The zone of proximal development (ZPD) is a concept developed by psychologist Lev S. Vygotsky to explain how the thinking of children changes developmentally. ZPD is a dynamic concept of development that refers to a continuum from what an individual can do alone, versus with assistance, versus not being able to do even with assistance. ZPD is used by Speech–Language pathologists as an approach to assessment and intervention for persons of all ages. This entry presents the historical context of ZPD and provides information about how it is used by Speech–Language pathologists in assessment and intervention.

Historical Foundations

Vygotsky did not believe that static measures, such as intelligence tests, were useful for understanding how children learn to think and solve problems. His ideas about cognitive development differed ...

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