Making Learners Extraordinary ™

Every educator has heard of Lev Vygotsky and his ideas about social learning and the zone of proximal development. However, few have heard about his compatriot and near contemporary, Dmitri Tsiolkovsky (1900-1941).

Tsiolkovsky was an early proponent of verbalisation theory. In the 1930s, Tsiolkovsky was working at the Leningrad Institute for Psychological Research on a model for verbalisation that the Institute had developed. The model proposed four stages in the formation of speech:

1. Precognition – ideas are forming and coalescing in the subconscious but are not yet available to the conscious mind

2. Recognition – the passage of a unified concept from the subconscious into the conscious mind

3. Cognition – the manipulation of the concept in the conscious mind

4. Verbalisation – the final step where the concept is encoded as words which are then communicated

Drawing on behaviorist theories, Tsiolkovsky’s insight was that this was effectively a chain of…

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