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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

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Vygotsky's Principle "One Step in Learning - One Hundred Steps In Development": From Idea To Practice 1619

Zaretsky V.K., Ph.D. in Psychology, Professor, Chair of Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Department of Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education; Head of Laboratory of Psychological and Pedagogical Problems of Continuous Education of children and youth with disabilities and Special Needs, Institute of Integrated (Inclusive) Education Problems, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, zar-victor@yandex.ru
Abstract
The article reviews Lev Vygotsky’s published works to trace the evolution of his understanding of child development. The authors believe that his assumption that one step in learning may mean one hundred steps in development, is as important as the two other key postulates of the cultural-historical theory: the principle that learning precedes development and the concept of zone of proximal development. The authors provide a rationale for utilization of these assumptions in the practice of development-facilitating psychological and educational assistance. A mechanism of this learning-development relationship is hypothesized. The article outlines a multidimensional model of the zone of proximal development illustrating the above mechanism. This model is one of the conceptual tools of the Reflection and Activity Approach helping children overcome learning difficulties and promoting their development. Having given the account of how they proceeded “from the idea to the problem” and “from the idea to the mechanism”, the authors provide case studies showing how this mechanism allows working with learning difficulties to trigger simultaneous improvement in multiple developmental dimensions. The article reports on the experience of running special Summer Schools for children with learning difficulties, implementing the “Chess for General Development” Project, and assisting orphaned children with severe somatic conditions. A case study of a female college student displaying signs of the learned helplessness syndrome is presented. The authors infer that Vygotsky’s idea of a specific relationship between learning and development may be of fundamental theoretical and practical value, especially for working with children with special needs.

Keywords: L.S. Vygotsky, cultural-historical psychology, developmental psychology, learning and development, step of development, zone of proximal development, multidimensional model of the zone of proximal development, Reflection and Activity Approach, agency, reflection, child-adult collaboration, children with special needs, psychological and educational support, learned helplessness, overcoming learn- ing difficulties, chess for general development, counseling, psychotherapy

Column: Concepts in Cultural-Historical Psychology

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp.2016120309

For Reference

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