ERIC Number: EJ822163
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Abstractor: As Provided
Assisting Performance in Teaching and Learning
Colby, Susan A.; Atkinson, Terry S.
Teaching Education, v15 n4 p351-362 2004
Although Vygotskian principles involving the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) are hailed as tenets undergirding teaching and learning within a constructivist setting, these principals have not been implemented widely within school classrooms. Tharp and Gallimore, building on the notion that learning can be maximized when a teacher has a heightened awareness of a student's ZPD and stimulates new learning based upon this understanding, argue that true teaching is a matter of "assisting performance". This study examines the efforts of one university instructor to assist the performance of her graduate students as they learned to teach, scaffold and support struggling readers. The findings suggest that the university instructor successfully assisted her students by providing supportive feedback, extending their learning and providing appropriate resources through ongoing Email correspondence and face-to-face meetings and tutoring sessions. Success was attributed to the instructor's extensive knowledge of supporting struggling readers, awareness of her students' ZPD's in relation to the context of their learning and her efforts to consistently provide appropriate and specific feedback through iterative dialogue.
Descriptors: Feedback (Response), Constructivism (Learning), Graduate Students, Reading Instruction, Tutoring, Child Development, Developmental Stages, Teacher Educators, Teacher Role, Computer Mediated Communication, Electronic Mail, Teacher Student Relationship, Reading Difficulties, Context Effect, Remedial Reading
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A