It seems like a very idealized example to me. I would be curious of what
a more "typical" example would look like.
Put another way, it is an example of learning activity running smothly
without many bumps in the road. I have always been moved more towards
examples where there are struggles and conflict with learning activity.
I do think the undergrad relating to that particular learner is very
typical. I wonder what a field note from an undergard who relates to the
learner where things do not run smoothly would look like.
Mike Cole wrote:
> The following fragment of a fieldnote from an undergrad working in a local
> 5th Dimension is not typical in that the child wants to do her
> homework, all of
> it, in order to have time to do more of it. In a self-reflection that
> follows this fieldnote,
> the undergrad writes that the child reminded her of herself at a
> younger age and she
> regrets, for herself and the child, that she did not play more.
> Although not typical, the fragment appears to me to provide an
> interesting example of
> something like scaffolding and, less ambiguously, the child's
> implementation of a
> self-regulation strategy that is a useful cognitive/affective instrument.
> What do you think?
> T first got out a blue sheet of problems about calculating volume. She
> went through the first couple problems very quickly and then explained
> that in her class they got to choose between yellow (easy), blue
> (medium), and green (hard) sheets of homework. I asked her if she
> wanted to give the green one a shot so she took it out. The problems
> involved calculating the volume of non-standard shapes. When T first
> looked at the problem she said she didn't know how to find the volume
> of those shapes. So, I covered different pieces of one shape with my
> hand to show her that the big shape could be broken into smaller
> shapes that she could find the volume of. She understood so we got to
> work. At first T was unsure about what to do when she wasn't given a
> dimension, but after I showed her one example of how to find the
> missing dimensions she could figure out the rest. The only other issue
> we came across in finding volumes was understanding which sides of a
> triangle were the length and height. I explained that we had to use
> the edges connected by a right angle, not the slanted hypotenuse. When
> we finished this sheet T smiled and admired her work for a while and
> then took out a whole packet of problems. This packet had 13 pages but
> it wasn't due until the following Monday. Nonetheless, T wanted to
> finish as much as she could. Most of these pages she had no problem
> with and breezed through. One issue we had was that she would often
> apply multiplication rules, like two negatives equals a positive, to
> adding problems. However, as soon as I pointed out that something
> wasn't right she would catch her mistake. T constantly checked how
> many pages she had completed and eventually made a box for every page
> on the front cover and would color in the box when she finished the
> page. One page that we spent a while on had problems about percents
> such as "30 is what percent of 80?" Each problem was worded a little
> differently and thus you really had to understand the terminology and
> how to work with percents. My way of solving these problems was to set
> up two fractions (with one being something over 100) and cross
> multiply to find the missing number. I explained this system to T and
> then we went through each problem by putting each given number into
> one of four slots in my system. At first we would talk it through
> together and then I would write it down, after a couple problems T
> asked to do it herself and got it correct. Soon we had finished the
> entire packet and T's dad came to pick her up. When she left it was 4:40.
-- Website: http://nateweb.info/ Blog: http://levvygotsky.blogspot.com/ Email: willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at nateweb.info
"The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have not yet matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that will mature tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These functions could be termed the buds or flowers of development rather than the "fruits" of development. The actual developmental level characterizes mental development retrospectively, while the zone of proximal development characterizes mental development prospectively." - L.S.V.
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