Zone of Proximal Development
"What a child can do in collaboration today, he can do independently tomorrow."
By high school, students have gone through quite a few different teachers and have experienced many different teaching styles. High school teachers cannot be sure of what their students have learned in the past or what they are prepared to learn in a high school class. The key to teaching this varied group of students is to discover their Zone of Proximal Development, the place where they learn best. Determining each students’ Zone of Proximal Development will allow for more constructive differentiation and scaffolding. This will lead to more productive learning for each student!
Level of Actual Development: Tasks that the student can do without assistance. Tasks that the student has mastered.
Discerning the Zone of Proximal Development is important to implement scaffolding in your classroom.
Scaffolding is the guidance that teachers offer students when students learn a new concept.
The term “scaffolding” references the scaffolding that is placed around a building while it is being built. As construction is completed, the scaffolding is slowly taken away and moved upward.3 In the same way, as students learn more, they need less teacher guidance and progress to more complex concepts and move upward.