Russian federation Ministry of education and science

Russian State University for the Humanities
L.S. Vygotsky Institute of Psychology
L.S. Vygotsky International Society
L.S. Vygotsky Fund

Dear colleagues!

We invite you to take part in the V International Summer School "Zone of proximal development of children and adults" which will take place July 7-15, 2012 in Russia, Moscow Region.

The “zone of proximal development” is one of the key concepts in cultural-historical psychology. On one hand, this concept is widely used by scientists and practitioners from various countries. On the other hand, the analysis of this concept's researches has shown that it is used more as a metaphor, as a marker of belonging to non-classical psychology, neither than the central concept of cultural-historical approach.

The lack of precise diagnostics of zone of proximal development, different understandings of its size and possibilities of its changing – all of this indicates that the concept of “zone of proximal development” is still out of reach of neither theoretical, nor practical psychology.

One of the basic reasons of L.S. Vygotsky legacy's lack of understanding is that the concepts he have introduced are considered in isolation of his general approach and his methodology. This is directly concerns the concept of “zone of proximal development”. It is considered, mainly, in the context of education's construction. But it is not quite clear how the education, which is oriented to the zone of proximal development may help the further development of a person. Widely used programs of “developmental education” do not shed the light upon the structure and the content of zone of proximal development and even make this concept more confusing.

During this summer school the holistic conception of zone of proximal development in the context of the whole cultural-historical theory will be presented. Lectures will be devoted to the consideration and the analysis of the basic cultural-historical concepts and their connection with the zone of proximal development.

Workshops will present the programs of developmental education, which are based on the “zone of proximal development” concept.

Practical lessons will allow participants to get acquainted with the diagnostic methods to measure the zone of proximal development. Besides, participants will be offered various projective methods, that are used to widen the borders of zone of proximal development.

All additional information about the summer school, guest lecturers, participation fees etc. may be found on our website: