There have been a few articles on the concept of zone of proximal
development posted at XMCA for a while, but despite initial interest there
appears to have been no discussion of the papers. It may be that interest
has waned or that end-of-academic-year business interferes.
On the hypothesis that there is some interest but little time, let me
propose an entering point that people could engage without it requiring too
On the webpage is a brief chapter by Vivian Paley describing a 4 year old's
play and its difficulties. Paley engages in play pedagogy.
I believe that she creates a zone of proximal development in the way she
organizes the interactions between Franklin, herself, and
other children with respect to play in the block area.
At the same time, I am unsure that this examples would qualify as a
legitimate examples of a zoped according to the criteria in
Seth's paper on Vygotsky's concept of zone of proximal development. Is there
any development manifested? Are the changes
in Franklin's behavior only learning?
More generally, can any example of play behavior be indicative of development
according to Seth's explication of Vygotsky?
If the answer to the second question is NO, then we should conclude that LSV
was wrong in believing that play can create a zoped.
Franklin is my best example (better than using McCarthy's 1930's data used
by LSV, I believe) that development does occur
in Paley's example. But I am very uncertain the example meets the criteria
laid out by Seth on LSV's behalf.
What do you-all think?? (to paraphrase Eugene)
De la belle France.
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