Hypothesis of P. Ya. Galperin on the stage-by-stage...

P.Ya. Galperin's hypothesis on the step-by-step formation of mental actions

This psycho-pedagogical concept is one of the most developed (both theoretically and practically) in modern pedagogical psychology, and not only in the domestic one. It is noteworthy that the author modestly called his very original and perspective design precisely the hypothesis, and not the theory. In recent years, the adjective "systematic", attributed to the essence of the author's approach to the guided process of formation of thinking, has been rightfully added to the title of the concept. The hypothesis of P. Ya. Galperin has not only a specifically applied, psychological and pedagogical, but also profound general psychological significance. The author had a special look at the very subject of psychology, and this position will someday become the object of worthy discussion and appropriate development.

The concept presented is essentially based on three basic assumptions , or psychological ideas, theoretical assumptions:

1. The idea of ​​ internalization as a process that explains the origin of mental activity from the activity of external, material, but translated, "transferred" in the ideal plan of reflection and in it qualitatively transformed. In particular, thinking as a system of mental actions arises from practical, objective actions. For example, a person can produce in his mind the addition of numbers, because he previously did this with counting sticks, numbers and other signed symbols.

In the psyche, there is not simply the image of an objective object, but also the image of the field of possible (and necessary) actions with this object. The ideal image abstracted from the concrete materiality is created in action, and not in the automatic "evaporation" objective reality. The idea itself is not new to psychology, but existed only theoretically, as the "explanatory principle". P. Ya. Halperin was the first to show that the hypothetical process of internalization can and should be purposefully organized and used during the learning process.

2. Idea (hypothesis) of successive stages of interiorization, which differ in the nature or form of reflection of the action, the degree of its reproduction (execution), and systematic transformations of the formed action according to a special system of parameters introduced by the author. It can not be said that such steps or parameters were completely unknown to the preceding psychology, but their systematization in the context of "explanatory" categories of interiorization - exteriorization was a significant contribution to the relevant psychological theory and practice.

3. The statement of the necessary succession, clear sequence, plannedness and careful controllability of the selected stages of interiorization. A full-fledged action (mental) of a higher reflective order can be obtained, formed only in support of all its preceding forms. In this regard, the training, built on this concept, was regarded by some opponents as being excessively manageable, overly regulated.

The learning process, built on the listed grounds, implements the methodology, fundamentally different from the traditional theoretical and methodological approaches. Its essence is as follows. In the opinion of P. Ya. Halperin, if a psychic phenomenon has already taken shape, then nothing can be understood in it. Action should be purposefully built, lead, and not simply observe, fix its spontaneous changes and, at best, correct them. Perhaps this is a certain psychological maximalism, aimed at the practical implementation of the well-known methodological principle: the forming, genetic, evolutionary approach to the study of the psyche.

For the practical implementation of the new methodology, it is necessary: ​​

a) a clear knowledge and description of the specific goal of learning, an unambiguous formulation of what is expected to form: what kind of mental action, skill, concept, their necessary properties and characteristics;

b) finding the original material form of the future mental action or concept and carefully systematically identifying all the conditions and factors of the upcoming formation;

c) the construction, the formation of external material action with the mandatory availability of a carefully designed system of external tools, recommendations and instructions on the correctness of the implementation of training activities, on their compliance with educational material;

d) systematic organization of a controlled phased development of the formed action according to a special author's system of parameters, i.e. purposeful implementation of the process of internalization as the transformation of material action into the thought of it.

Of course, in the internal plan of reflection, the material action, of course, is not transformed, but only its specific, modified, automated and reduced parts, the complete regulation of which is impossible. But for theory and practice, the most important is the proof of the fact of the pedagogical realization of the idea and the principle of internalization obtained in this concept.

Of course, any targeted training is not the first, does not begin with a psychological "zero". The fulfillment of the initial, material form of action rests on the already existing forms and means of the psyche, the available knowledge and mental actions, therefore some kinds of knowledge can be accepted by the person, as it were, "in the summer," in the mind, without the detailed stage of the internalized process of assimilation. Any newly formed knowledge is superimposed on the former and at the same time it changes, interacts with the existing psyche, so the learning process can not be unified once and for all. It is impossible for the same methodology and universal rules to teach "everyone and everything". Educational practice requires variability, a qualified selection of techniques and technologies that are adequate to the goals and subjects of the educational process.

