The ZPD or Zone of Proximal development is deemed as a variation between what a learner may perform without help to what he may do with assistance. The theory was promulgated by Vygotsky who stated that a child observes the example of an adult and step by step develops skills to perform certain tasks with no help (Vygotsky, 2013). The given case study is of Ruth’s. She hesitates to express her views in class. The following discussion delves into the given situation by explaining how Lev Vygotsky's ZPD theory may be used by a competent teacher to help Ruth to become more able to share her opinions in a group situation.Overview
Vygotsky mentioned that in various cases, children could perform a task in a class before they can execute on their own. A facilitator’s job is to move the child’s mind forward in a gradual process. At the same time, it is not possible for the teachers to teach all children equally. Lev Vygotsky propounded a theory relating to cognitive development which mainly focused on the complexities of children's social development and development of higher mental functions (Caporael et al., 2014). The model is also presented as the distance between actual developmental levels which is determined by independent problem solving. Adult guidance and peer collaboration determines the level of potential development. Vygotsky believed that the role of education is to provide children with various experiences which are there in ZPD. The child in the case displays shyness and hesitant attitude to express her views in class. Researchers suggest that children belonging to age group of three to five exert two functions. It is naïve to ask what the developmental age is on child development. The zone of proximal development defines those innate functions that are in the process of maturation and various functions that would mature in near future.
Lev Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development is interrelated with children’s social development. Within the spectrum of proximal development relating to child’s social development, there are two models. Firstly, actual development model and secondly, the level of prospective development is the upper task limit that children may act upon with the support of their teacher or for that matter more capable character. Vygotsky considered the zone of proximal development an area where most guidance and sensitive instruction would occur as a part of child’s social development (Lindon & Brodie, 2016). This is the phase which allows the child to develop various skills to develop higher mental functions. Vygotsky’s work mainly concerns over a field of education and hence has contributed greatly in the domain of education and child development. Scaffolding is a concept which may be used to explain child development in line with proximal development. It is the support mechanism that aids the learner to perform a task within the range of his ZPD. Normally at a tender age, children exert shy behavior and avoid socializing with peers and facilitators in class. These types of children are introvert and display a lack of socializing skills in the environment they belong to. To perceive this theme scaffold as an external structure that supports the workers until they gain stability regarding behavior in class and ability to intermingle with the class (Salmon, 2016). Vygotsky observed the ZPD as the parlance where most of the guidance or sensitive instruction normally occurs. This lets the child build up skills to use on her own for the development of social functions and high mental functions.
Emotional and social skills are a multifaceted domain which includes diverse elements like temperament, feelings, values and behavior. There is a disagreement on in the field on what aspects these elements may be assessed along with the criteria for the assessment of emotional and social competence. Ruth is experiencing hindrances regarding inability to interact in her class and being apprehensive to express her views in class. Typically, this process is completed by a more competent individual supporting the learning of a less skilled individual. So, for example, there could be a teacher assisting a student, or a higher-level peer assisting a younger peer (Lobman & Clark, 2015).
As per Vygotsky to make the class curriculum fitting the teacher should plan various activities that is not restricted to what Ruth is capable of doing herself but also helping her to be trained with the assistance of her peers. The assumption does not depict that anything may be taught to Ruth. For instance, if Ruth is unable to identify the sounds of her teachers yet after repeated attempts, the child may not actually benefit instantaneously from the instruction of this application (Chang & Chou, 2015). The execution of formerly known skills along with the beginning of complex problems may have a less positive impact on the child. The teachers may use information about both levels of Vygotsky’s ZPD in organizing the following classroom activities which would be beneficial for Ruth.
Coaching may provide practice relating to ZPD for Ruth and others who exert identical qualities like Ruth. Various prompts and hints that normally help children through the assessment could outline the foundation of instructional activities to come by.
The teacher may prepare cooperative learning actions with Ruth and other children at different levels who could help each other to learn. This would help the student to intermingle with like-minded students and children who are otherwise extrovert to generate communication skills within Ruth (Morss, 2013).
Scaffolding is another tactic which the facilitators may mull over. Ruth may be shown cookies which symbolize each sound in the given word. For instance, three cookies for three sounds in Pen (Karimi-Aghdam, 2016). To gain mastery in this word and sound, Ruth may be asked politely to place a cookie on the table to have an idea about each sound in a word. Thus finally, this may result in the child identifying various sounds without cookies. When the teacher provides Ruth with cookies, the senior is providing scaffold to help Ruth move from assisted to unassisted success at class.
Caporael, L. R., Griesemer, J. R., & Wimsatt, W. C. (2014). Developing scaffolds: An introduction. Developing scaffolds in evolution, culture, and cognition, 1-20.
Chang, K. C., & Chou, M. J. (2015). Scaffolding Strategies for the Elder People's Cognitive Engagement and Second Language Learning. Journal of Applied Sciences, 15(1), 1.
Karimi-Aghdam, S. (2016). Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) as an Emergent System: A Dynamic Systems Theory Perspective. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 1-18.
Lindon, J., & Brodie, K. (2016). Understanding Child Development 0-8 Years 4th Edition: Linking Theory and Practice. Hachette UK.
Lobman, C. L., & Clark, K. (2015). From the Dress-Up Corner to the Stage: Dramatic Activities for Early Childhood Classrooms. YC Young Children, 70(2), 92.
Morss, J. R. (2013). Growing critical: Alternatives to developmental psychology. Routledge.
Salmon, A. K. (2016). Learning by thinking during play: The power of reflection to aid performance. Early Child Development and Care, 186(3), 480-496.
Vygotsky, L. S. (2013). LS Vygotsky and contemporary developmental. Learning Relationships in the Classroom, 2, 13.
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