Most professionals divide childhood in different periods. On what grounds — a separate issue. According to one of the most influential classifications belonging L.Vygotskomu, periodization of mental development of the child is based on the dominant activity. What does this mean?
Leading activities at some stage sense-is. In the context of its awkward relationship with adults and peers. Mastering the leading activities, child acquires new skills and abilities, which are called "tumor age" — for example, the ability to speak, ability to walk.
At each stage of mental development leading activities is crucial. However, other activities will not disappear. They are, as it were, but there are parallel and are not essential for mental development. For example, the game is a leading activity of preschoolers. But it does not disappear at the school, although no longer is the dominant activity.
The child develops unevenly. There are periods of relative calm, or stable, and there are so-called critical.
Crises visible empirically, and not one by one, but in random order: 7, 3, 13, 1, 0. In time critical periods baby in a very short period of time is changing all in all, the main features of the individual. This revolutionary, rapid, rapid flow of events as in the rate and are done in the sense of change. For critical periods characterized by the following features:
— The boundaries that separate the beginning and the end of the crisis from adjacent periods, it is not clear. The crisis occurs quickly, it is very difficult to determine the time of onset and termination. The sharp exacerbation (climax) is observed in the middle of a crisis. At this time, the crisis reached its climax.
— Difficult children at critical times in its time was the starting point of their empirical study. There is obstinacy, falling academic performance and efficiency, increase the number of conflicts with others. The inner life of the child at this time is associated with painful experiences.
— Negative development. It is noted that in time crisis, in contrast to the stable periods, committed more destructive than constructive work. The child becomes not so much how many loses the acquired before. However, the emergence of a new development necessarily implies the death of the old. At the same time there are critical periods in the design and development processes.
Neoplasms of the critical periods are of a transitional nature, ie they are not stored in the form in which there are, for example, an autonomous speech at year-olds (see below).
During stable periods baby accumulates the quantitative changes, but not qualitative as during critical. These changes accumulate slowly and imperceptibly.
During the development of the child's critical and stable periods alternate.
In some periods of the impact of the child is most sensitive to certain influences in the development of certain abilities. Sensitive periods are associated, first, with the dominant activity, and secondly, with the actualization in every age of some of the basal needs.
The boundaries of the sensitive periods are not accurate: they may be removed for several months. Nevertheless, the sensitive periods is extremely important to teach a child to use — in this period of time, it is most easily able to learn new skills.
The zone of proximal development
Child's interaction with the social environment is not a factor, as a source of development. In other words, all the things a child learns to have to give him the people around him. It is important here that the education (in the broadest sense) went ahead. The child has a current level of development (for example, it can solve the problem on their own, without the help of an adult) and the level of potential development, that is, in collaboration with an adult.
The zone of proximal development — it is what the child is capable of, but can not without the help of adults. All training is based on the principle of excluding the zone of proximal development, ahead of actual development.