Re: [xmca] Playfully Answering Ana--

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (
Date: Sat Jun 10 2006 - 08:33:29 PDT

Dear all,
"his or her zone" -- should be taken to mean that we are focusing on a
particular individual (maybe not always a child -- as Vesna suggested --
we on this discussion maybe are in a ZPD about the ZPD right now :-)).
It does not mean that the zone is not distributed across the social
situation, interpersonal relations, particular activities and events.
However, we do have a difficulty in defining it -- Does the "zone"
manifest itself always as an observable interactive activity? From the
examples given by bb -- the two boys were partly in a class dealing with
whatever the class was doing and partly in a "zone" (more in
Csikszentmihalyi sense of the "flow") they created for themselves apart
from the ongoing social activity.
In addition, ZPD also implies the notion of internalization - that the
activity which is at the start done interactively with others, becomes
progressively internalized (so that the child can do more and more
"alone" to achieve the same effect) -- which means that the ZPD is
probably always comprised out of partly observable interactive activity
and partly out of imagined "private" and internalized psychological
Isn't that interesting??

Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
> But surely he was in A zone, if not the teacher's. If the teacher was
> trying to get him to fill out worksheets, he's better off, methinks,
> working on his music or finding patterns in the ceiling. p
> At 01:08 PM 6/10/2006 +0000, you wrote:
>> Yes, this makes sense. I know of a child whose elementary school
>> teacher complained that he would not pay attention -- he was doing
>> tihngs like looking at the ceiling (when I asked he said he was
>> finding patterns in it) -- and she would have been surprised to find
>> years later that he scored 99%ile in math. His middle school
>> teacher, who complained of his constant foot tapping, was surpised to
>> find that he was a drummer... but in all this, is it also not true
>> that these teachers instincts were right -- that this kid was not in
>> the zone because he was not attending to the moment?
>> -------------- Original message ----------------------
>> From: Peter Smagorinsky <>
>> > At 05:36 PM 6/8/2006 -0400, you wrote: Since, by definition, ZPD is a
>> > construction zone, a time of dynamic changes where everything is
>> "up in the
>> > air", a longer period of time and more play and non play observations
>> > should be made on a child in order to be able to make any decisive
>> > conclusions about that child's position in her/his ZPD.
>> >
>> > I haven't contributed much to this discussion--am teaching a summer
>> class
>> > and trying to get some writing done. I'm wondering, though, about
>> the idea
>> > that a child has "his/her zpd." If cognition is distributed, it
>> seems that
>> > the zpd isn't the child's alone, but extended to mediational tools,
>> their
>> > histories, and the community of practice in which they're used (and
>> more
>> > I'm sure). In 1990 Luis Moll equated zpd's with social contexts
>> (his intro
>> > to Vygotsky and Education), and I've always found that to be a useful
>> > reformulation of Vygotsky's relatively brief account of the zpd:
>> It's not
>> > an individual capacity, but using Vygotskian logic, the setting
>> (including
>> > the learner) in which potential may be realized. Peter
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > xmca mailing list
>> >
>> >
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Ana Marjanovic'-Shane,Ph.D.

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Philadelphia, PA 19144

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