PAPELES DEL PSICÓLOGO Vol. 39-2 Mayo - Agosto 2018

A r t i c l e s Papeles del Psicólogo / Psychologist Papers, 2018. Vol. 39(2), pp. 150-154 150 ne of the most important areas of psychological science implication in Russia is education, of which preschool education was considered as significant stage. Since 1960, when USSR Institute of Preschool Education was founded, early years education became a task of the governmental level, which was carried out by prominent Soviet and Russian psychologists and educators. The purpose of this article is to identify approaches towards understanding mediation forms used in educational programs for preschool children in Russia. To a large extent, they are based on the ideas of the outstanding Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. There are different interpretations of Vygotsky and his texts, but there are common ideas that are acknowledged in Russia by most psychologists. He paid much attention to the analysis of child development in the preschool age. Unlike most psychologists of his time, Vygotsky considered mental development as a process of appropriating higher forms of the psyche, which are held by culture and passed on to the child during interaction with the adult. In this case, it is not a matter of passive transfer of knowledge. Development is understood as a continuous process of self-movement, the emergence of new properties and qualities that were not in existence in previous stages. According to Vygotsky, this process is determined by “the unity of material and mental aspects, the unity of the social and the personal as the child ascends the developmental steps” (1984, p.248). In his description of development, Vygotsky introduces the concept of a zone of proximal development (ZPD) (Vygotsky, 1978). ZPD becomes clearly visible if we were to compare the individual independent activity of a child and that based on imitating an adult. Vygotsky notes that the results that the child achieves through imitation are much higher than those based on self-activity. Although they transcend far beyond the independent capabilities of children, they do have limitations inherent in each age. Thus, Vygotsky assigns an important role in his theory to the imitative behavior of the child. He understands imitation as not thoughtless mechanical copying but any activity which the child performs in collaboration with an adult or another child rather than all on his own. He emphasizes that the development of all of the child’s personal characteristics occurs in the process of cooperation with an adult. In doing so, LEV VYGOTSKY’S CULTURAL-HISTORICAL THEORY OF DEVELOPMENT AND THE PROBLEM OF MENTAL TOOLS Nikolay Veraksa 1 and Aleksander Veraksa 2 1 Russian Academy of Education (Moscow, Russia). 2 Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia) El artículo pretende describir los enfoques para comprender las formas de mediación utilizadas en programas educacionales para niños preescolares, como una de las principales líneas de aplicación psicológica en Rusia. En gran medida, se basan en el enfoque cultural-histórico, desarrollado por Lev Vygotskyt y sus seguidores. Se muestra cómo se desarrolló y se aplica actualmente la idea de utilizar herramientas mentales en la educación preescolar. De acuerdo con la teoría cultural-histórica, el ejemplo es una de las herramientas culturales, cuyo dominio por el niño tiene lugar en la zona de desarrollo próximo. Otra herramienta cultural es el signo, y especialmente la palabra. Los seguidores de Vigotsky elaboraron tales herramientas como modelos visuales, esquemas, y símbolos. La aplicación de los programas educacionales de herramientas mentales se analizaron en diferentes esferas (desarrollo del lenguaje, desarrollo cognitivo, y desarrollo volitivo), como ejemplos de los programas educacionales más extendidos en Rusia. Palabras clave: Herramientas mentales, Herramientas culturales, Zona de desarrollo próximo, Mediación, Iniciativa infantil. The article is aimed at describing approaches towards understanding of mediation forms used in educational programs for preschool children as one of the major lines of psychology implementation in Russia. To a large extent, they are based on the cultural-historical approach, developed by Lev Vygotsky and his followers. It is shown how idea of mental tools usage in preschool education evolved and has developed nowadays. According to the cultural-historical theory sample is one of the cultural tools, mastering of which by the child occurs in the zone of proximal development. Another cultural tool is a sign, and especially the word. Followers of Vygotsky elaborated such tools as visual models, schemes, symbols. Implementation of mental tools in educational programs is analyzed in different spheres (speech development, cognitive development, voluntariness development) on the examples of the most spread educational programs in Russia. Key words: Mental tools, Cultural tools, Zone of proximal development, Mediation, Child initiative. Received: 10 December 2017 - Accepted: 8 February 2018 Correspondence: Aleksander Veraksa. Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia. E-mail: O