The article is devoted to the psychological foundations of the problem of the mental development of children, beginning with preschool age. It is emphasized that the need for its solution is realized both at the theoretical level and in the practical sphere, since it is at the preschool age that the foundation of concepts and concepts of children that ensures the successful development of the child is laid. Many psychological studies have been analyzed. It is established that the rate of mental development of preschool children is very high in comparison with later periods. The effectiveness of the application of the methodology for the formation of logical mathematical thinking through didactic games has been proved experimentally.
Thinking, as the highest form of human cognitive activity, allows us to reflect the surrounding reality in a generalized, indirect way and establish connections in the relations between objects and phenomena . Generality is facilitated by the fact that thinking has a symbolic character, is expressed in word. Thanks to mediation, it is possible to know what is directly in perception is not given. Thinking also makes it possible to establish connections and relationships between objects, while sensations and perceptions reflect predominantly individual aspects of phenomena. The material basis of thinking is speech. The thought rests on the folded inner speech.
The problem of thinking arose as a subject of psychology in the early 20-ies of our century in the Würzburg Psychological School. The pre-eminent associative psychology did not set itself the problem of analyzing thinking activity. Thinking was reduced to "cohesion" of associations. For reality, only sensations and their copies were accepted.
The proposition that mental activity is formed from the external, the most consistently developed AN. Leontiev and P.Ya. Halperin. In the works of P.Ya. Halperin points out that every process of assimilation begins with a concrete action with objects. Due to this, activity is abstracted from specific objective conditions and acquires a more generalized character. Occurs, according to the author, a specific reduction in the process, its automation and transition to a dynamic stereotype.
A.N. Leont'ev sees in this moment the formation of a mechanism of the corresponding mental function, indicating further that many links in the process become redundant, do not receive reinforcement, are decelerated and drop out. Along with this reduction of the process, the corresponding reflex connections of the "reduced system" are fixed . A.V. Zaporozhets holds this point of view on the basis of an experimental study of the formation of voluntary movements in the child.
Developed in the domestic psychology of the proposition that theoretical activity develops from the outside, that the psychic properties, both general and special, are the product of ontogenetic development, are based on the teachings of I.M. Sechenov and I.P. Pavlov on the reflex nature of the psyche. In the Elements of Thought, Sechenov says that the idea begins with the formation of ideas about the object and immediately turns into an "extrasensory region": "The transition of thought from the experimental field to the extra-sensory is accomplished through continued analysis, continued synthesis and continued generalization. In this sense, it constitutes a natural extension of the previous phase of development, which is not different in its methods and, consequently, in the processes of thinking ".
The point of view of Soviet psychology on thinking as an activity that has grown from a practical one that has arisen in the process of an individual's life finds its justification in the teachings of I.P. Pavlov, according to which the basis of thinking is conditioned reflex activity, formed in individual experience. Thus, putting forward a position on the reflex nature of thinking, Soviet psychologists deny the positions of idealistic empirical psychology, which approaches thinking as an innate ability, as a function that only increases quantitatively during the maturation of the brain.
Psychological research of thinking, its formation and development consist, as S.L. Rubinshtein, in the disclosure of its laws as an analytic-synthetic activity.
The discovery of the reflex base of all, even elementary mental acts, revealed their procedural structure. Even the most elementary mental processes of a person, such as sensation and perception, are processes in the sense that they flow in time, have some volatile dynamics. In every act of thinking of man it is expressed to the maximum extent.
Thinking activity is not only in the ability to know the surrounding phenomena, but also in the ability to act adequately set goals. The thinking process is an active, purposeful process aimed at resolving a particular task by personally motivated ones. Summarizing all that was said above about the views of Soviet psychologists on the problem of thinking, it should be emphasized that thinking is an activity based on a system of concepts aimed at solving problems that are subordinate to a goal that takes into account the conditions under which the task is being carried out.
The psychological analysis of thinking consisted in elucidating the laws of association, according to which complex ideas or images are created from elementary ones. One of the founders of associative psychology, A.Ben, assigns to associations of similarity a basic role in thinking. Although Wundt's introduction into the psychology of the experimental method was certainly a progressive factor in the history of psychological science, however, psychological studies conducted by him and his followers were conducted on the basis of associative psychology. G. Ebbingauz, G. Müller, T. Tsipen – the largest representatives of experimental psychology of that time – believed that the universal law are the laws of association. So, concepts of judgment, inferences are characterized as associations of representations. Other representatives of experimental associative psychology believe that thinking reduces to the actualization of associations .
Different aspects of the ontogenesis of children's thinking have been studied by prominent foreign psychologists. The psychological foundations of the pedagogical game were created thanks to the research of L.S. Vygotsky, A.N. Leontief, D.B. Elkonin, who discovered the socio-historical conditions of not only the content, but also the structure of game activity, and also subjected to a deep study the mechanism of its influence on the development of various psychological processes and properties of the child personality.
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