In a previous blog post – The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), and Why it Matters for Early Childhood Learning – we defined ZPD and showed how identifying where a child’s zone is can help create a scaffolding approach to teaching that can assist early learners. With constant feedback (scaffolding) we know that students’ learning and understanding can continue to develop at an appropriate pace. While the goal of teaching in the ZPD is ultimately to benefit students, maintaining this type of teaching and learning dynamic can also provide substantial benefits for teachers and administrators.
Here are four benefits of teaching in the ZPD for teachers and three for administrators:
1. Identify and use areas of strength and weakness to tailor learning experiences at the individual and group level
2. Engage students in social interactions to enable learning
3. Better understand students as individual learners, learners in a small group setting and learners in a larger social setting
4. Discover unique thought processes that different students may use to solve problems
1. Promote higher quality differentiated instruction in schools
2. Emphasize better teacher-student relationships
3. Work with more motivated teachers and students
In a future blog post we’ll share some insights on how to locate the ZPD for early learners. In the interim we’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below if you’ve ever tried teaching in the zone. You can also contact us at any time.