Emotional and Cognitive Development of Preschool Children: Overview of International and Russian Studies on Role of Dialectical Thinking in the Regulation of Affect and Recognition of Complex Feelings

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The article contains an overview of studies on the problem of emotional and cognitive development of preschool children (43 papers, including 6 in Russian and 37 in English) conducted in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, Germany, Norway, Russia, etc). Special attention is paid to works that consider the reflexive aspect of children’s experiences characterized by duality, inconsistency and multypositionality, which makes it possible to identify and trace the line of dialectical transformations based on preschool children’s emotional experiences. The following statements are formulated as key conclusions: (1) dialectical thinking can be considered as a cognitive mechanism necessary for the analysis of complex, ambivalent and hidden feelings; (2) the unit of cognitive and affective development is experience, which involves reliance on an internal dialectical structure; (3) a two-position perspective in the game activity is a condition for forming preschool children’s dialectical thinking operations, which in turn can become a cognitive mechanism for regulating affect; (4) the cognitive basis of the emotional anticipation phenomenon includes a mental action of changing the alternative, which is in the zone of proximal development of preschool children and allows adults to use it as a mechanism of emotional co-regulation; and (5) philosophical dialog practices, which imply a discussion of problematic-contradictory content with preschoolers and are aimed at forming in them such actions of dialectical thinking as transformation, mediation and change of alternatives. These provisions represent are an effective tool for developing the ability to distinguish dual complex feelings and analyze their causes and consequences. The results of the work can serve as a basis for creating and implementing conceptually new preschool education programs aimed at both the creative and emotional development of children, where dialectical thinking is considered, inter alia, as an ability necessary for regulating affect and helping children to experience and cope with complex conflicting feelings.

About the authors

Nikolay E. Veraksa

Moscow Lomonosov State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: neveraksa@gmail.com
11 Mokhovaya St, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor, is Professor at the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy of the Faculty of Psychology

Anastasia K. Belolutskaya

Moscow Lomonosov State University

Email: anastasiabel1981@gmail.com
11 Mokhovaya St, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation

Ph.D. in Psychology, is Senior Researcher at the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy of the Faculty of Psychology


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Copyright (c) 2021 Veraksa N.E., Belolutskaya A.K.

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