Zone of Proximal Development
A worthy cause motivates
The cause of any effort fuels with the energy to pursue worthy accomplishments, such as academic interests and professional development. In teaching, beyond imparting content-knowledge and promoting skills development, teachers promote strong will, bolster students’ autonomy, seed discipline and armor self-trust.
Text by: Marina Siskou
Development is a complex entity that doesn’t always clamor when generated.
As learning is based on existent knowledge, professional development commonly happens on the verge of what is known and unknown. New synapses are developed upon prior knowledge. Specified by Gass & Selinker (1993), “[…] all that we know about learning insists that previous knowledge and skills are intimately involved in the acquisition of new knowledge and skills.
Teaching any subject unveils gaps and frailties in knowledge and understanding. If only we recall the age-old memory tip: to memorize anything, try explaining it to someone else; articulating concepts discloses leaks in understanding the theory you try to internalize.
The practice of teaching is ideal in directing us to the right decision regarding our professional development. Teaching enables the tracking our weaknesses.
The Suitable Path
We are driven to pursue development overlapping with our major. Connections with existent knowledge facilitate the development process.
When pursuing development that extends beyond our major though, the effort feels exasperating at the budding stages. Knowledge though can be directed to new territories.
We enter the development territory allured by admiration to our future, accomplished self. From the inside, the living reality is disheartening, often inundating. Realistic expectations seem disappointing, but they provide viable solutions. Resilience is fundamental as we are doomed to disappoint ourselves all too often. One step at the time to successfully reach the finish line of development. Let’s not glorify expectations: Expectations are short-sighted constructs framed by experiences of the present and past reality. Expectations fail to picture the reality beyond the development journey. Still, expectations are useful in promoting the pursuit of knowledge acquisition and improvement. This is the essence of any practice let alone teaching.
Nobody can predict the outcomes of the learning endeavor for teachers.
Everything can be revised, erased, or rearranged. The courage of creation is making bad beginnings.
Teaching the Teachers
The term, as finalized by Millard (2000), refers to ways of enabling teachers to develop their ability to help students to learn. Well-motivated teachers convey their enthusiasm to their students, and this encourages them to learn (Brown, Atkins, 1998). The outcomes of teacher education have favored the teacher and the teaching profession. Today’s teachers are possibly a generation of the best educated teachers, at least on a regional level. International courses defy obstacles previous generations encountered, enabling the pursuit of one’s desired education. Teachers have been the first to make the best of all possibilities for further education.
“Whatever you end up doing, love it”