In Search of the Subject of Learning Activity



Our research on the interpsychological interaction of teachers and first graders was carried out by microanalysis of two cases when the identical learning tasks were set. This method of clinical research makes it possible to expose the theoretical dimensions of an interpsychological action when (1) both a child and adult solve a new task for the first time, acting on their own accord and on their own initiatives and designs, (2) the nonadditive effect of interpsychologial action can be achieved when the initiatives of all participants intersect and their designs are coordinated. By reconstructing the teacher's intentions and children's interpretations of the task proposed by the teacher, working in the activity-based or traditional paradigm, we identified productive and counterproductive adult actions that can open or block opportunities for children's proactive behavior in constructing new concepts and reduce or enhance the potential of executive, nonreasoning behavior. The birth of children's initiatives when setting a learning task, when elucidated at the level of functional genesis, is seen in ontogenesis as the development of the ability to learn, that is considered as the top manifestation of the subject of learning activity, capable of independently going beyond his or her own knowledge and skills to find new ways of action in novel situations.

General Information

Keywords: subject of learning activity, ability to learn, learning task, learning community, concept initiative, intersection of student’s and teacher’s initiatives

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was carried out within the framework of the state assignment of FGBNU PIRAO: "Psychological factors of development of subjects of educational and professional activity in different environments and types of interactions" (FNRE-2021-0002, EGISU 121122900178-6)

Received: 24.10.2022


For citation: Obukhova O.L., Zuckerman G.A., Shibanova N.A. In Search of the Subject of Learning Activity. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2022. Vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 80–89. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2022180408. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga L. Obukhova, Research Fellow, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Galina A. Zuckerman, Doctor of Psychology, professor, Leading Research Fellow, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Natalya A. Shibanova, Elementary school teacher, Moscow State School No. 91, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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