The stage of infancy, The social situation of development, The...

7.2. Stage of infancy

Social development situation

The specific reaction of a smile to the mother's face is an indicator that the social situation of the child's mental development has already taken shape. This is the social situation of the unity of the child with the adult. Vygotsky called it the social situation "WE". According to Vygotsky, the child is like an adult paralytic who says: "We ate", "We walked around". Here you can talk about the inseparable unity of the child and the adult. A child can not do anything without an adult. The life and activity of the child are, as it were, woven into the life and work of the adult caring for him. In general, this is a situation of comfort, and the central element of this comfort is an adult. As D.B. Elkonin, dummy and rocking - ersatz, adult substitutes, talking to the child: "Everything is calm!", "Everything is fine!", "I'm here".

The main contradiction of age (development problem).

The social situation of the inseparable unity of the child and the adult contains the contradiction: the child needs the adult as much as possible and at the same time has no specific means of influencing him. This contradiction is solved throughout the entire period of infancy. The resolution of this contradiction leads to the destruction of the social situation of the development that gave birth to it.

Leading type of activity.

The social situation of the child's general life with his mother leads to the emergence of a new type of activity - immediate emotional communication of the child and mother. As the studies of D.B. Elkonin and M.I. Lisinoy, a specific feature of this type of activity is that the subject of this activity is another person. But if the object of activity is another person, then this activity is the essence of communication. What is important is not what people do with each other, he emphasized. El'konin, and then. that the subject of the activity is another person.

This type of communication is very pronounced in infancy. From the side of an adult, the child becomes an object of activity. On the part of the child, the appearance of the first forms of influence on the adult can be observed. So, very soon the child's voice reactions acquire the character of an emotionally active call, whine turns into a behavioral act aimed at an adult. This is not yet a speech in the proper sense of the word, but for the time being only emotional-expressive reactions.

Communication during this period should be emotionally-positive. Thus, the child creates an emotionally positive tone, which serves as a sign of physical and mental health.

Is communication the leading type of activity in infancy? Studies have shown that the lack of communication during this period has a negative effect. So, after the Second World War, psychology included the concept of "hospitalism", which described the mental development of children who lost their parents and found themselves in hospitals or orphanages.

Most researchers (R. Spitz, J. Bowlby, A. Freud, and others) noted that the child's separation from the mother in the first years of life causes significant disruptions in the child's mental development, and this leaves an indelible imprint on his entire life. Spitz described the numerous symptoms of impaired children's behavior and the delay in the mental and physical development of children brought up in institutions. Despite the fact that the care, nutrition, hygiene conditions in these institutions were good, the death rate was very high. Many works indicate that under conditions of hospitalism pre-speech and speech development suffers, separation from the mother affects the development of cognitive functions, the emotional development of the child.

A. The Jersey, describing the emotional development of children, noted that the ability of a child to love others is closely related to how much love he received himself and in what form it was expressed. A. Freud, tracing the development of children who were orphaned during the war and brought up in orphanages, found that in adolescence they were not capable of selective treatment of adults and peers. Many teenagers tried to establish such close child-mother relations with someone from adults who did not match their age. Without this, the transition to adulthood became impossible.

Watching the development of children in modern closed children's institutions, the Hungarian pediatrician E. Pickler discovered new symptoms of hospitalism. She wrote that children in these institutions at first sight make a good impression: they are obedient, usually busy with the game, go on the street in pairs, do not run up, do not linger, they can be easily undressed or dressed. They do not touch what can not be touched, do not interfere with their demands for the organizing work of an adult. Although this picture gives a sense of satisfaction, this behavior, says Pickler, seems extremely dangerous: these children are completely lacking will-power behavior, initiative, they only willingly reproduce and perform tasks according to instructions. These children are characterized not only by the absence of strong-willed manifestations, but also by an impersonal attitude toward an adult.

