According to Vygotsky and Cole (1978), teachers can use both levels of Vygotsky’s proximal development zone information to organize classroom activities in involving instructions, cooperative learning activities and scaffolding. Instructions can be planned in order to provide adequate practice in the proximal development zone for groups of children or to individual children. Cooperative learning activities can be organized with children’s groups at levels that are different so that they can help one another learn. Scaffolding is a tactic for assisting the child in her or his proximal development zone whereby the adult gives prompts and hints at various levels. Here, the task is not simplified by the adult rather; the learner’s role is effectively simplified through graduated teacher intervention. According to Vygotsky & Cole (1978), the Vygotsky theory suggests that children learn best whenever the material is new in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). This means that the material is not too easy but, a bit challenging which ultimately with a little assistance from an individual who is more learned, the material can be mastered and then shift the zone upwards.
In the Math connect program class; the teacher tried to ensure that the class understood the various basic tests that they were required to perform. The teacher effectively used three methods, which are instructions, cooperative learning and scaffolding to teach the Math lesson. The teacher started by doing examples with the class as a whole and gradually advanced to higher levels in the Zone of Proximal Development. This was done by the teacher in various ways. The teacher did a number of tests and then individual tasks were assigned to the class on individual levels. The teacher used various symbols to do the examples which is an example of TPE 1A. The teacher asked the children to write the test, and he would go round the class checking on the answers individually. This was an example of TPE4. Some of the math addition examples that the teacher gave the students include: 1. Round both 22 and 39 to the nearest ten. 22 rounds to ___ 39 rounds to ____ Then, add the rounded numbers to estimate the sum, therefore the sum of the rounded numbers is ___ 2. 700 – 500 = ____ The teacher was able to assist the children individual by explaining how the questions were supposed to be done in order to arrive at the right answer. Here the teacher was using TPE 6B. Those children, who were not able to get the answer correctly, got the opportunity to be taught on an individual level. This assistance was particularly much helpful to each child since they got the chance to be explained individually where they did not understand. After going around the class, the teacher divided the class into groups of three’s and questions were given to the groups to tackle. The children here were able to discuss in groups in answering the questions. The teacher then went round in the various groups checking on their progress and answering any