Playworlds and Executive Functions in Children: Theorising with the Cultural-Historical Analytical Lenses

  • Marilyn Fleer
  • Nikolai VeresovEmail author
  • Sue Walker
Regular Article


This paper provides a theorisation of developmental conditions to support executive functions (working memory, inhibition and shifting) in children in playworlds settings, where children and teachers play together in collectively created imaginary situations. Vygotsky’s general law of development of psychological functions constitutes the general frame for the analysis of the process of development of executive functions (EF) in playworlds, and the theoretical concepts of drama, social situation of development and perezhivanie are used as analytical tools to examine opportunities of playworlds to support children executive functions.


Executive functions Cultural-historical theory Playworlds Drama Social situation of development Perezhivanie 



This study was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Grant LP150100279.X.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Authors declare they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityFrankstonAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbane CityAustralia

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