As educators, you can greatly help adolescents to make tremendous gains in their cognitive development through facilitating critical classroom discussions, using multiple modalities for learning, and allowing students to engage in individual and group work on topics of interest to them but are in-line with the curriculum. For this assignment, you will discuss the Zone of Proximal Development and how you as an educator plan to guide students’ learning within their individual zones. Be sure to select an area of study in which you plan to teach and a topic or task that students might have difficulty understanding. How will you employ the scholarly suggestions outlined in the texts above to guide (or facilitate) your students’ success? For example, English Language Arts is a chosen area of study and the topic/task is essay writing – writing a 5-part essay. Please be detailed in your description and clearly outline your role in helping students within the ZPD.
Submit a paper 1-2 pages in length, exclusive of the reference page, double-spaced using 12 point Times New Roman Font. The paper must cite at least 1 source (from the unit and 2 sources form outside reading) in APA format and be well-written. Check all content for grammar, spelling and to be sure that you have properly cited all sources.
Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
Papers will be assessed using this rubric. https://my.uopeople.edu/pluginfile.php/1405891/mod_workshop/instructauthors/Unit%203%20Written%20Assignment%20Rubric.pdf
1. Blakemore S.J., & Choudhury, S. (2006). Development of the adolescent brain: Implications for executive function and social cognition. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 47. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01611.x
- This article goes into detail about executive functioning and social cognition as they pertain to the developing adolescent.
2. Fischer, K. W. (1980, November). A theory of cognitive development: The control and construction of hierarchies of skills. Psychological Review 87(6), 1-55. https://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ddl/articlesCopy/FischerTheoryCognDev1980_old.pdf
- This article looks at a theory of cognitive development known as skill theory where cognitive development is thought to be a series of skill structures known as levels.
3. Gardner, H., & Hatch, T. (1989, November). Multiple intelligences go to school: Educational implications of the theory of multiple intelligences. Educational Researcher, 18 (8), pp. 4-10.https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1176460.pdf?casa_token=l9PFNGIWeYMAAAAA:Nht3ps8qQ_3YpyWn732lh-oZ0XCmmNr0EdRgiDS9Fg–7B6gCt1x5GRPLTXeACtNWsqTbsa7RbqgXM9oS9mXURs1NjNI8BSdSccaSYmYj3QJJGfMpnA
- Howard Gardner’s theory on multiple intelligences is important to take note of, as he identifies and discusses the many ways in which educators should promote students’ talents, which might fall outside of the realm of academia. It is important as educators to ensure that all students feel good about their abilities, as it takes cognitive strength to engage in many tasks, in and outside of the classroom environment. For instance, a basketball player must understand his/her body, how s/he moves, and various different strategies for scoring points against opponents and winning games. Everyone is not going to be a successful basketball player just like everyone is not going to be a successful scholar in academia, but some individuals will be successful in these arenas. Therefore, we should encourage students’ varied interests, so they feel confident in their level of intelligence.
4. John-Steiner, V., & Mahn, H. (2012. December). Sociocultural approaches to learning and development: A Vygotskian Framework. Educational Psychologist, 31(3/4), 191-206. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Holbrook_Mahn/publication/233858618_Sociocultural_Approaches_to_Learning_and_Development-A_Vygotskian_Framework/links/0fcfd50c3d30ccc22e000000.pdf
- This article explores three central concepts of Vygotskian framework to analyze the connection between learning and development: social sources of individual development; semiotic mediation in human development; and genetic analysis.
5. Mirza, H. (2008). Race, gender and educational desire: Why black women succeed and fail. Download the PDF
- Read the Introduction. IQ or intelligence is still a hot topic when discussing adolescents. However, we must take into consideration how many IQ tests and other academic assessment tests are biased in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and culture.
6. Sanders, R. A. (2013). Adolescent psychosocial, social, and cognitive development. Pediatrics in Review, 34(8), 354–359.
- Cognition refers to mental processes such as thinking, memorization, and the like. As children move into adolescence and adolescents move into adulthood, the way in which they interact with data and the way in which they think should change. They should become faster information processors and be more sophisticated in their thinking and problem-solving skills as they mature.
7. Shabani, K., Khatib, M., & Ebadi, S. (2010, December). Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development: Instructional implications and teachers’ professional development. English Language Teaching, 3 (4), 237-248. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1081990.pdf
- Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD or Zo-Ped) is important to understand, as all learning occurs within the ZPD. Vygotsky felt that learning was continuous (and did not occur in stages), and that as long as we are learning, we are within the ZPD. The ZPD is the difference between what students can do alone (actual developmental level) and what they can do with assistance (potential developmental level). To reach their potential development, adult scaffolding or guided instruction, as well as peer learning must occur within the ZPD, where tools and symbols are utilized to assist students with learning. For instance, students having difficulty with writing essays might find peer feedback helpful in scaffolding their learning, so as to improve essay production. Students who understand multiplication and division might have difficulty with fractions but will only feel confident with fractions after much-guided practice with a teacher. So, as educators, you have to pay attention to when an adolescent is entering into a ZPD. It is typically when they have difficulty understanding and/or performing a task.
1. Spinks, S. (2002, January 31). Inside the Teenage Brain [Video]. Frontline.
- Thought Question: How does the brain development of teens impact their cognitive development within the academic realm? This video is an investigative report that follows several adolescent students in understanding why they behave as they do. You will hear from experts who explore the recesses of the brain to find new explanations for adolescent behavior. This information is extremely helpful in understanding how we parent, teach and understand teens. Please think of some take-home messages from the video.