Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
- Dr. Fred R. Volkmar
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A concept developed by the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934) to describe the point where a child (or adult) is most able to learn. From the educator’s point of view, this suggests giving the child materials/tasks that are carefully selected to enable the child to advance without overwhelming them. Put another way, this notion refers to tasks that the child is capable of learning and performing (often initially with guidance) before these become fully independent activities.
Vygotsky’s views, in some ways, prefigure certain current approaches to treatment and intervention (e.g., in learning difficulties). Other approaches, e.g., Maria Montessori’s teaching methods, similarly attempt to match activities with skills that are emerging for the individual child. Other theorists have referred to these concepts in slightly different ways, e.g., J. McV. Hunt (1961) referred to the “problem of the match.”
- Hunt, J. Mc. V. (1961). Intelligence and experience. New York: Ronald Press.
- Montessori, M. (1913). Pedagogical anthropology. London, UK: William Heinemann.
- Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
- Reference Work Title
- Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- p 3421
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer New York
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media New York
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- Fred R. Volkmar (1)
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology Yale University School of Medicine, Chief, Child Psychiatry Children's Hospital at Yale-New Haven Child Study Center
- Dr. Fred R. Volkmar (16311)
- Author Affiliations
- 16311. Director – Child Study Center, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology, School of Medicine, Yale University, 230 South Frontage Road, 06520-7900, P.O. Box 207900, New Haven, CT, USA
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