Vygotsky - Zone of Proximal Development Essay example

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How can Vygotsky’s notion of the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’, and the related concept of ‘scaffolding’, be used to provide appropriate education and support to the full range of students in the classroom? Teaching is not just a matter of standing in front of a class and distributing knowledge to a group of learners. Teaching is a much more complex procedure that requires educators to consider a variety of educational components in order to maximize a learner’s true potential. Teachers are responsible for catering to the needs of a group of learners with a range of needs, and therefore have an obligation to meet the needs of learners with differing levels of ability, knowledge, understanding, pre-exposure and background using a variety…show more content…
(Chalkin, 2003). An example has been illustrated in an example given by Leong, 1998 where a child may need assistance with a task one day, and then the next may only require some basic instruction to perform the same task – meaning a learner may need help with the formation of letters in order to write a simple word such as ‘cat’, then next lesson the teacher may only need to initiate the formation of the word because the child remembers the process from the previous experience with the use of guided problem solving, increasing the level of development under the guidance of their teacher, or “more capable peer” (McKellin et. al, 2011) therefore, it is important for teachers to have an understanding of the theoretical approach of the Zone of Proximal Development, as the theoretic definition has more value to a teacher in order to allow for the implementation of strategies to assess a child’s ZPD. (Chalkin, 2003). Vygotsky believed that “instruction is only useful when it moves ahead of development.” (Leong, 1998). According to Morrissey and Brown, 2009 the improvements within the Zone of Proximal Development can be considered with regards to the rate or nature of the progress within the zone,
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