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EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF VYGOTSKY’S THEORY

1.Use the zone of proximal development:

Teaching should begin toward the zone’s upper limit, where the student is able to reach the goal only through close collaboration with the instructor. With adequate continuing instruction and practice, the student organizes and masters the behavioral sequences required to perform the target skill, As the instruction continues, the performance transfers from the teacher to the student. The teacher gradually reduces the explanations, hints, and demonstrations until the student is able to perform the skill alone. Once the goal is achieved, it can become the foundation for the development of a new ZPD.

2.Use scaffolding:

need help with self-initiated learning activities. Also use Look for opportunities to use scaffolding when students
scaffolding to help students move to a higher level of skill and knowledge. Offer just enough assistance. You might ask “What can I do to help you?” Or simply observe the student’s intentions and attempts, smoothly providing support when needed. When the student hesitates, offer encouragement. Encourage the student to practice the skill. You may watch and appreciate the student’s practice or offer support when the student forgets what to do.

3. Use more-skilled peers as teachers:

Remember that it is not just adults that Vygotsky believed are Important in helping students learn important skills. Students also. benefit from the support and guidance of more-skilled students.

4.Encourage collaborative learning and recognize that learning involves a community of learners:

Both children and adults engage in learning activities in a collaborative way. Peers, teachers, parents, and other adults work together in a community of learners rather than the child learning as an isolated individual.

5.Consider the cultural context of learning.

An important function of education is to guide children in learning the skills that are important in the culture in which they live.

6.Monitor and encourage children’s use of private speech:

Be aware of the developmental change from externally talking to oneself when solving a problem during the preschool years to privately talking to oneself in the early elementary school years. In the elementary school years, encourage students to internalize and self-regulate their talk to themselves.

7.Assess the ZPD, not IQ:

Like Piaget, Vygotsky did not believe that formal, standardized tests are the best way to assess children’s learning or their readiness to learn. Rather, Vygotsky argued that assessment should focus on determining the student’s zone of proximal development. The skilled helper presents the child with tasks of varying difficulty to determine the best level at which to begin instruction. The ZPD is a measure of learning potential. IQ, also a measure of learning potential, emphasizes that intelligence is a property of the child. By contrast, ZPD emphasizes that learning is interpersonal. It is inappropriate to say that the child has a “ZPD” in the same sense that the child might have an IQ.

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