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Andrei I. Podol'skij: On the scientific status and practical significance of 3 Galperin's 1s psychological doctrine

It is difficult to imagine a contemporary teacher who would look at a strict scientifically based prescription of "how to teach" or hope to rely upon some "universal panacea". The only thing teachers needs is a really powerful intellectual tool which may be used not to prescribe their executive activity but rather to give an extended and sophisticated approach to the processes and events which constitute the students' learning activity in essence. It is practically senseless and theoretically wrong to prescribe the teacher to do anything, "to prescribe" in the proper and exact meaning of the word. What science (in particular, psychology of leaqrning) can and must prescribe are the definite directions, marks and cues for teacher's thinking. Teachers have to be provided with knowledge about all the complexity of the psychological mechanisms which underlie learning/teaching processes and with knowledge of how to "switch on" these mechanisms by means of creating and using a system of necessary and sufficient conditions. The Galperin's psychological outlook4, especially his "Planned stage-by-stage formation of mental actions" may be considered as a possible approach to construe the appropriate intellectual tool. This approach gives a general outlook on different processes underline mental actions and concept acquisition. It is based, on one hand, on the theoretical analysis of a human mental life, its nature and origin, and, on the other hand, on the carefully elaborated and tested system of psychological conditions of the planned formation of mental actions and concepts with definite properties. This system is sensible not only to the functional and structural characteristics of schooling processes and products, but also to age-related and functional developmental variables. Being experienced in thes use of this system, one in fact may describe any newly-formed mental structure acquisition in specific and operationalized terms. Supplemented by a three-model scheme which bridges a gap between psychologically described conditions and a variety of real schooling circumstances, this system gives a teacher a chance to predict the most probable developments both in the realization of the definite teaching/learning process and in the characteristics of this process' products.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 102. Number 3. 377-390. (2002)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Andrei I. Podol’skij Moszkvai Állami Egyetem, Pszichológiai Kar


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia