Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Organization of Students Learning Activity



The paper focuses on the specifics of children’s learning activity organization aimed at creating the Zone of Proximal Development. From this perspective, we analyze the potential of the theory of learning activity and the practice of developmental learning (D.B. Elkonin, V.V. Davydov), outline the achievements of this approach and reveal the issues of concern regarding the correlation between students preconceptions and scientific concepts. The paper thoroughly reconstructs the scientific discourse between the academic standpoints of the “Developmental Learning” and the “School of the Dialogue of Cultures” supporters, showing the relevance of this discourse in the light of modern challenges in education. Finally, we discuss the approaches to the task of developing theoretical thinking in students and engaging them in quasi-investigations presented in the works of M. Hedegaard and E. Etkina.

General Information

Keywords: cultural-historical psychology, zone of proximal development, L.S. Vygotsky, learning activity, quasi-investigation, V.V. Davydov, school of the dialogue of cultures, relationship between everyday and scientific concepts

Journal rubric: Psychology at School


For citation: Margolis A.A. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Organization of Students Learning Activity. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2020. Vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 6–27. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2020250402. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Arkadiy A. Margolis, PhD in Psychology, Rector, Professor, Chair of Pedagogical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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