M.I. Lisina has analyzed the research on the influence of separation from the mother on the mental development of the child. She showed that the representatives of the psychoanalytic trend falsely interpret the child's contact with the mother as a manifestation of his primitive sexual drives, without examining the real nature and the true content of these contacts and without studying the mechanisms of their influence on mental development. Representatives of the same behaviourist direction, according to Lisina, remain at the level of external description of the facts, mechanically interpreting developmental processes as behavioral reactions that arise under the influence of surrounding people. In both directions, a naturalistic approach to the problem of development is manifested.

A characteristic feature of the naturalistic approach to child development is the answer to the following question: where is the source of development? All representatives of the biologic direction in psychology are looking for a source of development within the individual. Therefore, it must be recognized that the theoretical analysis of a large number of undeniable facts about the serious negative impact of separation from the mother on the development of the child is based on incorrect positions.

LS. Vygotsky and his followers believe that the source of development lies not inside, but outside the child, in the products of material and spiritual culture, which is revealed to every child by an adult in the process of communication and a specially organized joint activity. Therefore, the child's way to things and to meet his own needs, according to Vygotsky, always lies through the relationship to another person. That is why the beginning of the psychic life consists in the formation in the child of a specifically human need for communication. During long observations and experiments it is proved that this need does not arise on the basis of satisfying the organic needs of the child, but is specially formed in the communication of the child and the adult, the initiator of which in the first days of the baby's life is an adult. Vygotsky believed that communication with an adult is the main way of manifesting the child's own activity. The child's relationship to the world is a dependent and derivative of the most direct and concrete of his relationships to an adult.

The point is not in the child's biological attachment to the mother, not in the satisfaction of sexual drives, nor in the mechanical presentation of stimuli and the selection of reactions, but in the organization of communication, the formation of specifically human needs, the management of the orienting activity of the child. One can even say that the whole thing is not in the mother as a biological factor, but in the adult as a specific carrier for the child of all human culture and ways of mastering it.

Only such theoretical guidelines made it possible to take important steps in practice, namely, to withdraw children from a serious state of hospitalism. In the study M.Yu. Kistyakovskaya showed that children who were in a war in the conditions of a lack of communication and therefore were deeply lagging behind not only in mental, but also in physical development, were brought back to life only after they managed to form an emotionally positive attitude towards adults and this basis to ensure a full course of mental development.

Methods of raising children in orphanages were developed at the State Methodological Institute of the Children's Houses (Budapest, Lozzi Street), created by E. Pikler. Employees of this center since 1946 worked on the elimination of severe consequences of hospitalism in closed institutions in Hungary, in which healthy children were raised at the age of two weeks after birth to three years. Below are listed the main principles developed by the Institute.

1. In the conditions of the institution, it is necessary to ensure stable personal communication, which can become the basis for further emotional balance of the child. This is achieved due to the fact that the child is served by the same teacher throughout his life in the institution. One teacher is particularly responsible for one part of the group - four children from eight, and the other - for another.

2. A special role is played by the caregiver's interest in the child's personality and the diverse development of children. This manifests itself in the orientation of the adult on signs and signals coming from the child, as indicators of the activity and complicity of the child in interactions. Understanding a child to adults and understanding the child's actions and expectations of an adult contribute to establishing a stable relationship between them.

3. The most important moments of interaction between the child and the adult are carried out in the process of caring for the child. This is feeding, bathing, dressing, walking, etc. The peculiarity of contacts between an adult and a child is how the adult informs the child about his actions. At the same time, he patiently, slowly, can wait for the manifestation of the activity of the child. For example, during feeding, the teacher raises the spoon with food first to the eye level of the child, so that he looks at that spoon. The child reflexively opens his mouth, and the teacher calmly feeds him. This example clearly shows the observance of the "golden rule of education": the child must first be given the opportunity to orient, and then he starts to act. This rule applies to any, even the simplest actions of a person. Unfortunately, according to Pickler, adults usually decide for themselves what the child should know when and how he should act, and, helping the child, train him, not giving him the opportunity to actively orient himself in the conditions of his own action.

4. In the educational system "Lozzi", developed under the guidance of Pikler, the child from the first day of his life is considered a reasonable partner, who is constantly informed about what is happening to him. So, the teacher, having taken one of the babies for feeding, approaches the crib of another baby and tells him: "Next you will be". So, the child from the very beginning is brought up a sense of security and trust, which are based on a reasonable order.

