Developmental Education: Foundations of a Play-Based Curriculum

  • Bert van Oers
Part of the International perspectives on early childhood education and development book series (CHILD, volume 7)


This chapter gives a general conceptual introduction to the educational approach called “Developmental Education”, as it was developed in the Netherlands on the basis of Vygotskij’s Cultural-historical theory of human development. This educational approach is usually profiled as a play-based curriculum; what this means will be clarified in the course of this chapter. The main foundational concepts will be explained: agency, social situation of development, meaningful learning, involvement, leading activity, zone of proximal development, and finally play will be discussed. The notion of play in particular is presented as a fundamental concept that characterises the whole approach as play-based. This chapter will serve as a reference frame for those that follow.


Cultural Practice Cultural Development Cultural Activity Meaningful Learning Cultural Meaning 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Theory and Research in Education, Faculty of Psychology and EducationVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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