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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: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

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Mental Development in Early Childhood 68

Leontiev A.N.
Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Member of Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR, Moscow, Russia

Abstract
This is the first English translation of the paper of the prominent Soviet scholar Alexey Nikolaevich Leontiev (1903—1979) published in 1948. The paper introduces the author’s ideas on mental and personality development in preschool children based on the research results of his close colleagues under his leadership during the 1930-s and 1940-s. It embraces the conditions and features of the development of the hierarchy of motives in preschoolers which underlies the emergence of volitional behaviour at this age. Evidence is provided for the role of the motivational structure in the volitional regulation of such cognitive processes as perception, memory and in the emergence of children’s control of their motor processes. It demonstrates that the motives of the child of the preschool age get subordinated when the child is engaged in the social interaction with the participation of an adult. In a brief preface to this publication, E.E. Sokolova highlights the context of the author’s work, the continuity of his ideas of the activity theory with Vygotsky’s approach, and emphasizes a nontrivial approach in Leontiev’s school to mental development as rooted in the total activity of the subject rather than in the brain processes

Keywords: activity theory approach, personality development, the hierarchy of motives, volition, mental development, preschool age

Column: Archive

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2020160213

A Part of Article

Usually, there are two age periods specified in the context of child development containing the psychological changes that are crucial for personality development. The first is preschool childhood1 and the second is adolescence and youth.

For Reference

Funding

The publication was funded by the Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project # 20-18-00028.

References
  1. Gurevich K.M. K teorii volevogo dejstviya [On the theory of voluntary action. Dr. Sci. (Psychology) thesis.] 1938. (In Russ.).
  2. Gorbacheva V.A. K osvoeniyu pravil povedeniya det`mi doshkol`nogo vozrasta [On the learning rules in preschool age]. Izvestiya Akademii pedagogicheskix nauk RSFSR = Proceedings of the Academy of Educational Research of the Russian Soviet Republic, 1945, no. 1, pp. 125—164. (In Russ.).
  3. Manujlenko Z.V. Razvitie proizvol`nogo povedeniya u detej doshkol`nogo vozrasta [Development of the voluntary behavior in preschool age]. Izvestiya Akademii pedagogicheskix nauk RSFSR = Proceedings of the Academy of Educational Research of the Russian Soviet Republic, 1948. Vol. 14, 89—123. (In Russ.).
 
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