Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
Vygotsky (1978) defined the ZPD as the distance between a child’s independent problem solving capability and the higher level of performance that can be achieved with expert guidance.
In teacher education context, the ZPD can be seen as some space, where pre-service teacher candidate, induction year teacher or in-service teacher develops her/his knowledge and competencies together with more experienced peers, who shares feedback, tips etc. Technology support may influence is more effectively. The social networking, which is important aspect in teacher training, but also emphasized by Vygotsky, can be easily implemented with portfolio for example.
ZPD can be seen as all the learner’s tools and resources (knowledge, networks, competencies, skills, tools) for performing some task or activity.
Valsiner (1997) proposed two further zones to account for development in the context of children’s relationships with the physical environment and other human beings: the Zone of Free Movement (ZFM), representing environmental constraints that limit freedom of action and thought; and the Zone of Promoted Action (ZPA), a set of activities offered by adults and oriented towards promotion of new skills.
Zone of promoted action can be seen as support for performing a task or activity with certain tools, which I don’t have yet (tools I mean). ZPA is like helping had for achieving ZPD.
Oerter characterises the ZPA as the set of activities and objects “the mastering of which is desired” by more experienced partners.
Oerter has claimed that the ZFM is characterised by the “segment of culturally provided opportunities or objects available to an individual” at a given time.
In teacher training context, ZFM can be interpreted as constraints within the school environment for pre-service teacher candidates like the curriculum provided by the university; students in school, where the practice is hold; learning materials and assessment by the facilitators; institutional and cultural traditions and cultures. The ZFM represents the barriers the individual may face while interacting different elements of the environment, suggests what teaching actions are possible. On the other hand, ZPA represents the efforts of a supervisors’ from school and university, to promote particular teaching skills or approaches.
Pre-service teachers develop under the influence of two ZPAs – one provided by their university curriculum, the other by their supervising teacher(s) during the practice at school– which do not necessarily coincide. ZPA, ZFM and ZPD constitute a system that can account for the dynamic relationships between opportunities and constraints of the teaching environment, the teaching actions specifically promoted, and the development of the novice teacher’s pedagogical identity.
Questions in instrument should be
To be continued..