Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 unpublished
40 Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is 41 a theory about the dynamic relationship between learning 42 and development. ZPD is the area between the learner's 43 independent performance level and the level that can be 44 achieved with assistance of a more knowledgeable peer. 45 ZPD not only reveals the learner's potential but also shows 46 that with assistance, a higher performance level can be 47 achieved. 48 Social interaction is also a critical component for other 49 theories.
more » ... er 49 theories. Vygotsky's theories were further elaborated upon 50 by other researchers and implemented into practical appli-51 cations. Some examples are Situated Learning, when learn-52 ing occurs in the same context in which it is applied. 53 Learning is a social process that is co-constructed through 54 the involvement in "community of practice" where mem-55 bers of the community share information and learn from 56 one another (Lave and Wenger 1990). The novice learner 57 embodies beliefs and behaviors through social interac-58 tions with more experienced members of the community. 59 With time, the learner moves from the periphery of the 60 community to the center, becoming more engaged and 61 active within the culture, and eventually takes the role of 62 the expert or senior member. Another example, Cognitive 63 Apprenticeship (Collins et al. 1989), further develops the 64 theory of knowledge construction through social interac-65 tions like coaching, scaffolding, modeling, and reflection. 66 Reciprocal teaching (Palincsar and Brown 1984) is when 67 the teacher or peer provides the learner with guided prac-68 tice using four strategies of summarizing, question gener-69 ating, clarifying, and predicting, when reading a piece of 70 common text. The learner and teacher (or peer) take turns 71 playing the lead role as a teacher, and use the four strate-72 gies to support their discussion on segments of the text. 73 Over time, children begin to internalize the processes until 74 the strategies become a natural part of their internal read-75 ing and listening skills. The strategies help the learner and 76 teacher (or peer) develop deeper understanding of the text 77 and better reading comprehension skills. 78 These theories have also been applied in the context of 79 technology-based learning activities. Peer learning and 80 collaborative learning was once only possible in shared Norbert Seel (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning,