Co-action of Learners: Resolved and Unresolved Issues



Experimental research into co-action of learners, its structure and its role in the formation of developmental outcomes of learning in elementary school age was directed by the internal logic of the theory and practice of learning activity created by D.B. Elkonin, V.V. Davydov and their disciples. In 1970–80s, a gap was recognized between the cooperative search for new ways to solve novel educational tasks as performed in the classroom and the basic theory employed in design of the classroom practice. To bridge this gap, two questions were answered: (1) what forms of cooperation and communication are adequate for the content of educational activities based on a theoretical generalization; (2) what is the role of collaboration with peers in shaping core learning activities. The paper describes new challenges that currently face researchers in this area and formulates hypotheses about the nature of co-action. We present the experimental evidence that the Elkonin-Davydov educational system effectively promotes and shapes co-action of learners.

General Information

Keywords: educational system of Elkonin – Davydov, learning action, co-action, adult, peers

Journal rubric: Psychology at School


Funding. The research was carried out within the State assignment of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, project 075-01416-20-02 “Psychological factors in the development of subjects of educational and professional activity in different environments and types of interaction”.

For citation: Zuckerman G.A. Co-action of Learners: Resolved and Unresolved Issues. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2020. Vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 51–59. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2020250405. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Vygotskii L.S. O psikhologicheskikh sistemakh [On psychological systems]. Sobranie sochinenii: V 6 t. Vol. 1. Moscow: Publ. Pedagogika, 1982, pp. 109—131. (In Russ.).
  2. Vygotskii L.S. Dinamika umstvennogo razvitiya shkol’nika v svyazi s obucheniem [The dynamics of the mental development of a student in connection with learning]. Vygotskii L.S. Pedagogicheskaya psikhologiya [Educational psychology]. Moscow: Publ. Pedagogika, 1991, pp. 391—410. (In Russ.).
  3. Davydov V.V. Vidy obobshcheniya v obuchenii [Types of generalization in education]. Moscow: Publ. Pedagogika, 1972. 423 p. (In Russ.).
  4. Davydov V.V. Teoriya razvivayushchego obucheniya [The theory of developmental education]. Moscow: Publ. INTOR, 1996. 544 p. (In Russ.).
  5. Ehl’konin D.B. (eds.), Vozrastnye vozmozhnosti usvoeniya znanii [Age-related learning opportunities]. Moscow: Publ. Prosveshchenie, 1966. 442 p. (In Russ.).
  6. Ulanovskaya I.M. (ed.), Otsenka metapredmetnykh kompetentsii vypusknikov nachal’noi shkoly [Assessment of the meta-cognitive competencies of elementary school graduates]. Moscow: Publ. GBOU VPO «MGPPU», 2015. 169 p. (In Russ.).
  7. Piazhe Zh. Moral’noe suzhdenie u rebenka: Per. s fr. [The moral judgment of the child]. Moscow: Akademicheskii proekt, 2006. 480 p. (In Russ.).
  8. Polivanova N.I., Rivina I.V. Printsipy i formy organizatsii sovmestnoi uchebnoi deyatel’nosti [Principles and forms of organization of joint educational activities]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 1996, no. 2, pp. 43—53. (In Russ., Abstr. in Engl.).
  9. Rubtsov V.V. Osnovy sotsial’no-geneticheskoi psikhologii [Fundamentals of social genetic psychology]. Moscow: Publ. Institut prakticheskoi psikhologii, Voronezh: Puble. MODEHK, 1996. 384 p. (In Russ.).
  10. Smirnova E.O. Psikhologiya rebenka: Uchebnik [Child Psychology: A Textbook]. Moscow: Publ. Shkola- Press, 1997. 384 p. (In Russ.).
  11. Zuckerman G.A. Vidy obshcheniya v obuchenii [Types of communication in learning]. Tomsk: Puble. Peleng, 1993. 269 p. (In Russ.).
  12. Zuckerman G.A., Venger A.L. Razvitie uchebnoi samostoyatel’nosti [Development of learning independence]. Moscow: Publ. OIRO, 2010. 432 p.
  13. Zuckerman G.A., Obukhova O.L., Shibanova N.A. Ponimanie informatsionnogo teksta kak metapredmetnyi rezul’tat nachal’nogo obucheniya [Understanding the information text as a meta-cognitive result of elementary education]. Voprosy psikhologii = Problems of psychology, 2017, no. 2. pp. 45—56. (In Russ.).
  14. Shchedrovitskii G.P. Myshlenie — Ponimanie — Refleksiya [Thinking — Understanding — Reflection]. Moscow: Publ. Nasledie MMK, 2005. 800 p. (In Russ.).
  15. Ehl’konin B.D. L.S. Vygotskii — D.B. Ehl’konin: znakovoe oposredstvovanie i sovokupnoe deistvie [L.S. Vygotsky — D.B. Elkonin: Sign Mediation and Aggregate Action]. Voprosy psikhologii = Problems of psychology, 1996, no. 5, pp. 57—63. (In Russ.).
  16. Ehl’konin D.B. Izbrannye psikhologicheskie trudy [Selected Psychological Works]. Moscow: Publ. Pedagogika, 1989. 560 p. (In Russ.).
  17. Johnson D., Johnson R. Learning together and alone: Overview and meta-analysis. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 2002, no. 22, pp. 95—105.
  18. Gillies R.M. Developments in Cooperative Learning: Review of Research. Annals of Psychology, 2014. Vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 792—801.
  19. Sills J., Rowse G., Emerson L. The role of collaboration in the cognitive development of young children: a systematic review. Child: care, health and development, 2016. Vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 313—324.
  20. Slavin R.E. Cooperative learning in elementary schools. Education 3-13, 2015. Vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 5—14.
  21. Topping K. et al. Effective peer learning: From principles to practical implementation. New York: Routledge, 2017. 185 p.

Information About the Authors

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



Total: 896
Previous month: 12
Current month: 2


Total: 794
Previous month: 36
Current month: 4