Problems with the ‘zone of proximal development’

It’s hard to have a discussion about learning without someone sooner or later chipping in with the Russian developmental psychologist, Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) to support their position. This might, in part, be because Vygotsky is one of the very few theorists covered in many teachers’ training, but it’s also because it feels intuitively right. Briefly, most people use ZPD to suggest that there is a ‘Goldilocks Effect’ where the level of challenge for a child is ‘just right. If work is too easy, it’s argued, then no learning will take place, and if it’s too hard, then it … Continue reading Problems with the ‘zone of proximal development’