Monday, September 28, 2009

Kelly Reeder-Vygotsky

My understandings of Vygotskiy’s Zone of Proximal Developments stems from the P251 class I took my second semester sophomore year. In this class I was taught that there are many different stages in which a child begins to understand new information. It is important that their educator is aware of their present stage, as well as the intended knowledge present at that particular stage. Through these stages, it is easier for their educator to know how far along they are with the information they understand. I have always thought that using this method was very beneficial for teachers, as well as their students. Once an educator is able to understand which stages their students are in, they are able to move forwards with providing them adequate material to advance in their knowledge.
A way in which I have experience the different stages in Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development occurred right around middle school. My teacher assigned us to write a report on our favorite president. During this process we were to create a rough draft and have our peers evaluate and correct our work. Once we had made adjustments we turned in our rough draft to the teacher. After our teacher looked over our work she gave us feedback on how well we wrote, what we could do better, as well as corrected the errors we missed. I am not exactly sure on how many drafts we turned in, but I remember receiving my work back a few times to be corrected. The procedure seemed to take forever, but after completing this report I became a much better writer. Without being asked to think about the ways in which Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development I would never have related the work I did in middle school to strategies I have been taught in college. In doing this I now know that some of these actually work!
Some of the different techniques I found while writing my report I often use today in some of my classes. By resubmitting my work many times I was able to advance to a new stage of Proximal Development. Since I plan to teach special education, these stages may vary immensely. Trying to bring these techniques into my classroom may be difficult at first, but once I fully understand how to implement these techniques into my class, I believe it will be very beneficial for myself, as well as my students.

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