Contemporary children and adolescents differ from their peers of previous generations. The existing differences relate to the cultural-historical conditions, in which children learn and develop. Today’s social situation of development is to a large extent determined by digital media, which so far have not only changed the common forms of human activity (including play, communication and education), but have triggered the transition to a different type of culture, often labeled as “digital”, “hyperconnected” or “networked”.
The most fundamental scientific works on childhood available in Russia are based on empirical studies, conducted in the 20th century. In this regard, the scientific community is faced with the challenge of developing and implementing a comprehensive research program, aimed at multidisciplinary analysis of the new socio-cultural situation, which determines the process of contemporary children’s development and socialization. Without proper consideration of this data, it seems impossible neither to elaborate and improve the existing social (primarily educational) practices, nor to design new environments, aimed at development of children and adolescents.
To study a wide range of problems related to contemporary childhood, by the decision of the Academic Council of MSUPE, in October 2015 the Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Contemporary Childhood was established. Its objectives include:
- analysis and systematization of research related to various aspects of childhood and child development;
- elaboration and implementation of multidisciplinary research projects related to childhood based on the methods of the Cultural-Historical Scientific School;
- development of assessment methods for evaluating products aimed at children and adolescents (including computer programs and apps, toys and play materials etc.);
- elaboration of educational programs focusing on development and education of contemporary children and adolescents;
- consolidation of efforts of the scientific community in solving urgent challenges related to contemporary childhood, including the risks of the digital society;
- promoting international cooperation in the areas related to contemporary childhood (including participation in research projects).
Since January 2021, the structure of the Center includes two units:
The Center’s work focuses on the following spheres:
The Center implements interdisciplinary research projects and unites specialists in different scientific fields, including psychologists, educators, sociologists and IT specialists.
The Center regularly organizes public scientific events, which range from traditional lectures and seminars to informal meetings on the platform of monthly reading groups. The videos of the meetings are available here (in Russian and in English).
The results of the projects completed by the Center are regularly published in leading psychological journals.
History and Achievements
From 2015 to 2021, our team managed:
- to complete a number of unique research projects;
- to hold over 100 scientific meetings, bringing together over 3000 people, interested in contemporary childhood and child development;
- to launch a monthly seminar «Contemporary Childhood: Theory and Practice» (in Russian);
- to launch the project «ReadingLive: Moscow CHAT Reading Group» (in English);
- to become a co-organizer of the MSUPE Winter Psychological School (2016);
- to become a co-organizer of the International Symposium “L.S. Vygotsky and contemporary childhood"(2016);
- to take part in the V International Scientific and Practical conference "Inclusive education: continuity and succession" (2019);
- to become a co-organizer of the annual International ISCAR Summer University in 2016, 2019 and 2020.