Friday, January 2, 2009

Zone of Proximal Development

Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist and social constructivist came up with the Theory of Social Cognitive Development. The three major themes of this theory are:

Social interaction is necessary for learning and plays a vital role in the process of cognitive development.

MKO or the More Knowledgeable Other; A person who has a better understanding than the learner, it could be a teacher, a mentor, or even a peer who is more knowledgeable as compared to the learner.

Zone of Proximal Development or ZPD

In this theory he discussed about Zone of Proximal Development or ZPD. ZPD implies that a learner can do without as well as with the help of a teacher, or a competent peer, or a guide. ZPD was originally used for problem solving.

Vygotsky argued against examinations that are used as a standard means to test the intelligence and knowledge of the children. Rather he believed that children should be tested on problem solving independently and problem solving techniques with the help of a teacher or a guide. He also believed that students play an important role in the learning process.

By social interaction Vygotsky meant that culture has an enormous amount of impact on children. It is through one’s culture that children learn what to think and how to think. Vygotsky also emphasized that interaction between the teacher and the student facilitates learning; hence learners should be provided with a collaborative and interactive learning environment.

Vygotsky also highlighted the fact that children learn by imitating from their elders and adults; hence it is very important to provide the learners ample opportunity to solve problems under the guidance of a teacher/guide.

To conclude we can say that collaborative learning, discussions, interactivities definitely helps learners to achieve their goal. Also with proper guided learning learners can accomplish task that they cannot do on their own.


Geeta Bose said...

An interesting topic Mouse. Why don't you have a sprint on this sometime soon? You could also build on this and we could comment on this further based on our discussion in the sprint.

Mousumi Ghosh said...

Sounds good. Will take a sprint session on this for sure.