Constructivism In Vygotsky's Zone Of Proximal Development

Constructivism is the idea that children develop their knowledge and skills by building on what they already know; essentially, it is child-centred development. Children use their existing knowledge and understanding to learn new things by using what they already know to infer new knowledge from new experiences when interacting with the world around them.
Vygotsky theorised that children were influenced by thought, play, imagination and language and that they used these to build their knowledge base. He termed these ‘cultural tools’.
To explain how children acquired new skills and knowledge, Vygotsky coined the term Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). ZPD defines a range of learning abilities, where the lower limits of skills are acquired by the child working things out for themselves but the upper limits can only be
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As the child learns the new skill or knowledge, the support can be gradually removed until it becomes an independent task. Within this theory is ‘contingency support’, where a teacher only provides scaffolding where needed - where a child is stuck at a stage and cannot progress to the next stage without the right amount of interaction and support from a more knowledgeable person. Vygotsky suggested that ‘collaborative learning’ within the classroom (where children of mixed ability are encouraged to work together during discussions and group activities) can assist a child with moving forward with skills. The more knowledgable children can assist and scaffold those with less knowledge and understanding.
Another theorist who argued a strong case for child-centred development was John Dewey. Dewey believed that the acquisition of knowledge depended heavily upon social interactions and social development. He argued that, by accessing education as a social environment, children are able to discover themselves and become familiar with their own strengths as well as

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