Rethinking Assessments: Creating a New Tool Using the Zone Of Proximal Development within a Cultural-Historical Framework

Victoria Jane Minson, Marie D Hammer, Nikolay Veresov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents a picture of the current theoretical positions and methods used to assess children’s development.A maturational understanding of development is seen to be predominately used to inform the assessment tools which track how children develop across the 0—5 age group. This paper proposes that with the movement towards a cultural-historical understanding of development, a tool following from this standpoint should be developed.It is envisaged that a new assessment tool will be developed from this analysis. A theoretical rationale is given to support why the Zone of Proximal Development can be used to identify the indicators of children’s actual and potential levels of development, moving away from age/level based testing. Developing an assessment tool aligned to the principles of the ZPD can offer alternative method to assess children’s development in a theoretically robust way, providing empirical evidence to rethink the methodologies of child development assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalCultural-Historical Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cultural-historical theory
  • developmental assessments,
  • Zone of Proximal Development
  • genetic research methodology

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