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Essay question help please!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by lunymar, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. I have to do an essay for my primary PGCE on one of the theories we've been learning about and how it relates to classroom practice. We have to propose the question to be discussed and I have a mental block about it. I'd like to do mine on Vygotsky and the ZPD but am struggling to think up a focus for the essay. I'm doing my teaching practice in KS2. I don't think I'll have trouble writing the darn thing once I get a title/angle in my head. Any ideas gratefully received!
     
  2. I have to do an essay for my primary PGCE on one of the theories we've been learning about and how it relates to classroom practice. We have to propose the question to be discussed and I have a mental block about it. I'd like to do mine on Vygotsky and the ZPD but am struggling to think up a focus for the essay. I'm doing my teaching practice in KS2. I don't think I'll have trouble writing the darn thing once I get a title/angle in my head. Any ideas gratefully received!
     
  3. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Err...
    Read the wiki page.
    Establish the context both by explaining what ZPD is about and some general stuff about the school & classes you're teaching/observing.
    Then relate ZPD to general teaching, the teaching you've observed and your actual teaching.
    If possible, include lesson plans and observations as appendices and refer to them in your essay.
     
  4. If you have to propose the question yourself, then just think about what you want to write as the "answer" and then choose the question to match.
     
  5. You could look at assessment methods in schools today and how these relate to the theories, eg summative vs. formative assessment. If I remember correctly Vygotsky is pretty much saying sumative assessment is useless as it doesn't give a true picture since it excludes the child's ZPD, so look at how relevant Vgyotsky's theory of ZPD is in schools today, in the culture of summative assessment SATs, NC levels and sub levels, required 'progress' per term/year, and school league tables etc.
    Just an idea, from a fellow PGCE'er who's avoiding assignment writing as we speak!
     
  6. Also, in the NC level descriptors, level 1 says "with help", so a form of ZPD is taken into account, as it is what the child can achieve with adult support, and will probably soon master alone, but then from level 2 upwards it is all summative "can already do alone" rather than "can do with help." Why the switch? Why is the lower end of the school more forward looking, and the upper end more retrospective? How does this sit with Vygotsky's theory? SHould all levels follow a "can do with help" approach for more accurate/useful/fair results?
     
  7. Thanks for all those helpful suggestions, everyone!
     
  8. Just done one on grouping.It used vyotsky ZPD and related it to grouos and he has done specific work on groups. I compared setting (bringing gvt policy in) to mixed ability teaching, then guided read to hearing a child read and within class grouping.
     

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