Analyzing Vygotsky's Zone Of Proximal Development

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Throughout this past summer I had the opportunity to work at a daycare. Although I occasionally worked with the infants and toddlers and regularly watched the school age children, the vast majority of my time was spent with a class of fifteen preschoolers. Over the three months I spent with them, I watched them grow and develop, learning from their teachers, peers, and own experiences. Although the summer break meant that the children’s learning experiences were less regulated and rigorous than during other times of the year, they still developed socially and cognitively. This allowed me to observe Vygotsky’s theories being used both in play and in a classroom setting. My charges would learn in the pattern explained by Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. Additionally, they would often use private speech or defer to a More Knowledgeable Other so as to learn more successfully.…show more content…
The concept, which is quite intertwined with his concept of a More Knowledgeable Other and is almost synonymous with the term scaffolding, describes the difference between what a child can accomplish independently and what a child can accomplish with assistance and reinforcement from a knowledgeable mentor. There are three basic levels a child experiences as they learn a new skill. There is the information they already know and fully understand, the material they are in the process in learning and with which they need assistance, and the information they do not know and are, perhaps, not ready to obtain. “Vygotsky sees the Zone of Proximal Development as the area where the most sensitive instruction or guidance should be given - allowing the child to develop skills they will then use on their own - developing higher mental functions. Vygotsky also views interaction with peers as an effective way of developing skills and strategies”
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