Dynamic zone at the edge of one’s competence in which the development of new intellectual skills and competencies takes place. It may be characterized as a distance between an agent’s independent problem-solving capability and capability achieved when the agent relies on a caregiver’s support or some other external scaffolding (Vygotsky, 1962). From the perspective of expansive learning theory, ZPD is a distance between practices prevailing and stabilized within an activity system and cultural-historically available and societally most advanced practices (Engeström, 1987).


Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding. Helsinki: Orienta-Konsultit.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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