Use of Automaticity

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Summary of Vygotsky’s sone of Proximal Development (ZPD): This concept is each learner having  a “zone” on what they can accomplish on their own and the assistance level of instructors (Martinez, 2010).  The ZPD “challenges” the idea that students can learn better with the help of instructors as opposed to independent activities (Martinez, 2010). In other words, the middle ground between a students’ developmental level to the capability of problem-solving assistance with instructors or peers. This “zone” of providing education is beneficial to the student since comprehension levels improve (Martinez, 2010). If curriculum does not change or adapt, learning cannot take place (Levykh, 2008).

How Teachers Can Scaffold: As an instructor, I can assist with learning within the ZPD by scaffolding. One example of this approach is to incorporate visual aids in the lesson. This tactic helps to increase a students’ skill set on the material by interacting in a different manner. If the lesson plan in biology class involves photosynthesis, teachers can have various plants placed in windows exposed to sunlight to provide visual components to learning.

Use of Automaticity: Automaticity involves practicing a certain skill set that can be performed in the future with little to no effort  (Martinez, 2010). Teachers can utilize this method to improve a students’ reading comprehension level in the classroom. For example, site words can be provided for students to read that pertain to the elementary reading level for practice. Word recognition is imperative to reading and comprehension. “Most literacy educators consider fluency to be a critical component of reading development” (Kuhn, Schwanenflugel, & Meisinger, 2010, p. 230 as cited by Rasinski, Blachowicz, & Lems, 2006). Before comprehension can begin, fluency and recognition of words need to be established.

Kuhn, M., Schwanenflugel, P. & Meisinger, E. (2010). Aligning Theory and Assessment of Reading Fluency: Automaticity, Prosody, and Definitions of Fluency. International Reading Association, Volume 45(2). doi:10.1598/RRQ.45.2.4. Pages 230-251.

Levykh, M. (2008). The Affective Establishment and Maintenance of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. Educational Theory, Volume 58(1). 83-101.

Martinez, M. (2010). Learning and Cognition: The Design of the Mind. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

 

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