Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jennifer Wolff's ZPD

Vygotsky proposes the idea of ZPD, also known as Zone of Proximal Development, where a student's academics should be at the same level as their mental development. By completing tests, children's mental age is figured. It is assumed that what children do are actually doing is compatible with their abilities. Vygotsky uses the example of two students entering school at the age of 10, yet their actual developmental age is 8. This means that these students are on the same developmental age whereas they can complete tasks a 8 year old can. He furthers his explanation with the zone of proximal development by saying that it is the distance between the actual developmental level and and the level of potential development.
After reading this, I thought it was somewhat confusing. However, then I related it back to my experience during elementary school and I think I somewhat understood it. I always had to leave the classroom to work on my reading and speech. I had a lower reading level and speech level compared to my age group. This is why I had to leave, so I could work one-on-one with a specific teacher to get my level back up. Therefore, when learning about ZPD, I figured my actual development age was lower than my potential level of development. I'm not sure if this is a correct example, but after reading the article this is what came to my mind.

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