From the Concept of ZPD to the Practice of Dynamic Assessment


On November, 30th took place the second meeting of the project “ReadingLive: Moscow CHAT Reading Club. The project is aimed at bringing together psychologists, educators, researchers, students and all those interested in Cultural-Historical Psychology and Activity Approach, creating a platform for cross-disciplinary dialogue of people from all over the world.

November’s invited expert was Alex Kozulin, Professor, Head of M.Ed. program in Special Education, Achva College; Director of International Research and Training, Feuerstein Institute, Jerusalem, Israel. His presentation “From the concept of ZPD to the practice of dynamic assessment” focused on a chapter Dynamic assessment in search of its identity in a recently published book Cambridge handbook of cultural-historical psychology by Yasnitsky, Van der Veer, & Ferrari (Eds.). In his work prof. Kozulin argues that evaluation of individual learning potential is no less important than testing the current performance level, and that the best way of doing this is to insert learning and interactive elements into the assessment procedure. The idea of dynamic assessment underlies the notion of Zone of proximal development, introduced by L.S. Vygotsky. ZPD is something, that static evaluation procedures are unable to reveal, so other techniques, aimed at “catching” the potential rather than current level of the child’s development, need to be elaborated.

Prof. Kozulin’s presentation was discussed by Carol Lidz, professor, specialist in Dynamic Assessment (USA).

The presentation was followed by a discussion, in which both well-known specialists as well as students and junior scholars took part. Vitaly Rubtsov, Galina Zuckerman, Eugene Subbotsky and Maria S. Veggetti were among the participants of the discussion. The discussion was moderated by Olga Rubtsova, PhD, Head of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Childhood.

The webinar gathered over 80 participants from different countries, including Russia, Serbia, Italy, USA, Israel, Great Britain, Greece and Brazil.

The video of the second meeting is available on YouTube.

“ReadingLive” is a scientific and educational project, operated by Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Childhood and International UNESCO Chair “Cultural-Historical Psychology of Childhood” with the International Journal “Cultural-Historical Psychology” and the University project “Vygotsky’s Library”.  Project Moderators are Olga Rubtsova and Anna Shvedovskaya

The project will continue its work, inviting for further dialogue and exchange of experience.

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