The ZOP refers to the space between the ability of a learner to perform a task under guidance and the ability to perform the same task without guidance. According to Vygotsky this is a major indicator of cognitive development.
The MKO is the superior source of information that impacts on an individual’s cognitive development (Kozulin, 2003). This could be a teacher or any system, group or individuals with more knowledge than the learner could. This theory emphasized on the cultural element in the learning process. Tools fashioned within a culture, such as language and speaking are important cognitive implements, according to this theory. This theory opposes the teacher-centric forms of learning where the teacher of instructor appears to be the focal point of the learning process in the sense that the students remain passive recipients of information. Instead, the theory advocates for a student-centered learning process in which the students participate actively and the teacher collaborates in the process.
Within the context of leadership in educational organizations, this theory could be appropriated in the development of inclusive and participatory policies (Firestone & Riehl, 2005). These policies would allow for consultative approaches in the leadership process. For instance, the implementation of new policies or the establishment of systems of organizational change would not be limited to the opinion and perspectives of the leader. As a leader I would seek the opinion of my subjects in a collaborative manner in order to gain consensus on matters of education development. In the context of learning system, I would use my leadership position to actively advocate for changes in the educational policies, which would promote student-centered approaches in learning. This would include revisions in the curriculum in order to promote learning schedules and modules that promote the active participation of students in the learning process.
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