P. Ya. Galperin formulates the original author's interpretation of the composition of any action , in which two parts are identified: orienting and executive , the first being psychologically leading.

The tentative part (or the orienting basis of the action - OOD) performs the following functions, according to the torus:

cognitive, ie. realizing the process of building a subjective image of the world:

the planning, by which the program of the future action is provided, its "sanity" as an orientation to the essential properties of the reflected object, the objective conditions of the problem solved by the psyche;

control, which contains the function of awareness, attention to the move and the quality of the action performed.

Thus, the tentative part is a kind of apparatus for controlling the action through the created and changing ideal, mental images, therefore, in the orienting part, essentially all the features and characteristics of the action, its course and final effectiveness are laid.

The executive part is a purposeful transformation of the source material, i.e. the subject of action (material or ideal); it's part of the resultant, standing "at the output", and therefore traditionally researched, usually taken for the action as a whole.

According to the general psychological position II. Ya Halperin, the mental image serves precisely for orientation and arises in it. All mental activity is generally indicative, which is the subject of psychology.

Next, we introduce the concept of three types of orienting basis of action and describe their characteristics and the psychological consequences that arise during training.

The first type of orientation is called incomplete and is characterized by the fact that the trainee is shown a sample of the action and its final result. This training by the principle: "Do as I", when, in fact, there are no instructions on the correctness of the performance of an action, there is no analysis of the conditions of its expected success. This orientation is characteristic of the processes of spontaneous learning, for some initial, insufficiently designed types of knowledge and skills, the work of an unprofessional teacher. In these cases, knowledge and skills are formed by the type of trial and error, when there is purely empirical, sometimes mechanical adjustment of the result to what is required for a given sample. Here the student's mistakes are inevitable, necessary and are, as it were, the main "teacher". The resulting action includes many unnecessary operations, its result is unstable. The action has no generalization (on the material and on the class of tasks), and therefore is not well tolerated in the new, modified conditions. Of course, in its pure form the first type of orientation is not found in training very often, although the facts of its presence in the life process and even in the system of broad educational practice are by no means exclusive.

The orientation of the second type is called complete for individual samples. This means that a careful system of instructions on the correctness of the action is added to the previous orientation. To do this, you need to analyze the educational and generated actions, analyze the material (the subject of the action) in terms of its correspondence to the performed action. Drawing up such a DTE is a painstaking, laborious and creative process that requires professional knowledge not only of psychology and pedagogy, but also of the subject content for which this learning process is directed. With the orientation of the second type, the probes and errors are already random, and they have a qualitatively different character. In principle, mistakes are inevitable with any training organization, since a living person is prone to make mistakes, and this must be taken into account, even calculated. Another thing is that mistakes are not accidental, but the imperfections of the training system itself. Such mistakes do not train so much as lead to an unjustified waste of time and effort. But there are useful errors that can be specifically provided by the teacher during the educational process. With a competent organization, this is a reliable way to attract students' attention, to activate their thinking, to stimulate self-reliance, to control and self-control activities in the process of learning.

Actions formed on the basis of the DTE of the second type are considered stable, flexible, sufficiently generalized. Their result is stable, the transfer of cases. However, the formed knowledge is empirical, not strictly conceptual. In them there is no separation of the casual (situational) and the regular (substantial).

The orientation of the third type is called complete and is considered in some sense limiting, and therefore difficult to achieve. Here systematic training is carried out for the analysis of new tasks, material, actions, and identification of control points and conditions for their proper implementation and use. This training focuses on the units of the material, the unit of action and the rules for their combination, as well as the systematic training of students in the independent construction of an indicative framework of action. With this orientation, the learning outcomes are the highest. The conditions for the formation of knowledge and activity become reasonable for students. The educational material is revealed in its internal structure, origin, objective connections and development. Knowledge is stable and conceptual. The latter form in a special type of theoretical thinking, which mediates the entire psyche, forms a conceptual approach to the cognized world.

