In describing child development, Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky – a Russian psychologist – employed several concepts namely, mediation, zone of proximal development (ZPD), internalization, guided participation, cultural mediation, scaffolding, and apprenticeship (Berger, 2004). Like children, adults reflect such concepts when learning new or difficult ideas. To relate this idea to my own experiences, as I was learning how to drive, I fully replicated the aforementioned concepts because I initially found this undertaking difficult.
To begin with, I was initially introduced to a tool called the Model Town Theory Board (MTTB) that acted as a mediator between me and the road. Vygotsky’s mediation concept was thus depicted when I used the MTTB to visualize real-life road situations. Afterwards, I went for a road test with my driving instructor whereby I merely observed his driving maneuvers. According to Vygotsky’s concept of apprenticeship, I was being apprenticed to driving. Guided participation played out when I rode alongside my instructor whereby the coach instructed and rectified me as I drove the car.
After sometime, I had gained sufficient skills to enable me to drive with very minimal input from the instructor. As per Vygotsky’s theory, I had by this time internalized the knowledge required in driving. Afterwards, ZPD’s lower limit was exhibited during the first time I sat behind the wheel whereby I could start the car on my own based on the observations I had made as my father drove the family car. Conversely, ZPD upper limit was depicted when the instructor came in to teach me more advanced driving concepts such as the correct changing of gears (McInerney & Etten, 2005).
Ultimately, the instructor could allow me to drive for extended periods of time without assisting me, thus exhibiting Vygotsky’s scaffolding concept. At this stage, the instructor modified the intensity of assistance they offered me by allowing me more me to drive unaided because I had acquired adequate driving expertise. Reference Berger, K. S. (2004). The developing person through the life span. New York, NY : Worth Publishers. McInerney, D. M. ; & Etten, S. V. (2005). Focus on curriculum. Charlotte, NC: IAP.
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