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Re: zpd discussion
"I have also been pondering for some time (inspired by Seth) that
learning and instruction are the major context for discussions of the
zoped, but LSV invokes it in his writing on play (an issue Seth does not
As an early childhood educator and researcher it has always made sense
to me that Vygotsky's references to the zone of proximal development
appear in his writings about play--and I do think this poses an
interesting challenge to those people who equate the zpd with
scaffolding and the instrumental learning of particular skills. In play
young children (and sometimes adults and older children) are not
overdetermined by instrumental learning--play is not about learning any
thing in particular, it is about creating the play. I think the evidence
is that children learn while they play at least in part because it is
not instrumental--it is improvisational, social and collaborative.
It also doesn't surprise me as an early childhood educator that Vygotsky
talks about the relationship of play and development. For Vygotsky play is
not just an outward expression of a child's developmental level, it is a
zone of proximal development. According to Newman and Holzman, play is
developmental because it is in play that children are most actively
involved in creating the environment where they can develop. Children are
not consumers of learning experiences in play, they are creators of the
environment where learning can occur.
> Lots of interesting examples, nate. You put a LOT of work into the blog.
> We had some discussion of Seth's paper earlier this, year, around February
> I think, and the issues raised are certainly worth continued discussion. I
> thought your long list of points about development from Valsiner
> with Seth's discussion helped clarify the issues at stake considerably.
> I did not understand the following: While the re-americanization of the
> ZPD could be seen as a positive "development", I argue that negating the
> centrality of development that Vygotsky gave to the concept renders it
> What did you mean by re-americanization?
> The examples you give a pretty heterogeneous in origin. For example,
> in the work you cite explicitly rejects a distinction between learning and
> development. I can understand