Play and Learning Activity: Borderline Conflicts



Illegal invasion of schooling into the preschool education can be peacefully suspended by developing the conceptual play based on narratives, in which special characters are acting. These characters of conceptual play are of the dual nature: while they reason and act as concepts that come alive, they feel and communicate as humans in flesh and blood. In the elementary school, the development of students’ learning activity employs the conceptual plays as a successful conduit for introducing concepts, which cannot be constructed through hand-on activities. In the preschool, the conceptual play opens the way to coach knowledge and skills traditionally associated with schooling. By teaching preschoolers with the help of the conceptual plays, adults get the opportunity to design the learning content that combines affect and intelligence, lays the foundation for operating with schemes, and most importantly, promotes children's initiative in intellectual pursuits and expands its scope. The outlines of conceptual play are exemplified by episodes of teaching literacy in the first grade with the ABC textbook by D.B. Elkonin.

General Information

Keywords: preschool children and elementary school students, play and learning activity, conceptual play, linguistic heroes of the play, narrative, literacy

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. This research was supported by Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, governmental assignment of 2019–2021.

For citation: Zuckerman G.A., Obukhova O.L., Shibanova N.A. Play and Learning Activity: Borderline Conflicts [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psychological-Educational Studies, 2019. Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 22–35. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2019110402. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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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:

Olga L. Obukhova, 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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