Symbolization in the Structure of Abilities in Children of Preschool and School Age



This research explores the role of symbolization in educational activity in children of late preschool and early school age. The aim of the research was to compare the efficiency of using sign and symbolic means (i.e. schemes and models) in the learning of some new content in preschool and early school age. The study involved 46 children of late preschool age from one of the Moscow kindergartens, 20 girls and 26 boys (M = 78 months); and 25 first grade students of one of the Moscow schools, 16 girls and 9 boys (M = 101 months). The study consisted of the following stages: carrying out tests of mental abilities and dividing the subjects into two sub¬groups within each age group (that is, two subgroups of preschool children and two subgroups of school chil¬dren) with equal levels of development of the explored abilities; conducting developmental lessons aimed at making the children familiar with phenomena characterizing phase transitions in states of aggregation of mat¬ter — with the help of symbolic means (in the experimental group) or sign means (in the control group); carrying out a posttest, that is, measuring the level of development of the concepts of aggregate states in all sub¬groups. The outcomes of the research indicated that symbolization may actually be an effective means of con¬structing learning content both in preschool and in early school age.

General Information

Keywords: psychology of preschool and early school age, symbolization, regulatory functions, symbolic mediation

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Veraksa A.N., Yakupova V.A., Martynenko M.N. Symbolization in the Structure of Abilities in Children of Preschool and School Age. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 48–56. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2015110205. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Aleksandr N. Veraksa, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vice-Director of Psychological Institute, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Vera A. Yakupova, PhD in Psychology, Researcher, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Margarita N. Martynenko, Student, Institute of Psychology Named After L. S. Vygotsky, Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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