Relationship between Learning and Development: Problems and Perspectives



This article discusses one of the central problems of cultural-historical psychology — the relationship between learning and development. We analyze the modern interpretation of L.S. Vygotsky’s ideas in research and practice and show that much of what the author of cultural-historical psychology proposed was somehow left behind by scientists and practitioners, whereas some of his ideas were perverted and even contradict the logic of non-classical psychology. The article emphasizes the need for research and analysis of many pressing problems of modern psychology in the context of cultural-historical psychology. For example, we suggest that the concepts of psychological and personal readiness for schooling should be interpreted in terms of the learning types classification proposed by L.S. Vygotsky. Particular attention is paid to the concept of the zone of proximal development. We point to some inconsistency between Vygotsky’s understanding of this concept and he way it is used in modern education. We believe that limiting developmental learning to the focus on the zone of proximal development to a greater extent reflects the ability to learn rather than provides evidence of development.

General Information

Keywords: learning, development, actual development, zone of proximal development, psychological and personal readiness, spontaneous and reactive learning, learning ability, didactic

Journal rubric: Problems of Cultural-Historical and Activity Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Kravtsov G.G., Kravtsova E.E. Relationship between Learning and Development: Problems and Perspectives. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 4–12. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2020160101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Gennady G. Kravtsov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Federal Research and Clinical Center for Critical Care and Rehabilitation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena E. Kravtsova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Federal Research and Clinical Center for Critical Care and Rehabilitation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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