Three Concepts Reflecting the Reality of Child Development: Ability to learn, Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding

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Abstract

The article provides the analysis of the three concepts used in cultural-historical psychology and cultural-historical activity theory: zone of proximal development, ability to learn and scaffolding that describe the reality of a child's development in interaction with an adult. The connections between the three concepts and boundaries of their implementation for solving teaching tasks are described. Scaffolding means an adult's activities that are aimed at a child and arrange his/her zone of proximal development. Ability to learn is a child's capacity to acquire new knowledge advancing through the zone of proximal development with an adult's support and organized scaffolding. Thus ability to learn is the most important characteristic of a child's zone of actual development. The article analyses methods for assessing ability to learn developed by A. Ya. Ivanova, T. V. Rozanova, N. I. Gutkina, A. S. and N. L. Kaufman; discusses their prognostic potential and limitations. The discussed diagnostic methods allow to perform high-quality analysis of individual trajectories of chuldren's development as well as their learning difficulties.

General Information

Keywords: cultural-historical psychology, child psychological development, ability to learn, zone of proximal development, scaffolding.

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Kotliar I.A., Safronova M.A. Three Concepts Reflecting the Reality of Child Development: Ability to learn, Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2011. Vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 74–83. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

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: iakorepanova@gmail.com

Maria A. Safronova, PhD in Psychology, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology of Education, Research fellow of the laboratory of Theoretical and experimental issues in cultural-historical psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3597-6375, e-mail: mariasaf@gmail.com

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