Zone of proximal development – Vygotsky in the Classroom

ZPD Zone of Proximal Development

The zone of proximal development (зона ближайшего развития), often abbreviated ZPD, is the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help. It is a concept developed by Soviet psychologist and social constructivist Lev Vygotsky (1896 – 1934).

Vygotsky stated that a child follows an adult’s example and gradually develops the ability to do certain tasks without help. Vygotsky’s often-quoted definition of zone of proximal development presents it as

the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers

Vygotsky and other educational professionals believed education’s role was to give children experiences that were within their zones of proximal development, thereby encouraging and advancing their individual learning.

“The zone of proximal development defines functions that have not matured yet, but are in a process of maturing, that will mature tomorrow, that are currently in an embryonic state;
these functions could be called the buds of development, the flowers of development, rather than the fruits of development, that is, what is only just maturing”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_of_proximal_development

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