Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

Learning Environment Affecting Primary School Student's Mental Development and Interest

Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

Learning Environment Affecting Primary School Student's Mental Development and Interest

Article excerpt


Education and upbringing play a leading role in child's mental development (Spodek & Saracho, 2014; Galassi, 2017; Davies et al., 2016; Fauth et al., 2014; Chareka, 2010). Upbringing carries not only immediate, but also long-term consequences when it comes to personality development (Vygotsky, 1996); education can not only follow this process, but also be ahead pushing it further (Herasymenko & Sabadyr, 2016; Meyer, Kamens & Benavot, 2017).

There are two main theories regarding the problem of balance between education and development:

1. Education and development are unrelated (Piaget, 1997). This independence is expressed, in particular, in the fact that child's mind goes through all known stages, irrespective of whether a child is studying or not. According to this theory, child1s development is a result of intrinsic and spontaneous self-change, which is not affected by education.

2. Education and development are related (Tatuum & Tatuum, 2017). This theory considers development to be a dual process: maturity and education. This theory differentiates education and development, but at the same time establishes their interconnection (development prepares education, while education stimulates development).

In ontogenesis, mental development is a result of gaining social and historical experience transmitted imparted through education (Corno & Anderman, 2015). Education plays a key role in mental development, and therefore, one can control it [mental development] by changing the learning environment (Fraser, 2015). Social science and technology advance make high demands for independent, creative thinking of people. To meet them you need to improve the system of education in order to increase its influence on the development rate of pupils' thinking and their interests' development.

Mind development considers following fundamental problems of educational and age psychology:

1. Thinking is determined by studying.

2. Human thinking development in ontogenesis occurs as one stage, with known patterns of primary school students' thinking as transition from non-generic (empirical) method of solving tasks to generalized (theoretical) and further to its developed form-abstract thinking.

3. For effective theoretical thinking teaching of primary school children, special programs are needed.

When thought operates only within particular situations, it does not have sufficient control points to break up essential connections and coincidences, relations based on common homogeneous properties and associative links contiguity, common in essence and belong to the same situation (Davydov, 1996).

Operating with diverse concepts of things, phenomena, processes, child's thinking is prepared, therefore, to realization of conception through their properties and relationship. Thus, in this stage of thinking there are prerequisites for transition to the next stage. These features are implemented in a child while, in the course of study, he masters theoretical knowledge system. The study of theoretical thinking development of primary school children can be seen with two approaches (Kalmykova, 1981).

Traditional approach: theoretical thinking development in process of knowledge system mastering. Empirical in terms of content thinking of mentioned above step can be characterized by its form as rational (in dialectical sense), distinguishing rational mental activity and actually reasonable ?dialectical? idea, which involves "study of the nature of concept." Assimilating in studying process a system of theoretical knowledge, a child at this higher stage of developmentlearns to ?investigate the nature of the concept itself?, revealing through their relationship their more abstract properties; empirical in its content, rational in its form, thinking goes into theoretical thinking in abstract forms (Mikerova, 2011).

V.V. Davydov's approach was to create special programs. …

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