. This year, Peta learned how to read and learned how to write the alphabet. At the age of six, Peta is in first grade. Peta is now learning many different, new subjects and enjoys all of her classes but her favorites are art, music, and gym. These classes allow Peta to express herself and she finds them the most fun. During these past two years, Vygotsky’s concept of scaffolding occurs in school.

Scaffolding is the concept where teachers, adults, and even previous experiences collaboratively interacted with Peta to guide her learning and independence . For the past three years, Steven and Amanda’s arguments have tremendously decreased. Steven and Amanda decided to work on their communication now with two kids in the house and Steven has completely stopped drinking. At this time, no noticeable counseling interventions are needed due to the fact that Peta is developmentally sound and that Steven and Amanda are not arguing as often.


  1. Daneshfar, S., & Moharami, M. (2018). Dynamic Assessment in Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory: Origins and Main Concepts. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 9(3), 600–607.
  2. Dimitrova, N. (2013). It Takes More Than Mean-End Differentiation to Intentionally Communicate in Infancy. A Semiotic Perspective on Early Communication Development. Cultural-Historical Psychology, (3), 81–89. Retrieved from
  3. Durán, L. (2018). Understanding Young Children’s Everyday Biliteracy: “Spontaneous” and “Scientific” Influences on Learning. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 18(1), 71–96. Retrieved from
  4. Gilbert, J. L. (2001). Getting Help from Erikson, Piaget, and Vygotsky: Developing Infant-Toddler Curriculum. Retrieved from

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Developmental Theory Lev Vygotsky. (2021, Dec 30). Retrieved from

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