The Empirical Study of the Zone of Proximal Development: Operational, Technical and Motivational Components of the Action



The article discusses the possibility of an empirical research of the child's zone of proximal development (ZPD). We used works of D.B. Elkonin on the meaningful action as our base. The pilot study consisted of two parts. Its aim was to study how formation of motivational and operational components of the action takes place in the ZPD space of a meaningful action. The appearance conditions of productive action's different meanings (motives) in children of elder preschool age were discussed in the first part. The results indicate that different meanings affect the action performance productivity differently. In the second part the problem of selection of the best sample, depending on the complexity of the performed action was discussed based on the example of tying the tourist knots by children of primary school age. The article concludes that the creation of the object action's ZPD space is related to intervention on operational-technical and motiveneed aspects of the action.

General Information

Keywords: Object Action, the Zone of Proximal Development, Support, Motive-Need Aspect of the Action, OperationalTechnical Aspect of the Action

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Sokolova T.D., Tarasova I.P., Kotliar I.A. The Empirical Study of the Zone of Proximal Development: Operational, Technical and Motivational Components of the Action. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2009. Vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 28–35. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


    1. Balabanov I. V. Uzly. M., 2006.

Information About the Authors

Tatiana D. Sokolova, Postgraduate Student at Psychology Department, International University of Nature, Society and Humankind "Dubna", Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

I. P. Tarasova, Psychologist, Department of Methodological Support, Service of Applied Educational Psychology, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Inna A. Kotliar, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Research Associate, Dubna State University, Center of Applied Psychological and Pedagogical Studies, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Dubna, Russia, e-mail:



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