The Possibility of Using Iconic and Symbolic Tools in Teaching Preschoolers (on Example of the Acquisition of the Rainbow Phenomenon)



The article focuses on use of cognitive activity in preschool children. Particular attention is paid to understanding of the symbolic mediation in the context of the study of play activities. We describe an experiment which purpose was to develop the representations of the rainbow phenomenon in children of preschool age. The formation occurred in two ways: through the use of symbolic means (using models), and through the use of symbols in the play activity. The subjects were preschoolers aged 4-5 years (N = 23) attending preschools in Moscow. The results show that the use of iconic and symbolic tools during development of the phenomenon have been effective when working with preschoolers. The discovered relationship suggests that the application of the iconic and symbolic means represent different cognitive processes: the successful use of symbolic tools is associated with high levels of general intelligence and vocabulary; the use symbolic tools is associated with creativity.

General Information

Keywords: preschool, cognitive activity, play activities, symbol, sign

Journal rubric: Psychology of Education

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Veraksa A.N., Gorovaya A.E., Kisel A.V. The Possibility of Using Iconic and Symbolic Tools in Teaching Preschoolers (on Example of the Acquisition of the Rainbow Phenomenon) [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2014. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 19–34. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2014060202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Aleksandr N. Veraksa, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vice-Director of Psychological Institute, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Aleksandra E. Gorovaya, Post-graduate Student of the Department of Psychology of Education and Pedagogy of the Faculty of Psychology, MSU them. M. V. Lomonosov, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

A. V. Kisel, Educational Psychologist, DOE No. 2325 of Moscow «Academy of childhood», Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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