Two Approaches to the Problem of Development in the Context of Social Interactions: L.S. Vygotsky vs J. Piaget



The article is devoted to the problem of development and learning in the context of social interactions. This question is investigated on the basis of the analysis of the theoretical views of L.S. Vygotsky and J. Piaget. Both J. Piaget and L.S. Vygotsky substantiated the impact of social interactions and socialization on the development of the child’s thinking, and emphasized the close connection between the development of the child and the forms of interaction between the child and adults, as well as with other children. Two different approaches to understanding the child’s developmental paths are considered in the paper: one — from the individual to the social (J. Piaget) and the other — from the social to the individual (L.S. Vygotsky). Two different developmental mechanisms, based on the interactions and relationships of the participants of the social situation, are discussed: “socio-cognitive conflict” (J. Piaget) and “emotional-semantic” (“affective-semantic”) conflict (L.V. Vygotsky). Two possible models of designing educational environments, effective for the development of children in the learning process, are described in the paper: a model based on role exchanges and children’s cooperation (“School of J. Piaget”), and a model, based on developing forms of child-adult communities and activities (“School of L.S. Vygotsky”).

General Information

Keywords: development, learning, social interactions, socio-cognitive conflict, emotional-semantic conflict, community (“obschtnost”), understanding, mutual understanding, reflection, means of interaction, thinking, “pereghivanije”

Journal rubric: Problems of Cultural-Historical and Activity Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Rubtsov V.V. Two Approaches to the Problem of Development in the Context of Social Interactions: L.S. Vygotsky vs J. Piaget. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 5–14. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2020160302.

A Part of Article

The basic tenets of the theory of J. Piaget. The scientific school of J. Piaget considers the formation of intelligence as the pivotal line in the mental development of a child, which determines the development of all other mental processes. According to J. Piaget, the qualitative uniqueness of each stage of cognitive development, as well as leaps and transitions, made from one age level to another, are all determined by the in-life formation of structures of intellectual activity, which are age-specific.


