The ‘Golden Key’ Program and Its Cultural- Historical Basis

Abstract This paper describes the cultural-historical methodology, which lie at the base of the innovative educational program ‘Golden Key’ for preschool and primary school age children.

The main principles are to be found in the words ‘culture’ and ‘history’. People are dualistic beings, belonging both to the world of culture and nature, and they possess both a basic, natural psyche and cultural higher psychological functions.

Vygotsky considered the infant as a complete social being from the very beginning of life. This understanding consists in the realization that there is no socialization process, no transformation of a natural, biological being into a socialized one.

This new understanding sheds light upon the meaning of a particular type of consciousness, which is called ‘Pra-we’ (historical we), and, according to Vygotsky, this stage represents the main neo-formation of the earlier periods of infancy. And this understanding represents a direct unity of the individual with all of humanity. It is precisely this unit, which is able to nurture ‘self-development’ (self-regulation). There is a remarkable conclusion resulting from this understanding of the object of self-development (self-regulation) - a child can develop only because of the development of his/her ‘close adult’ (e.g. caregiver) with whom she/he communicates.

From this position, the entire system of communication with the children needs to be changed, because communication forms the basis of everything culturally. Culture, freedom and the human mind together are not handed down to us as it is, but potentiality, which can be realized through communication.

In the paper, we are speaking about various types and forms of communication - between children of different ages, between children and kindergarten/school staff and between children and their parents - and we show how each of these forms provide the holistic development of child’s personality and learning as part of this development.

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