Cultural-Historical Approach to the System of Mass Education in Russia in the First Third of the XX Century: Ethnopsychological Aspect



Objectives. 1. To analyze the socio-political conditions in which pedagogical psychology as a sci¬entific discipline began to develop and the educational system in the USSR at the beginning of the XX century was formed. 2. To consider L.S. Vygotsky’s approach to the diagnosis of the mental develop¬ment of children of different nationalities for the subsequent pedagogically correct organization of their upbringing and educating. Background. The initial stages of the development of the education system in our multinational country and the formation of pedagogical psychology as an independent discipline are closely but am¬biguously linked. There is still an underestimation of both the achievements in solving the problems of education at that time, and misunderstanding of the role of psychologists in this work, in particular the research of L.S. Vygotsky, to whom disrespect for the culture of national minorities, colonization intentions, and a racist belief system are attributed in the foreign scientific press. Method. Analysis of the socio-political situation in the Russian education in the first third of the XX century. Comparative logical-semantic analysis of L.S. Vygotsky’s early works and his subsequent mature works, in which the main provisions of cultural-historical psychology were formulated. Conclusions. The significance of psychological research becomes more clearly expressed when ana¬lyzing and evaluating it not only in the scientific, but also in a broad social context. The role of L.S. Vygotsky in developing the approaches on the educational system in a multinational state is that he was actually the first to show the need to study the social situation of the development of children living in different ethnic environments. At the same time, he himself perceived national minorities as culturally peculiar, and not primitive, retarded.

General Information

Keywords: L.S. Vygotsky, cultural-historical psychology, psychological systems, social situation of development, experience, spontaneous and special education, culturally peculiar peoples, mental development, educational policy

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article


Received: 10.04.2022


For citation: Bozhovich E.D. Cultural-Historical Approach to the System of Mass Education in Russia in the First Third of the XX Century: Ethnopsychological Aspect . Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2022. Vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 10–24. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2022130202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena D. Bozhovich, Doctor of Psychology, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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