The Relational Zone – The Role of Caring Relationships in the Co-Construction of Mind
The literature rooted in Vygotsky‘s theories has focused on the more strictly cognitive aspects of the process of the co-construction of mind, leaving the affective nature of these interactions unexplored. The purpose of this article is to describe the affective, volitional face of the zone of proximal development. By drawing on Nel Noddings’s work on the ethic of care, I argue that the interpersonal character of the zone of proximal development closely resembles a caring encounter. In merging caring and the notion of the co-construction of knowledge, I intend to broaden our conception of the teaching-learning process and to enhance our understanding of the roles played by affect, volition, and relationship in cognitive development.