Social Interaction and Education: Cultural-Historical Context



In the analytic article that summarizes the results of a large number of research, Russian and foreign, the main question of the developmental and pedagogical psychology is formulated – the question of the efficacy of interaction between students during the process of problem-solving (if interpreted in wider form, this is the question about the sources and conditions of mental development); the particular characteristics of the organization of joint activity within the group (student — student, student — teacher etc.) are investigated. The article contains discussion of psychological foundations of the problem of social interaction and education, the influence of social interaction upon the development of child thinking within the context of the theories of J. Piaget, L.S. Vygotsky, G.H. Mead et al. The hypothesis that social interaction, being organized in specific way, can significantly influence the development of child thinking is substantiated. A series of experimental examples show that the success in a joint action (problem-solving) is achieved not only within conditions of co-operation, in presence of cognitive conflict, but also on the basis of the kind of organization when the way of interaction becomes object of special analysis and action form the children part. Two ways of organization of learning activity are considered – learning through imitation of the adult’s actions and through transformation of the very ways of interaction with other children and with the adults. It is demonstrated that during the process of development the child can switch from one type of activity to the other. Based upon the statements about joint-shared activity, a point is substantiated on creating new computer learning aids (communication-oriented computer-mediated environments), and the principles of pedagogic of collaboration are formulated.

General Information

Keywords: mental development, education, social interaction, problem-solving, shared activity

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Rubtsov V.V. Social Interaction and Education: Cultural-Historical Context. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2005. Vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 14–24. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vitaliy V. Rubtsov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, President, Head of the International UNESCO Chair «Cultural-Historical Psychology of Childhood», Moscow State University of Psychology & Education (MSUPE), President of the Federation of Educational Psychologists of Russia, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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