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ABS407 - Lev Vygotsky’s principle “One Step in Learning Represents a Hundred Steps in Development”: theory and practice - Board 7

1.2 Children’s development and childhood
Part of:
11:00 AM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
The report is devoted to the evolution of Vygotsky’s understanding of child development. 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 report 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 improvements in multiple developmental dimensions. There are different examples how this mechanism works: 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. 
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE)
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