Re: [xmca] zoped

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2006 - 19:57:25 PST

Linda and all,
I like you reminding us that ZPD is not a only space but maybe more so,
it takes place in time. It reminded me of Bakhtin's chronotope or
space-time. And it also connects with Lois and Vesna insisting that ZPD
is an activity.
However, what I find in your "teachable moment" is more than just
space-time -- it also possesses a dimension of personal relations or
"interpersonality" as Lois mentioned, too.
Thus we are definitely speaking about a dynamic process taking place and
taking time in the distinctly human kind of a situation -- when people
teach/touch each other.

Polin, Linda wrote:
> With regard to the mystique. I have found the waters mudded, in
> teacher ed at least, by the presence of things like the HUGELY popular
> software package, Accelerated Reader (a turnkey reading curriculum)
> that boasts the teacher feature of printing out each kid's zone of
> proximal development based on the kid's performance inside the
> software application. CLearly the software publishers know what's in
> the teacher ed psych books. Yep I can imagine the advertisement in my
> head: "Now with ZPD finder"
> Also the unfortunate choice of the English word, "zone," brings with
> it the notion of a location, a zone. Teachers tell me they are going
> to "move that kid into the zone of proximal development" or get to
> "the zone," as if it were somewhere between the 20 yard line and the
> goal (the 'red zone,' according to sports announcers).
> In searching for a teacher-friendly vocabulary I have used the
> "teachable moment"...something all teachers seem to have a native
> understanding of and direct experience with. We unpack the teachable
> moment, with them thinking of a specific instance, and try to
> determine what made it teachable. Inevitably we end up talking about
> negotiation and elements that can be labeled as interpersonal to
> intrapersonal, and social co-construction. I also like the reference
> to time, "moment," as opposed to a place. We also talk about a
> "meeting of the minds" in which the minds are differently competent at
> the task in question (student-mommies in my classroom are very useful
> example providers for this). Where the zone sound like a place we
> travel to and which exists outside of us, the teachable moment already
> comes with the notion of a jointly produced experience in time. Yeah,
> the 'teachable' part is unfortunate, but this seems to work as a way
> in to what is often a mysterious concept for my students at least.
> The problem I run into is the students' desire to see the ZPD as
> diagnostic/prescriptive (which is what Accelerated Reader seems to
> hold onto as well.).
> What do you think, Eugene?
> Lindax
> here's a snippet from the website:
> Accelerated Readerís three easy steps help you continuously guide
> students to appropriate books within their zone of proximal
> development (ZPD). At the same time, it helps you personalize reading
> instruction and intervene with students who need extra help.
> 1.
> Student Reads a Book. The student reads a library or textbook
> selection. All types of student reading are monitored, including
> guided, paired, literature-based, and textbook reading.
> 2.
> Student Takes a Quiz. AR offers more than 75,000 quizzes on library
> books and popular reading textbook series. The quizzes provide
> assessment information to help you motivate reading, monitor progress,
> and target instruction to accelerate reading growth.
> 3.
> You Get Information. You get easy-to-read reports on the reading level
> and comprehension skills of each student to guide instruction and help
> the student select more reading materials.
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> xmca mailing list

Ana Marjanovic'-Shane,Ph.D.

151 W. Tulpehocken St.

Philadelphia, PA 19144

Home office: (215) 843-2909

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