Online Glossary


Zone of proximal development

The zone of proximal development represents the learning potential of a child compared to their present level of development.

The background knowledge and learning biographies of individual children can vary from one child to another. A child’s current level of development determines what they can already do on their own and what knowledge and abilities they already have. The next steps in a child’s development are located in their zone of proximal development. These steps are things that a child can achieve either with the help of adults or working together with other children. Focusing on such possible development—as opposed to current development—is useful for fostering the giftedness of individuals in the Kitas and in schools.

The authors Nicole Miceli and Anne-Kathrin Stiller have developed this glossary together with the Fachportal Team. The glossary was translated by Daniel Shatwell and edited by Lisa Trierweiler.