Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jen Shearer Vygotsky

I first heard the term Zone of Proximal last year in P251. Zone of Proximal Development is the difference between what a student can do with help and what they can do without help. When a student is doing something with help from an adult or a teacher they learn often by example and through guidance. I think that we experience ZPD with our professors more often than we notice. One class that I think it is especially evident is in our M201 class. This is a field experience class and we meet with our teacher and he guides us through our lessons and helps us to solve problems we have with different children and different learning strategies. We have time after our field experience to discuss with him what we saw that day in class and what can be learned from it.
All throughout elementary school I think we experienced ZPD everyday and I think there is a lot that can be learned through working and collaborating with people who understand a topic more then ourselves. I experience this everyday at work. I am taught how to do different things by my boss everyday. He is an expert horse trainer and he lets me experience things for myself and then comes and shows me a better way or more efficient way of doing something. I enjoy learning things from him because he lets me figure out how not to do something before he shows me how to do something. He likes to see what I can do but then is always there for me when I need him. I think I remember a lot more when I learn this way because I learned through experience.


  1. Jen did a great job in putting the idea of Zone of Proximal Development in to simple terms. Also, good connection to applying ZPD to our M201 class. I can really see how Eric uses that to help us and guide us in our lessons for teaching.

  2. I definitely agree with you about using ZPD in our M201 field experience. I feel like Erik guides us in our lesson plans, but he also expects us to help each other out. I also think you had a good point when you said you remember more by learning this way. I learn so much better with scaffolding as opposed to just figuring it out on my own or learning from a book.