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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2005

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


Role Play Development: The Complete Picture 3416


Elkoninova L.I.
PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of preschool education and family upbringing, RAO, Moscow, Russia

The paper gives an enriched/enhanced description of role play development in children. The starting point of the current analysis is the definition of role play, its unit, its origins, peak and disintegration given by Daniil Elkonin more than 30 years ago. The paper describes the key elements in the development of the form of play action, from the stage when role play is merely a required future, to the stage of its actual form, and, finally, to the point where it becomes a resource for the future development. Special attention is drawn to the child's inner experiences of play actions and to the two-dimensional and conflict character of the transition to the new form of action. The account of role play ontogenesis is centered upon the emergence of the following new forms of action: the 'as if' action in early childhood; the two-step play action combining the challenge and response to it (preschool age); the inner plan of action (school age). On the whole, the paper reflects not only on the research- based, 'academic' picture of role play development, but also on the overall role of play in the children's lives.

Keywords: ontogenesis of role play, situation of development in play, play space, 'as if' action, experiencing play action.

Column: On the 110th Anniversary of D.B. Elkonin's Birth

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