Proximal zone of development

Posted by Jim Klaas on January 11, 2012

Dear 1 MLers,
To find out what the proximal zone of development is: click here.
Happy learning,

About the 1 Minute Learner
Jim Klaas is a learning coach, author, and the founder of DevEd International, a firm specializing in innovative learning solutions and international development. Find out more at

I just learned a new educational term: Proximal zone of development. This means tasks should be given just a little beyond what we can comfortably do. This is not easy to construct and certainly can’t be mass produced. In a sense it is the holy grail of instructional design.
Make it too easy and the hoop jumping seems unnecessary. Make it too difficult and it seems impossible and one gives up. Chosen correctly, it respects the learner, maintains motivation and ensures best possible outcomes.
To what extent can we as learners choose the proximal zone of development? I think we can learn to evaluate challenges and choose wisely. Especially if the learning allows us to set objectives and provides feedback from others in the journey.


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