2 Sep 2022


Scaffolding and ZDP - The Perfect Solution for Your Construction Needs

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Developed by Lev Vygotsky, the zone of proximal development describes the difference between what a learner can undertake on his or her own and what he or she can do without assistance. According to Vygotsky, a child follows what he or she observes from an adult and gradually undertakes some chores without any support ( Fernández, Wegerif, Mercer & Rojas-Drummond 2015) . The primary role of education founded within the concepts of ZDP focus on providing children with experiences as founded within their ability to learn with and without assistance thus encouraging advancement of their acquisition of knowledge ( Haider & Yasmin 2015) . An example of a zone of proximal development is a student having ability to solve a specific science task with the help of an instructor but left on his or her own is challenged by the task. Ever since its development by Lev Vygotsky, ZDP has been modified, expanded, and changed into new models. 

Concept of Scaffolding 

Fernández et al., (2015) that scaffolding is related to zone proximal development in many ways. As Valkenburg (2015) explained, scaffolding delineates a process by which an instructor gives assistance to a learner within his or her ZDP as required, and reduces assistance as it gradually becomes redundant. It thus entails how an instructor provides guidance to a learner through focused queries in addition to positive engagements. Haider and Yasmin (2015) explained that t he central concept of scaffolding entails numerous instructional techniques and strategies applied to move a learner gradually to greater understanding and better independence on the learning procedures. 

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The Relationship between ZPD and Scaffolding 

Haider and Yasmin (2015) affirmed that s caffolding has a direct relationship with zone proximal development in offering support mechanism that assists a student to successfully undertake a task that lies in his or her ZPD precinct. According to Fernández et al., (2015) there are numerous ways of scaffolding such as questioning that offer support to ZDP of a learner that is critical in their learning and development process. For example, through questioning, a teacher can help a student build on their previous capabilities and make sense of new information or data. Here, the teacher offers scaffolding to help the learner achieve a given task by way of assistance, one that a learner failed not complete. Haider and Yasmin (2015) noted that t hrough this strategy, the instructor helps a learner by use of zone proximal development. 

Why this relationship is important to understand teaching and learning 

Notably, it is critical to understand the relationship between scaffolding and ZDP since it offers a teacher and student the opportunity to apply appropriate strategies in teaching and learning. At the same time, O'Donnell, Reeve and Smith (2011) noted that it helps the instructor understand learners positioning regarding the best methodology to adopt at one given instance. For example, understanding the concept of the two allows an instructor to know exactly how and when to come in towards helping learner progress in a given learning scenario. Understanding the relationship between the two is important in helping an instructor know which one to apply at any one given time thus inculcating the best teaching methodology and strategy. 

Part 2 

Learning Situation 

In my teaching situation, I worked with class one learners who I had tasked to complete reading a comprehensive essay and complete. I worked with two groups with the first having a higher ability to read and understand on their own and a second group that had numerous challenges in reading. The storybooks involved bedtime stories of no more than 10 pages. The first group had little difficulty in undertaking the assignment tasks that came after completing the story. They had better reading comprehension coupled with numerous strategies for completing the assigned tasks. With the second group, I had to use a set of questions to awaken their memories of what they read to enable them to undertake the tasks appropriately and in line with the outlined guidance in the book. I involved numerous inputs to get the second group to understand the basic concepts of the reading, a strategy that paid off as the learners were now better placed to undertake the assigned tasks. 

By putting the two groups at similar levels, they collaborated well by way of peer tutoring and guiding each other through the entire exercise. The second group achieved much by way of collaborative learning and complementing each other on their various skills and abilities. With the first group, I realized that they helped one another through bringing each other up on their different abilities of understanding. By way of applying self-instructions, the first group enhanced the other’s learning and comprehension abilities. At the same time, through questioning and group discussion with the second group, they were able to complete the assigned tasks in line with the guidelines I gave them. The ZDP I applied in the two teaching scenarios include; with the first group, they worked on their own to complete the assigned tasks that came after the stories in the reading. They did not depend on any guidance from me. However, with the second group, I had to help them put together what they had read to answer the questions after the reading appropriately. I used what they knew and understood to get a better perception of what was required in the assigned tasks. With the first group, they did not get any teacher-input to compete with the reading and the tasks. However, with the second group, even after completing the reading on their own, they required my input to complete the remaining part of the assignment that entailed answering questions relating to the reading they had gone through. I believe through collaborative learning, in which I engaged the second group by way of questions and discussion, I helped them understand the basic requirements of the tasks in addition to completing the tasks as required. The strategy also further helped the second group improve on their level of competence and understanding skills. 


Fernández, M., Wegerif, R., Mercer, N., & Rojas-Drummond, S. (2015). Re-conceptualizing" scaffolding" and the Zone of Proximal Development in the Context of Symmetrical Collaborative Learning.  Journal of Classroom Interaction , 54-72. 

Haider, M., & Yasmin, A. (2015). Significance of scaffolding and peer tutoring in the light of Vygotsky’s theory of zone of proximal development.  International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics 1 (3), 2015. 

O'Donnell, A. M., Reeve, J., & Smith, J. K. (2011).  Educational psychology: Reflection for action . John Wiley & Sons. 

Valkenburg, J. (2015). Scaffolding and tutoring mathematics. Learning Assistance Review (TLAR), 20(2), 33–45. 

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