  1. Davydov V.V. Doklad na Mezhdunarodnoi konferencii «Kul’turno-istoricheskii podhod: razvitie gumanitarnyx nauk I obrazovanie» (sokrashhennaya stenogramma vystupleniya) [Report at the International Conference “Cultural-Historical Approach: Development of the Humanities and Education” (shortened transcript of speech)]. Moscow: Epsefiment, 1998, pp. 30—35. (In Russ.).
  2. Davydov V.V. Vidy obobshheniya v obuchenii: Logiko-psixologicheskie problemy postroeniya uchebnyx predmetov [Types of generalization in training: Logical and psychological problems of building educational subjects]. Moscow: Ped. Community of Russia, 2000, 480 p. (In Russ.).
  3. Gromyko Y.V. Rol’ vzaimoponimaniya pri reshenii uchebnyx zadach v sovmestnoj deyatel’nosti: dis. kand. psixol. Nauk [The role of mutual understanding in solving educational problems in joint activities: PhD Thesis]. Moscow, 1985, 168 p. (In Russ.).
  4. Gromyko Y.V., Rubtsov V.V., Margolis A.A. Shkola kak e’kosistema razvivayushhihsya detsko-vzroslyh soobshhestv: deyatel’nostnyi podhod k proektirovaniyu shkoly budushhego [The School as Ecosystem of Developing Child- Adult Communities: Activity Approach to Designing the School of the Future]. Kul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 57—67. DOI:10.17759/chp.2020160106 (In Russ.).
  5. Leontiev A. N. Filosofiya psikhologii: iz nauchnogo naslediya [Philosophy of Psychology: from the scientific legacy]. Leontiev A.A. (eds.). Moscow: Publishing House of MSU, 1994. 287 p. (In Russ.).
  6. Martin L.M.W. Children’s problem-solving as inter-individual outcome: Ph.D. Diss. San Diego: University of California, 1983. 164 p.
  7. Obukhova L.F. Eshhe raz ob e’gocentrizme [Once again about egocentrism]. In Obukhova L.F. (eds.), Zhan Piazhe: teoriya, e’ksperimenty, diskussii: sb. st. [ Jean Piaget: theory, experiments, discussions]. Moscow: Gardariki, 2001, pp. 94— 105. (In Russ.).
  8. Obukhova L.F. Koncepciya Zhana Piazhe: za i protiv [The concept of Jean Piaget: pros and cons]. Moscow: Publishing House of MSU, 1981. 191 p. (In Russ.).
  9. Perret-Clermont A.-N. Vliyanie idei L.S. Vygotskogo i Zh. Piazhe na sovremennye issledovaniya problem razvitiya [The influence of the ideas of L.S. Vygotsky and J. Piaget on modern research of developmental problems]. In Zaretsky V.K (eds.), Nauchnaya shkola L.S. Vygotskogo: tradicii i innovacii: materialy mezhdunar. Simpoziuma (Moscow, 27—28 iyunya 2016 g) [Scientific School of L.S. Vygotsky: Traditions and Innovations: Materials of the International Symposium]. Moscow: Buki Vedi, 2016, pp. 44—51. (In Russ.).
  10. Perret-Clermont A.-N. Rol’ social’nyx vzaimodeistvii v razvitii intellekta detei [The role of social interactions in the development of children’s intelligence]. Moscow: Pedagogy, 1991. 248 p. (In Russ.).
  11. Piaget J. Rech’ i myshlenie rebenka [Language and Thought of the Child]. Moscow: Pedagogy-Press, 1994. 528 p. (In Russ.).
  12. Piaget J. O prirode kreativnosti [On the nature of creativity]. In Obukhova L.F. (eds.), Zhan Piazhe: teoriya, e’ksperimenty, diskussii: sb. st. [Jean Piaget: theory, experiments, discussions]. Moscow: Gardariki, 2001, pp. 243—252. (In Russ.).
  13. Piaget J. The Psychology of Intelligence. Littlefield, Adams & Co. Paterson, New Jersey. 1960. 182 p.
  14. Piaget J. Rol’ deistviya v formirovanii myshleniya [The role of action in the development of thinking]. In Obukhova L.F. (eds.), Zhan Piazhe: teoriya, e’ksperimenty, diskussii: sb. st. [ Jean Piaget: theory, experiments, discussions]. Moscow: Gardariki, 2001, pp. 199—224. (In Russ.).
  15. Rubin K. H. The relationship between spatial and communicative egocentrism in children and young and old adults. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1974. Vol. 125, pp. 295—301.
  16. Rubtsov V.V. Organization and development of joint actions among children in the learning process. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1994.
  17. Rubtsov V.V. Sociogenez sovmestnogo deistviya: vzaimoponimanie lyudei kak uslovie ponimaniya veshhei: interviyu (besedu vel V. T. Kudrjavcev) [Sociogenesis of Joint Action: Mutual Understanding between Individuals as a Precondition for Understanding Things. Interview (Carried out by V.T. Kudryavtsev)]. Kul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2018. Vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 106—121. DOI:10.17759/chp.2018140413. (In Russ.).
  18. Rubtsov V.V. Social’no-geneticheskaya psihologiya razvivajushhego obrazovaniya: deyatel’nostnyi podhod. [Socio-genetic psychology of developing education: activity approach]. Moscow: MSPPU, 2008. 416 p. (In Russ.).
  19. Rubtsov V.V., Ageev V.V., Davydov V.V. Oprobovanie kak mehanizm postroeniya sovmestnyh deistvii [Testing as a mechanism for constructing joint actions]. Psihologicheskij zhurnal = Psychological Journal,1985, no. 4, pp. 120—129. (In Russ.).
  20. Rubtsov V.V., Konokotin A.V. Formation of higher mental functions in children with special educational needs via social interaction. In Nemerh D.J. (eds.), Evaluation and Treatment of Neuropsychologically Compromised Children. Moscow:Academic Press, 2020, pp. 179—196.
  21. Rubtsov V.V., Margolis A.A., Guruzhapov V.A. Kul’turno-istoricheskii tip shkoly (proekt razrabotki) [Cultural and historical type of school (design project)]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 1996. Vol. 1, no. 4. (In Russ.).
  22. Rubtsov V.V., Muldarov V.K. Metod normativnoj diagnostiki uchebno-poznavatel’nyh dejstvij u shkol’nikov [Method of normative diagnostic assessment of educational and cognitive actions in schoolchildren]. Voprosy psihologii = Psychology issues,1987, no. 5, pp. 147—153. (In Russ.).
  23. Rubtsov V.V., Ulanovskaya I.M. Learning Аctivity as an Effective Way to Develop Meta-Subject and Personal Competencies in Elementary School Students. Kul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 51—60. DOI:10.17759/ chp.2020160207. (In Russ.).
  24. Trevarthen С., Hubley P., Sheeran L. Les activites innees du nourisson. La Recherche = The Research, 1975. Vol. 56, pp. 447—458. (in Fr.).
  25. Turnure С. Cognitive development and role-taking ability in boys and girls from 7 to 12. Developmental Psychology. 1975. Vol. 11 (2), pp. 202—209.
  26. Vygotsky L.S. Istoriya razvitiya vysshih psihicheskih funkcii [History of the development of higher mental functions]. Sobr. Op.: 6 vol. Vol. 3: Problemy razvitija psihiki [ Problems of the development of the psyche]. Moscow: Pedagogy, 1983, pp. 5—328. (In Russ.).
  27. Vygotsky L.S. Psikhologiya razvitiya cheloveka [Psychology of human development]. Moscow: Eksmo-Press: Smysl, 2005. 1136 p. (In Russ.).
  28. Vygotsky L.S. Izbrannye psihologicheskie issledovanija. [Selected psychological research]. Moscow: Publishing House of the Academy of ped. sciences of the RSFSR, 1956. 520 p. (In Russ.).
  29. Vygotsky L.S. Myshlenie i rech’ [Thinking and speech]. Moscow, 1999. (In Russ.).
  30. Vygotsky L.S., Sakharov L.S. Issledovaniya obrazovaniya ponyatii: metodika dvoinoi simulyacii [Research on the formation of concepts: a double simulation technique]. In Gippenreiter (eds.), Hrestomatiya po obshhei psikhologii: psikhologiya myshleniya: ucheb. posobie dlya stud. vuzov, obuchajushhihsja pospecial’nosti «Psihologiya» [ Anthology in General Psychology: Psychology of Thinking: study guide for university students specialising in “Psychology”]. Moscow: Publishing House of Moscow University, 1981, pp. 194—204. (In Russ.).

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:



Total: 3681
Previous month: 63
Current month: 34


Total: 2416
Previous month: 38
Current month: 35