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ERIC Number: EJ966495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0022-8958
Using the "Zone" to Help Reach Every Learner
Silver, Debbie
Kappa Delta Pi Record, v48 n1 p28-31 Fall 2011
Basically everything associated with maximizing student engagement, achievement, optimal learning environment, learning zone, and the like can be attributed to the work of Lev Vygotsky (1978). A Russian psychologist and social constructivist, Vygotsky (1896-1934) proposed a concept so fundamental to the theory of motivation that it undergirds nearly every aspect of its nature. Vygotsky called the rarefied area between a learner's present performance level and just beyond the learner's grasp the "zone of proximal development." A student's Zone of Proximal Development, or ZPD, is defined as the student's range of ability with assistance from an instructor or a more capable peer. On the opposite ends of the range are the student's present level of comfortable mastery and the area totally beyond the student's level at the current time. The author argues that adults can maximize the use of Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development as a strategic tool in helping students stay motivated toward a given task. With the right motivation, students will reach beyond their comfort zones to achieve their personal goals. She suggests that educators and parents need to instruct students about purposeful practice and help them internalize the necessary mechanisms to reach just beyond their current grasps. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A