EDPN 620 – Child Development and Learning in the Cultural Context Professor

EDPN 620 – Child Development and Learning in the Cultural Context
Professor Anna Toom, PhD
Teaching Memo – Discussion Session #10
Dr. Toom’s recommendations for Learning Observation Report
Learning differs from other psychological components that you observed and reported before – cognitive, emotional and communicational/social – by its dynamic nature. From this point of view, the best theoretical concept to apply to this part of your assignment is the Zone of Proximal Development which allows seeing how students comprehend and develop a new skill/knowledge under the influence of their instructor or more competent peers.
To register learning, the following conditions should be met:
a task should be new for a child (or at least it should be a more complicated version of a task that a child is familiar with)
a teacher’s explanation of a new material should be present
a student’s practice of a new material should be present
If these three conditions are taken into account, it would be possible to make a comparison of a child’s initial and final knowledge and skill and prove/disprove their development.
Initial knowledge/skill manifests an actual level of a child’s ZPD. Final one, i.e. received as a result of collaborative work with a teacher and peers, manifests a potential level of his/her ZPD.
A qualitative difference between initial and final levels of knowledge/skill
is the best evidence of a child’s learning, not just studying