Saturday, September 26, 2009

Christine Balcarcel - Vygotsky

Any student in the School of Education at IU can tell you who vygotsky is. I have heard so much about him and the Zone of Proximal Development in the past two years. However, I have not really thought about how it is important within the classroom. I tried thinking back to my own elementary school years and wondered if my teachers ever took Vygotsky's theory into consideration when making the lesson plans. I then realized that every time a teacher had asked us to work with other students on a particular task, that teacher was using the Zone of Proximal Development in order to help us learn a more difficult task. For example, I remember one of my former teachers used to pair up a student that was struggling with a topic, with a student that clearly understoood it. The student that understood the topic was then to teach it to the other student. This gave every student in the class a chance to interact with their peers in order to better understand the topic.

I feel that the zone of proximal development still applies to my life today. It seems that being in the school of education means having a lot of group projects each semester. Since each person in the group has had different life experiences, I feel that in most cases we tend to learn a new way of doing something from our classmates.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, was always very familiar with Vygotski's theory throughout the past two year of college. But you brought up a really good point that I did not think of either. I never really related how my former teachers used to group students and hold discussions to utalize the benefits which arise from the theory of the zone of proximal development. However, I remember being assigned reading groups with students at all different actual developmental levels and it being very beneficial to the classroom environment in that we learned notions beyond our actual developmental level as well as bridged the gap between students who seem to always be achieving and the students who struggled. Ultimatly, students who used to stuggle often became more confident in the classroom and participated more, leaving more room for struggling students to be involved, ask questions, and benefit from new learning goals.