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Zone of Proximal Lethary (2014 - Blog #25)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

In education, there is a term we us for figuring out that sweet spot for teaching & learning. It is called the Zone of Proximal Development - ZPD (Lev Vygotsky ) It is continually changing space between that which we can do without assistance and that which we can do with assistance. If we teach outside a person's ZPD, the chances of learning a slim and the chances of major frustration are high. There were many classes I took in high school that were way beyond my personal ZPD and I just gave up or thought I was dumb or or or.. My very best teachers always seemed to know exactly how much I needed to stretch to learn something new and feel confident still with my abilities.

I use this same thought process for when I train. I can't go from walking to running a half marathon without some carefully planned training that stair-steps me (scaffolds me) to success. Success without major injury, success across the finish line and success with feelings of confidence that I can in fact do it.

As I was jogging today - pushing myself a little longer this time, the ZPD mantra drummed with the rhythm of the songs. I was stair-stepping carefully to the fringes of my comfort zone, and into the productive ZPD. I will be sore tomorrow, but I will have pushed myself a little more.

I also thought about how much I also have a ZPL... a term I am coining right here right now - my own ZONE OF PROXIMAL LETHARGY. It is that zone between me and the invitation of the couch to hang out. It is that zone of letting my mind think that "maybe I will skip the gym today." It is that zone that pulls at me to stay in bed a half hour longer and to not get moving. Is it that zone that pulls like a strong magnet if I give in. It is a zone of extreme caution!! As powerful as my ZPD is, so is my Zone of Proximal Lethargy. If I give in, it really can catapult me into doing zero-zilch-nada!

So, my goal this week -- avoid my ZPL and power into my ZPD!

Have a powerfully exhilarating ZPD kind of day :)

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes."
Marcel Proust

MANTRA: Every opportunity is a choice. Every choice is an opportunity. (me)

PHOTO OF THE DAY: My mountain..powerful regardless of the moment!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love this blog! I had a fight with my ZPL this evening for about ten minutes before going out for a walk/run. As a teacher I've been trying to apply the ZPD, too - enough to challenge me but not discourage myself. Could stretch myself more though. I love the way you've put this struggle into words.
    1417 days ago
  • NANCY-
    We must avoid the ZPL.
    1419 days ago
    ZPL - aaah I know it well!
    I will be sure to walk today, even though I feel I could use the rest.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    1419 days ago
    fighting the pull of the ZPL right now. OOOOOH! it is strong....but I WILL get to ZPD! its the next thing on the agenda for today. TURBO JAM here I come! Love your creative thought process. Congrats on that jog. Keep it going! ZPD! ZPD! ZPD! LOL
    Have a great week and thanks for the thought provoking (and humorous!) blog
    1419 days ago
    You are singing my song sister!
    Except I'm sorry to say, I have yet to " stair-step(ping) carefully to the fringes of my comfort zone, and into the productive ZPD"
    New emoticon in the furnace room emoticon what a place for motivation?
    But here's to finding my ZPD!
    1419 days ago
    Love it! And I'm so darn impressed with you jogging for 6 miles! WOW!
    1419 days ago
    I love your new term and can totally relate!

    Stay strong and enjoy your training!!
    1419 days ago
    Great blog and I will use the new principles ou have spoken of in you lblog!
    1419 days ago
    emoticon we need to keep pushing
    1419 days ago
    I try to keep a whip and a chair between me and my ZPL. You're right that giving in to it gives it much more power subsequently. It's easier for me to not give it an inch than to try to reign it in after letting it have its way.
    1419 days ago
    Kudos to pushing your limits! We all are capable of more than we think we are!

    1420 days ago
    LOVE learning new terms! Thanks for these. And I'll start thinking in these terms as I work on ramping up my TRI workouts. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1420 days ago
    Love it! I almost got sucked in to the ZPL this morning, but I pulled out of it in time, raced to church and was in time for the homily. Kept me going the rest of the day.
    1420 days ago
    Thanks for sharing the concept of ZPD. This would account for the numerous times that I have been unsuccessful. I have simply taken on more than I could work with effectively and made myself feel overwhelmed.
    ZPL is also an effective-concept-one that I know well. Each day I am getting better at moving on from ZPL. Woo Hoo!
    1420 days ago
    This mountain of yours, how does this represent you? I'd love to have you do a blog about that. Your connection to this beautiful mountain is powerful. I think it connects you to that inner core of Self that has no fear, no doubt, just centeredness and connected to a Power greater than self.

    Anyways getting back to your blog: Fantastic! I love your resisting that small evil voice that tells you to back down on being your active self. I have that voice also and it lost today! Yea us!
    1420 days ago
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