Re: ZPD/Chaiklin and Vygotsky/Bakhtin

From: Peter Moxhay (
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 11:55:57 PST

> What is the "special" meaning that LSV attaches to the word imitation?

I think the question of the role of imitation in the ZPD is a really
interesting one.

It might be fruitful to look not just at LSV's writings but also at the
work of contemporary Russian researchers in learning activity to see
how they have subsequently concretized the idea of the ZPD -- that is,
what they see as the forms of adult-child interaction in instruction.

For example, I am currently reading Galina Tsukerman's book "How do
young school children learn how to learn?" (2000). She has a large
table in which she lists various properties of the first four of
stage, including "what is the leading activity" and also "what the child
expects from the adult partner."

For Elkonin's stage 2 (early childhood), we have:
- leading activity: object-manipulative activity
- what child expects from adult partner: demonstrations of
examples, step-by-step help, control, and evaluation

(The above sounds like imitation/copying to me.)

For Elkonin's stage 4 (elementary school), we have:
- leading activity: learning activity
- what child expects from adult partner: help in checking
the hypotheses put forth by the child, pointing out of

It sounds like the viewpoint here is that in early childhood imitation
of examples is very important, but that it plays a much-diminished role
the school-age child since imitation is no longer the form of
interaction that's linked to the leading activity (though imitation
of course still be present).

Hope this isn't too far off the original query...


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