In children, the zone of proximal development is the potential of actual development. This means if a child is taught through imitation or through collaboration, the capability of development is the zone of…
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Vygotsky suggests that Piaget is using adult thinking to solve a child’s actual thought process. Both views have merit to a degree, but Vygotsky’s view can help expand a child’s education from what is to what can be.
The zone of proximal development is the ability of the child to mimic or learn through group intervention. The zone of proximal development is the abilities the child can be taught. Vygotsky feels that the child should be judged on the level of zone proximal development. Vygotsky gave an example about two children being on the same level in actual development, but having a different zone of proximal development. Vygotsky asserts that children having a different zone of proximal development will not experience the same level of actual development.
Piaget does not agree with the zone of proximal development, but rather asserts that the test of actual development is the level a child should be judged by. Piaget feels current tests of actual development are the true measure of the child’s ability. Vygotsky’s method contends that the zone of proximal development is not just potential. For example, a child might mimic a simple behavior that they can grasp like a simple math problem. However, if an advanced mathematics was introduced, no matter how many times demonstrated, the child would not pick up the skill. The zone of proximal development is what a child can achieve with help, not impossible tasks beyond their level of development.
The zone of proximal development leads to actual development according to Vygotsky. His point of view is tests like Piaget uses only test the actual development, not the actual ability to develop or the rate of development. Learning and development are never on an equal basis. The development is either before or after learning. The two are not parallel in relation to each other.
Vygotsky also pointed out that animals do not have a zone of proximal
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This paper compares and contrasts Vygotsky, Piaget and Bruner with respect to their study of knowledge acquisition. According to Piaget “whatever goes on in the head is organised in a way that parallels the organization of external behaviour. It is the set of relationships or the logic of the system, that get internalised, not just the behaviour”(Nuthall, 1997, p.21).
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