It should be emphasized that, in addition to the type of OOD, the possibilities of thinking formed in students depend on the nature of motivation, the armament of mental actions by special heuristic (creative) methods. The last two factors of the effectiveness of teaching: motivational and creative - in modern pedagogical psychology have not yet been studied as thoroughly as the substantive, content side of learning.

One of the system-forming, basic components of the discussed concept is the allocation of a system of parameters (indicators) characterizing any action . On these parameters, and systematic, step-by-step interiorization is carried out. The action can be described by four characteristics, or parameters: the actual level of the action; the completeness of the operations performed; measure of generality; degree of development.

The central place in this system is the first parameter that highlights five psychological levels of performance of the action . Consider these levels in the direction from the simple (material) to the complex (mental):

1) tracking someone else's action in the field of perception;

2) material action with material objects;

3) action in terms of loud speech (without material objects);

4) external speech "about yourself";

5) Inner speech.

As you can see, the marked levels differ in the form of reflection of the object of action and the means of its actual execution, practical implementation.

Tracking, watching an action, performing it by means of perception - the simplest in psychological composition and relatively passive form.

The material form of an action is carried out with objective objects, using these images directly. It is actively involved in motor skills, all sorts of psychomotor connections and coordination, thinking, memory, attention and other mental processes, depending on the complexity of the realized material action. It is more difficult to perform such an action than to perceive it in the performance of another person, but without such a prior perception, there would not be an effective material form of action.

The speech form of the performance of an action means a fundamental change in the image of the object of the action, with which the word is written. Speech is the only carrier, the executor of the whole process. This is a completely different action, operating with other, verbal images and signs that materialize, translate certain ideal, actually mental images. By speech, it remains a material form of action.

The next level of action, called external speech "to myself," in this scheme is considered as the first mental, mental action. Some artificiality of such a name is caused by the fact that in execution such an action is internal, devoid of material supports and performed in an ideal reflection plan. In terms of form, this speech is almost unfolded, not abbreviated grammatically. A man silently, without reliance on the work of a material speech apparatus, nevertheless, as it were, utters to himself a certain difficult thought for understanding, some unformed mental action. Such speech-speech difficulties and a kind of re-crossings for the learning process are quite natural and sometimes necessary.

Psychologically, the highest level of performance of an action is inner speech, which is the result of a reduction, generalization, mental working out, automation of the previous form of mental action.

A real, lively and sufficiently formed action can be performed by a person simultaneously on several selected levels. For example, you can write in parallel, it's the same to say and think about the same. However, in normal life practice, these levels are still divorced and are in constant interaction, the relationship of mutual exchange, and a person who knows nothing about the levels, completely unfamiliar with psychology, often intuitively uses the described psychological phenomena in life practice.


Suppose that some circumstances put an uneasy task before an individual (intellectual, behavioral, emotional), with which he can not immediately cope, does not see the desired exit, does not dare to do anything. What does a person do in such cases? Where does he seek help? He discusses, pronounces his problem with himself, with another person, i.e. takes out the not formed mental effect on the level of speech working. You can go up and to the level of the material form of the action: to present his problem on paper, to accomplish something purely physically, in his real behavior, just to make by hands. Such means, as a rule, help the person, and the fulfilled, solved problem leaves, is internalized to the level of an acceptable internal relation, becomes a generalized mental action, a reduced thought about the existing problem. In fact, on these general psychological mechanisms and techniques, professionally worked up to methodological perfection, the idea and a significant part of psychological counseling and psychotherapy are built.

The second parameter of any action is completeness of operations , i.e. the exponent of their unfolding, or, on the contrary, the shortness, the fusion. Such changes in the operational composition of activities and activities are thoroughly studied in the development of skills and abilities. They are a necessary component of the process of formation of any action. As the training proceeds, a step-by-step, jumplike transition from deployed to shortened, but if necessary (in conditions of difficulties), the action can return to the initial, expanded execution.

The third parameter characterizes the measure of generality of action for the material and types of tasks being solved, the regularities that are reflected. Highly-formed mental action is adequately universal, flexible and can be applied to a wide variety of tasks and life situations. But for this, in the learning process, a special working out of the given parameter, the variability of the objects of the formed action, a meaningful generalization of classes and types of tasks to be solved are necessary. The generalization of mental action in an adult is one of the manifestations of high professionalism and the development of intelligence in general.

