Towards a more symmetrical approach to the zone of proximal development in teacher education
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AbstractABSTRACT This article focuses on relations between a new teacher and a teacher educator. It draws on the zone of proximal development (ZPD) studies, and the data is analyzed through conversation analysis. Ordinarily, the ZPD is used to theorize the learning that occurs in such a relation in asymmetrical terms. Our case study shows, however, that learning occurs for both participants in the relation, and that the very question of who becomes “the more competent peer” arises from the relation that constitutes a ZPD. Therefore, there are dialectical inversions, whereby the actual roles of teacher and learner no longer coincide with the institutionally designated positions of particular individuals. This then requires an approach to the ZPD that allows for the changes in the relation such that who teaches and who learns is itself the result of the social relation.