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RE: [xmca] Bruner on Vygotsky

Mike wondered:

A question: What do you believe to be the relationship between the idea of
a Zone of Proximal Develoment and scaffolding? Are they synonyms? Can they
be joined as in Zoped/scaffolding?  If not, why not? I know that views on
this matter differ widely. I think that one's answer might guide the
development of curricula.

          this morning i was at a school meeting where the teachers were given instructions on how to proctor the standardized state achievement tests.  there were many statements on what a teacher/ proctor could not do.  one was : no scaffolding.

          what i've noticed with the new student teachers is that they all associate scaffolding with Vygotsky.  none appear to know that scaffolding is a term from Bruner.  so, everyone talks about "scaffolding within the zpd".

          not only does this sentence structure guide the writing of curricula, but it guides what a teacher with "best practices" should be doing in the classroom.

there's been a lot of discussion in the past on xmca about how innovation occurs as social practices within the group becomes part of the individual's practices, and certainly it's the case that the writings of Vygotsky as we understand them now have emerged through social practices in a multitude of college and university and school district classrooms, to become highly individualized within the practices of the classroom teacher - regardless of the institution's degree of higher learning. 

it's all approximation.  


Phillip White, PhD
University of Colorado Denver
School of Education
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