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Cognitive Learning Theories in Action

  • Jan 24, 2011
  • Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard

Family Library Story Time and Sociocultural Theory

Last week we described cognitive learning theories and how music could be used as a teaching tool -- especially in literacy development. Today’s post will illustrate how music can be used as the glue to meet many different learning styles found in a multi-age Family Library Story Time.

Len Vygotsky based his sociocultural learning theory on the premise that the diversity found in the age and ability of multi-aged groupings (such as those found in a Family Library Story Time) benefits each participant in many positive ways. The interaction facilitated by these groupings encourages natural learning, and also increases acceptance of differences. He labels multi-age and/or ability groupings a “zone” of proximal development. Vygotsky also postulated that “scaffolding agents” were necessary for the different members of the group to learn at their optimum level of competence.

Music utilized during Family Library Story Time is the scaffolding agent that facilitates meaningful, developmentally appropriate learning. Music can be injected into every aspect of the Family Library Story Time. Using music can be as simple as keeping a steady beat while reading a particular text, creative movement to sounds, vocal play to highlight specific words in a story, or singing directions.

The Music-In-A-Box format demonstrated during our workshops and also found in earlier blog postings facilitates injecting music into every library learning experience. Please share your musical successes with us by posting comments on the blog.

Thank you!

©MacPhail Center for Music, 2011


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