The fourth characteristic is considered to be the degree of mastery of the action , which is, apparently, complex and includes elements of the previous parameters. This is an indicator of the stereotyped action or variety of its forms, the stability of the action, its completeness, mediation, awareness.

In conclusion, let's enumerate the six stages, for which the process of forming mental action in the mainstream of this concept is passing.

The motivational stage, which realizes the actualization of the need, the introduction of the motives (external or internal) of the forthcoming educational activity, generates a positive attitude towards the process of learning, the learning task and the learning action. Providing motivation for teaching is one of the most important and most difficult problems of psychology. Traditional pedagogical constructions often leave motivational questions as if by brackets, as taken for granted. In fact, such questions represent a special psychological and pedagogical complexity. These are questions not only and not so much about the external stimulus of activity as about the inner, meaning-creating motive that sets not only the result of the teaching, but the student's attitude to learning, knowledge, the world in general.

In the second stage, the orienting basis of the action is constructed as a kind of project, a sample of the final result. This is a detailed, very thorough and complete system of instructions, compiled according to the third type of DTE; marking the sample in support of the objective content of the upcoming action, highlighting in the subject and the action of significant links and relationships in their origin and development. Training does not begin with a practical action "on the model", but with a preliminary, exhaustively full orientation of the students.

The third stage is material (or materialized in signs) form of action, ie. practical implementation of a consistent system of tasks. At this stage (as well as on all others) there is a sequential development of the formed action throughout the system of its parameters: completeness, generality, degree of assimilation. The action becomes an automated skill or skill, without which it is impossible to advance the process of its internalization.

• The fourth stage is sometimes called speech processing of the formed action. Its essence lies in separating the learner from material objects and transferring the action to the outline of the external (loud) dialogical speech. As a result, speech becomes the sole carrier of the process being formed: actions and tasks. Significant and systemic psychological transformations of action occur and are being worked out: the orientation toward objective substantive content, translated into its sign, verbal expression, qualitatively changes. The generalization achieved at the previous stage takes on the form of abstraction, which is reflected in the student's mind. As the formation is controlled, the speech form of action is also reduced, simplified, automated, becoming more expressive, stereotyped, conceptually armed. But this is still the material form of the action being created.

• The fifth stage of external speech "to myself is actually a mental, mental form of action. In the process of learning, this is sometimes an involuntary, inevitable, intermediate stage of learning, requiring the student to mute, but quite complete verbal-conceptual "utterance" About myself. The thought is not so developed and shaped to be able to tear itself away from its speech performance and expression. Such an action is deprived of a material sound support; sound articulation is unconscious and unconscious. The sound form of speech becomes for the student a mental representation, an audible image of the word, which will gradually disappear from consciousness.

• The last stage of inner speech is a qualitative consequence of the reduction and automation of mental action that arose in the previous stage. The measures of such reduction and generalization can be very different: from a fully developed idea to a concept compressed in a subjective image. So the whole human psyche really exists. Consciousness is freed from the speech part of mental action. In the psychological work other sign means are included: numbers, formulas, symbols, diagrams, models, codes. If necessary (saying, thinking, difficulties), the speech part returns to consciousness and carries out its "work". In the mind there are also the very subject content of mental action, and the thought of this subject matter. Work and control actions, independently existing and functioning at the previous stages, merge into a single, holistic mental action. External control becomes a psychological category of attention, which is combined with the objective way. As a result, two sides of thought, its subject and thought about it, can be represented and if necessary divided into consciousness. Hence, in particular, there is the possibility of separation in the human consciousness, for example, the very experience (subjective) and the object (objective), to which it is directed.

The psychological and pedagogical concept of P. Ya. Galperin had a fairly wide practical use in the 1960-1980s, despite the fact that its implementation requires a complex research and preparatory work. The system was applied to different tasks and students: to preschool children, schoolchildren, students, cadets, students of military academies. The result of the training was always high and reliable, which is conditioned by the psychological basis and methodology of such non-standard, non-traditional teaching.

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