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Collaborative problem-solving and Zone of Proximal Development . Lala Mamedov KA702. Overview. Lev Vygotsky and ZPD Concept introduction Examples Scaffolding ZPD in literature Institutional creativity Cognitive effects of and with computer technology

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Presentation Transcript
  • Lev Vygotsky and ZPD
    • Concept introduction
    • Examples
    • Scaffolding
  • ZPD in literature
    • Institutional creativity
    • Cognitive effects of and with computer technology
    • Peer-to-peer learning for social transformation
    • Symmetrical ZPD
  • Expanding ZPD to peer-to-peer collaboration
    • Swarming
    • Knowledge co-creation
  • Summary
  • References
about lev vygotsky
About Lev Vygotsky
  • Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934): Russian social-constructivist psychologist
  • Main Concepts
    • Higher and lower mental functions
    • Cognitive-Mediation Theory
    • Zone of proximal development (ZPD)
zone of proximal development
Zone of proximal development
  • Definition: ‘…the distance between the actual developmental level as determined through independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers’ (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86)
  • Zone of Proximal Development describes the human development as a s socially mediated activity.
  • Cognitive apprenticeship
  • Examples
    • Birdhouses and mom reading
    • Two 8 yr old pupils at the same actual level of knowledge: different speed of assisted problem-solving: different ZPDs
  • There is no single point at which the child had developed the skill but didn’t have it before.
zone of proximal development5
Zone of Proximal Development




zpd summary
ZPD: Summary
  • Development level is not a point but a range
  • From complete mastery of lower level skills and knowledge to the upper limit
  • Actual – potential: in between is present
  • Zone is dynamic
    • Each knowledge domain has its own zone
  • Varies per person
  • Society and adult cooperate in creating tools for development: More Capable Peer or Adult
  • Intermental to intramental
  • Not Vygotsky’s term but his concept: dynamic, adaptive support and adult mediation of child’s learning
  • Term introduced by Jerome Bruner: "vicarious consciousness"
  • Support just above the level of construction
  • Has to be within ZPD
  • Vygotsky: Social pretend play provided scaffolding
  • Co-construction of skills
zpd in literature 1
ZPD in literature: 1
  • Hasse, Institutional creativity (2001)
    • The two students - Alexander and Anni - are not on the same level of ZPD.
    • Different contexts and different expectations
    • Role of the teacher: not just master the textbook, but point the pathways for development (Fielding model!)

Hasse suggests that the teacher also operates within the ZPD and has own the zone of actual and a potential development

zpd in literature 2
ZPD in literature: 2
  • Salomon , Cognitive Effects With and Of Computer Technology (1990)
  • Effects of technology: cognitive residue
  • Effects with technology: can now do more
  • System child+adult more intelligent that each separately: computer as a more capable peer or adult
  • But can the child grow cognitively? Yes, is there is a mindful engagement:
    • Stretching abilities boundaries (=scaffolding)
    • Skills internalization (intermental to intramental)
zpd in literature 3
ZPD in literature: 3
  • Sawchuk, Informal Learning as a Speech-exchange System: Implications for Knowledge Production, Power and Social Transformation (2003)
  • More capable peer is not needed: two novices can create own ZPD
  • "Indeed, by demonstrating how novices can themselves collectively construct a ZPD in order to increase individual and collective knowledgeability we engage in a process of unsettling taken-for-granted themes of power, control, and knowledge." (304)
zpd in literature 4
ZPD in literature: 4
  • Fernandez et al, Re-conceptualizing "Scaffolding" and the Zone of Proximal Development in the Context of Symmetrical Collaborative Learning (2001)
  • a) Disputational talk
  • b) Cumulative talk
  • c) Exploratory talk
  • “ One way of talking (disputational talk) restricts the group's ZPD while another (exploratory talk) expands it. This group version of the ZPD is no longer the product of a teacher's conscious intention. It is better understood as a symmetrical version of the concept of the Intermental Development Zone, in which language is used in a dynamic and dialogical way to maintain and develop a shared context."
zpd and collaborative problem solving
ZPD and collaborative problem-solving
  • Why is ZPD applicable?
    • Vygotsky used this with child-adult dyad
    • But can also be applied to a more capable peer
  • In collaborative problem resolution, each participant comes in with different levels of knowledge and experience
  • Problem-solving is a collaboration where each participant is a “more capable other”
  • Co-creation of knowledge through storytelling
  • Learning happens in the process of mastering a new skill; collaborative problem-solving is mastering of a challenge
  • Tacit to explicit knowledge
  • In collaboration, ZPD of each participant varies – and the person with the greater knowledge is not necessarily the one who would come up with the correct answer – has to be within the ZPD for the person
  • Maybe if it is in the “already mastered” phase, people are less likely to make new connections – they need to stretch
collaborative problem solving
Collaborative problem-solving







“Reference scenarios can provide a resource: a similar problem, an already-worked-out interpretation, or a possible solution arrived at in an analogous case. As precedents enclosed in stories, scenarios are potentially relevant to all domains.” (Knorr-Cetina, 1999)

  • Concept of Zone of Proximal Development can be applied not only to hierarchical learning, but also to symmetric learning
  • Group problem-resolution is a type of collaborative learning, or team sense-making
  • Knowledge is co-constructed through narrative
  • Tacit knowledge is converted into explicit
  • Next step: investigate models of group problem-solving
  • Daniels, H. (1996). An introduction to Vygotsky. London. New York: Routledge.
  • Fernandez, M., Wegerif, R., Mercer, N., & Rojas-Drummond, S. (2001). Re-conceptualizing "scaffolding"and the zone of proximal development in the context of symmetrical collaborative learning. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 36(2)-37(1), 40-54.
  • Hasse, C. (2001). Institutional Creativity: The Relational Zone of Proximal Development. Culture & Psychology, 7(2), 199-221.
  • Knorr-Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures : how the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Martin, C., & Bernadette, H. (1998). Vygotsky and learning. Education Libraries Journal, 41(3), 17.
  • Rogoff, B., & Wertsch, J. V. (1984). Children's learning in the "zone of proximal development". San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Salomon, G. (1990). Cognitive Effects With and Of Computer Technology. Communication Research, 17(1), 26-44.
  • Sawchuk, P. H. (2003). Informal Learning as a Speech-exchange System: Implications for Knowledge Production, Power and Social Transformation. Discourse & Society, 14(3), 291-307.
  • Vygotskii, L. S., & Cole, M. (1978). Mind in society : the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Vygotskii, L. S., & Rieber, R. W. (1997). The history of the development of higher mental functions. New York; London: Plenum.
  • Wentzel, K. R., & Watkins, D. E. (2002). Peer Relationships and Collaborative Learning as Contexts for Academic Enablers. The School Psychology Review [H.W. Wilson - EDUC], 31(3), 366.