ERIC Number: ED260372
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Bandwidths of Competence: The Role of Supportive Contexts in Learning and Development. Technical Report No. 336.
Brown, Ann L.; Reeve, Robert A.
While many contemporary developmental theorists have avoided taking a stand on the controversial relationship between learning and development, this paper is based on the belief that the notion of "bandwidth of competence," or L. S. Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development," provides a useful framework for considering this relationship. As Vygotsky argued, learning in context, including the social context, creates development which in turn determines the level of learning and teaching for which the child is ripe. Any estimate of developmental status depends on the environment in which it is revealed. Contexts can be overtly social, as in the case of adult or peer assistance, or covertly social, as in the case of responding to an imagined or internalized audience. Children create their own zones of competence by working recursively on their own theories of cognition. In the future, developmental psychologists should learn to understand (1) sensitive methods of assessing readiness for change, (2) self-directed learning, (3) the dynamics of social situations that are successful in inducing change, and (4) supportive experimental contexts. Nineteen pages of references and several tables and figures conclude the paper. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.