I’m in the ZOC!

… from this week’s newsletter….

This week as I walked around the classrooms talking to students about their work I was struck by a term some senior Year 5/6 students used “the zone of confusion” or “I’m in the ZOC” and thought parents might appreciate a little explanation.

It was a Mathematics class and a challenging problem had been set and before they were allowed to collaborate with other students or an adult they had to spend 10 minutes “having a go” as individuals. This student term actually refers to two theories of learning teachers are using to structure their lessons. The first theory is called “the zone of proximal development” which stated simply means “the distance between what a child can do on his/her own and what the child can complete with adult assistance”.

zocThe second theory is called “the learning pit” as shown in the picture where students enter this confused state before making meaning or getting clarity.  While I know the teachers have been structuring lessons based on these theories for a while it’s the first time I’ve heard students refer directly to them. I think these senior students were expressing an awareness of the feelings associated with deeper learning.

It’s an interesting question to pose to children as they develop as learners – what confused you this week?

I’ll put this short article on my blog as I’d be interested in their replies to you or your thoughts.

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