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03 Dialectics of preschool education in the context of Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2021, 09:48 authored by Nikolay Veraksa

There are two ways of understanding child development. The first places emphasis on the human cultural dimension. The essential component of culture is a system of cultural norms known as “ideal forms,” wherein the adult acts as a bearer of these ideal forms or culture. From this standpoint, the child acquires already established forms (in this sense, old norms). The second approach is based on understanding the child’s infinite and unlimited capabilities. The realization of such opportunities, due to their unlimited nature, involves going beyond the zone of proximal development. This requires conceptualizing a different space, oriented to new forms of culture that are not yet in existence—the space of child realization. The orientation of this space is the opposite to that of the zone of proximal development: instead of an old norm being acquired (i.e., the adaptation of the child to their culture) the goal for an adult is, in the space of child realization, to help the child realize their intent by creating new elements of culture.

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