Vygotsky argued, "that language is the main tool that promotes thinking, develops reasoning, and supports cultural activities like reading and writing" (Vygotsky 1978). As a result, instructional strategies that promote literacy across the curriculum play a significant role in knowledge construction as well as the combination of whole class leadership, individual and group coaching, and independent learning. Moreover, teachers need to provide the opportunity to students for a managed discussion about their learning. Discussion that has a purpose with substantive comments that build off each other and there is a meaningful exchange between students that results in questions that promote deeper understanding. Discussion-based classroom using socratic dialogue where the instructor manages the discourse can lead each student to feel like their contributions are valued resulting in increased student motivation.
The teacher, or local topic expert, plays the important role of facilitator, creating the environment where directed and guided interactions can occur. Many other educational theorists adopted Vygotsky's social process ideas and proposed strategies that foster deeper knowledge construction, facilitate socratic student discussions, and build active learning communities through small group based instruction.
In essence, Vygotsky recognizes that learning always occurs and cannot be separated from a social context. Consequently, instructional strategies that promote the distribution of expert knowledge where students collaboratively work together to conduct research, share their results, and perform or produce a final project, help to create a collaborative community of learners. Knowledge construction occurs within Vygotsky's (1962) social context that involves student-student and expert-student collaboration on real world problems or tasks that build on each person's language, skills, and experience shaped by each individual's culture" (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 102).
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978) Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Original work published in 1934).