Vygotsky 's Theory Of The Zone Of Proximal Development Essay

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The concept in Vygotsky’s theory that each person has an individual range of potential for learning is called the zone of proximal development (ZPD). The zone is the area at which a child can perform a challenging task, given appropriate help (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Students have an area of knowledge of a subject that they can do by themselves, and a further area that they are capable of with assistance from a guide (Vygotsky, 1987). Beyond that is the area that is incapable of being learnt at the current time, even with help. The differences between what a child can achieve independently and what a child can achieve with guidance, assistance and encouragement from someone who is more knowledgeable in the subject area are revealed. For example, in my music class, a student faced difficulties in EQ balance and needed a long time to understand. I gave him an introduction, showing him the differences with various EQ of a piece of music. Through the interaction, the student had developed understanding of EQ balance and was able to apply it to future composition. By helping students within their ZPD, the teacher offers them useful learning strategies which they internalize and utilize later.
Vygotsky (1987) considered ZPD as the area where the most sensitive instruction or guidance should be given, developing higher mental functions. The potential move with an individual mirror that full development can never be reached. This idea, also, is radically different from stage theorists…

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