Nikolay E. Veraksa, Aleksander N. Veraksa. The technique of project activity: A new approach in Russian preschool

The technique of project activity: A new approach in Russian preschool
Nikolay E. Veraksa, Aleksander N. Veraksa

Psychology in Russia: State of the Art
Volume 8, Issue 2, 2015

Project activity has a long history of implementation in education (Kilpatrick, 1918). This article describes the approach to project activity that became widespread in preschool education in Russia in the late 1990s. This approach is based on the culturalhistorical theory of Vygotsky (1978), Venger’s (1988) understanding of intellectual giftedness, as well as an understanding of project activity proposed by Leontiev (2000).
At the heart of project activity lies children’s exploration of the space of possibilities — that is, their search for action options that  correspond to their personal motives and express their individuality. The main features of project activity are the problem situation to be presented to the child; the subjectivity of all its participants, including teachers; and its nature, which includes its social context.
Three main types of project activity are presented: research, creative, and normative; each has its own structure and value for children’s development. Examples of their implementation in preschool settings are provided. The impact of project activity on all its participants in preschool — children, teachers, parents — is addressed.
The article shows the effectiveness of project activity for educational work with both intellectually gifted and normally developing children.