Doctor in Psychology
Dean of the Department of Psychology of Education
Institute of Psychology, named after L.S.Vygotsky
Russian State University for the Humanities.
In this article dialectical thinking is regarded as one of the central cognitive processes. Because of this cognitive function we can analyze the development of processes and objects. It also determines the possibilities for the creative transformation of some content and for solving problems.
The article presents a description and the results of experimental studies. This evidence proves that dialectical thinking is a specific line of cognitive development in children and adults. This line can degrade during school time if the educational program follows formal logical principles, or it can become significantly stronger if the pedagogy is based on dialectical methodology.
Keywords: structural-dialectical approach, dialectical thinking, dialectical tasks, strategy of mental handling of oppositions
The author views dialectic cognition as an integral and unique process, which is based on dialectical logic - the logic of operating opposites. The development of this logic takes place during the preschool years through transformation of contradictory situations. The transformation process is carried out by dialectical cognitive actions.
Keywords: dialectic cognition, dialectical structure, child thinking, contradictory situation, opposites
Project activity has a long history of implementation in education (Kilpatrick, 1918). This article describes the approach to project activity that became widespread in preschool education in Russia in the late 1990s. This approach is based on the cultural-historical theory of Vygotsky (1978), Venger’s (1988) understanding of intellectual giftedness, as well as an understanding of project activity proposed by Leontiev (2000).
At the heart of project activity lies children’s exploration of the space of possibilities — that is, their search for action options that correspond to their personal motives and express their individuality. The main features of project activity are the problem situation to be presented to the child; the subjectivity of all its participants, including teachers; and its nature, which includes its social context.
Three main types of project activity are presented: research, creative, and normative; each has its own structure and value for children’s development. Examples of their implementation in preschool settings are provided. The impact of project activity on all its participants in preschool — children, teachers, parents — is addressed.
The article shows the effectiveness of project activity for educational work with both intellectually gifted and normally developing children.
Keywords: project activity, giftedness, intellectual development, space of possibilities