Editorial: early child development in play and education: a cultural-historical paradigm

Nikolay Veraksa, Ingrid P. Samuelsson, Yeshe Colliver

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    31 Downloads (Pure)


    The current Research Topic considers some of the latest research on early development in relation to the cultural-historical theory of Vygotsky (1996), who considered education and play in the context of child development and learning. In particular, Vygotsky singled out a form of education that focused not on already established cognitive structures, but on those that are emerging (Vygotsky, 1991). In this context, Vygotsky spoke of learning as an educational activity because it generates a zone of proximal development, a zone in which the child operates at the edge of her emerging abilities and approaches the expert cultural knowledge of the adult. For Vygotsky, the zone of proximal development is an important educator’s tool for effectively influencing not only learning but even the formation of children’s consciousness. It is particularly pertinent for early education as the emergent properties of the zone are evident not only in the process of instruction, but also of play, which forms the basis of early curricula around the developed world (Organization for Economic Cooperation Development, 2017). Of particular focus in the articles is the role of the adult in supporting this zone of proximal development as they engage in guided play with children, a topic of much recent research attention and scholarly debate (e.g., Weisberg et al., 2016; Eason and Ramani, 2020; Veraksa et al., 2021). The articles of this Research Topic present the latest research on the possibilities of child development in play and learning, with particular focus on the dialectical relationship between individual creativity and social conformity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number968473
    Pages (from-to)1-3
    Number of pages3
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • guided play
    • executive functions (EF)
    • home learning environment (HLE)
    • free play
    • language developement
    • playful learning
    • teachers' perspectives


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