5. In the Lozzi the relationship between an adult and a child is manifested in the way in which the adult is able to provide the child with alternatives for choosing the action and the possibility to finish the actions that are significant for him.

"In the process of raising a child in a closed institution, the greatest difficulty," writes Pikler, "is that it is necessary to eliminate demonstrative forms of impersonal, stereotyped, superficial approach and training in order to achieve a healthy development of the children's personality. Instead, we need to build a deeper human connection, based on cooperation, similar to that of a child brought up in the family. "

Summarizing these principles, it must be emphasized that they create the conditions under which the child himself is actively interested in learning from an adult on the basis of his participation in the development of the surrounding reality. In the traditional system of education, external reinforcement, constant compulsion of the adult form a feeling of weakness in the child. L.I. Bozhovich rightly noted that the driving force of development is not the weakness of the child before the environment, not the desire to just adapt to it, but, on the contrary, the desire to know the reality and to master it.

After getting acquainted with the system of education in "Lozzi", P.Ya. Halperin wrote about Pikler's work full of deep respect for the word: "Dr. Emmy Pickler has a very clear idea of ​​what kind of children she wants to educate: active, initiative, independent and in their respective forms of behavior. Dr. Pikler has a detailed and well-developed system of conditions, facilities and techniques that ensure the upbringing of these properties and behaviors - in all children without distinction of their origin.

This corresponds to my ideas that the concrete content and specific structures of mental activity are formed entirely in individual experience. But so far I have confined myself to the formation of the basic types of meaningful human action and only now I turn to the formation of cognitive processes, and Dr. Pickler has long and with high efficiency formed the basic characteristics of the child's personality, not removing, but, on the contrary, reflecting the possibilities of forming his personality.

She does this by a wonderful and delicate confident intuition, like a true ascetic of high philanthropy - I bow with gratitude to her case and her personality (from the archives of E. Pikler).

Based on psychological and pedagogical facts, we emphasize once again that the social situation of the mental development of a child of infant age is the situation of the inseparable unity of the child and the adult, the social situation, we, the social situation of comfort. The indicator of the existence of such a social situation is a positive emotional background, which is a condition for normal physical and mental development of the child. This emotional and positive background must be constantly maintained, for which humanity, as already noted, invented the ersatz of the presence of an adult: it is a dummy and motion sickness.

The primary, leading type of activity of a child in infancy is emotionally direct communication, the subject of which is for an adult child. The first need, which is formed in the child, is the need for another person. Only by developing alongside an adult person, a child can become a person himself. "The first thing that we need to educate our children and that develops throughout childhood, - wrote D.B. Elkonin, is the need of children in a person, in another person, first in mother, father, then in a friend, friend, finally in a collective and, finally, in society. " To develop this need to pay special attention: with the child should speak, smile at him, tell him stories, not embarrassed that the child does not understand everything from what the adult tells him. In this sense M.I. Lisina spoke about the "anticipatory influence of an adult": he brings down on the child a huge arsenal of means that will only gradually become the individual means of his mental activity.

The first signs of communication were described by Lisina. This attention, interest in another person (the child looks, listens to the voice); emotional response to the appearance of another person; an attempt to attract attention, the desire to achieve from adult encouragement, a relationship to what the child is doing. Such communication Lisina called "situational-personal." Psychologists say: "The infant is helpless, if he is alone, but couples" mother and child " not only not helpless, but striking with their vitality. "

The lack of communication in infancy has a negative impact on all subsequent mental development of the child. Using the words of E. Erickson, we can say that the events of the first year of life form the child's "trust foundation" or distrust of the outside world. The damage at this age, the lack of love between the surrounding and the child and the love of the child, but the opinion of the researchers, "color the solution of all age problems that will arise before the child in subsequent stages of development" (G. Bronson).

The old, postwar studies of hospitalism and completely new studies of the family as the main cell in which the child's mental development begins, confirm the thesis that communication between a child and an adult in the nerve year of life is the leading type of child's activity. In this activity he develops and develops new mental processes and personality properties.

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