The contribution of Vygotsky to education begins with his fundamental idea: the close relationship between the processes of development, respectively that of learning, although to him the historical study was not an “auxiliary” aspect of the study of human development, but rather its primary basis. He was interested to describe and analyze the way in which processes of evolution happen, during what we can call “natural evolution”; however, he was very interested in how these processes can be changed, in order to stimulate or repress them.
Vygotsky was not very interested in the classification of the development in stages, but he cared more about understanding how human intelligence develops. He claimed that this development must be seen as a process in which there occur different types of “qualitative leaps”, not as a steady growth. In this respect, the subject of analysis has a history in itself. According to Vygotsky, at certain moments in the development of the human being, new elements and influences appear on the scene, and bring changes to the process of development. In those moments, there occur what are called “leaps” in development.
The external influences that Vygotsky considered to be important factors for qualitative leaps in respect to education were the intervention of parents and teachers in the process. The author states that the intervention of historical and social forces in the life of a child, represented by important adults and other members of the group of people with whom he interacts, are forces that determine important changes, not only in regard to the content of what is learnt, but also in the manner learning is performed.