Educational Environment and Indicators of Child Development
The article presents the author's approach to the interpretation of the concept of the educational environment of the school, based on the activity theory of A. N. Leontyev and on learning activity theory of D. B. Elkonin – V. V. Davydov. Significant features of two types of educational environments – the developing educational environment and the environment based on traditional educational content – are highlighted. A broad diagnostic research into the indicators of cognitive, social and personal development of students of these two types of educational environments was carried out. The study involved 2,304 students in the 5th and 9th grades from 24 schools.
To assess cognitive development, data from two tests is used: CFT2 and the “Transposition” method (author A. Z. Zak). An original diagnostic procedure has been developed to distinguish the role of factors of biological maturation and the educational environment of a particular school in the process of cognitive development of students.
Several sources were used to diagnose the social aspects of student development. This is a sociometric test, analysis of interactions in the system “students-teacher,” recorded in the course of observation at the lesson (based on the author's “scheme of lesson analysis” – authors I. M. Ulanovskaya, N. I. Polivanova, E. V. Vysotskaya) and content analysis of children's essays on the topic “My school.”
Indicators of personal development of students were determined by the scale “self-assessment and level of aspiration” test and the test of school anxiety (A. Prihodjan).
All data was subjected to statistical and qualitative analysis. The results obtained showed a high efficiency of the developing educational environment in the cognitive development of students. This is an expected result, since the programs used in developing educational environment are aimed at developing theoretical thinking based on the development of special educational content and appropriate forms of organization of the learning process.
Our results showed that educational environment developing qualitatively changes the sociometric structure of the class, making it more psychologically comfortable for students, increases cognitive motivation and reduces educational anxiety, makes self-assessment and level of aspiration more differentiated.