The developmental function of learning means that in the process of learning, the assimilation of knowledge, the learner develops. This development takes place in all directions: the development of speech, thinking, sensory and motor spheres of the personality, emotional-volitional and need-motivational areas, as well as the formation of experience in creative activity.
The domestic psychological school and pedagogical researches establish that training acts as a source, a means of personal development. One of the most important laws of psychology, formulated by Vygotsky, asserts that education leads to development. It can be said that all education develops primarily thanks to the content of education and, secondly, to the fact that teaching is an activity. And personality, as is known from psychology, develops in the process of activity.
The developmental function of learning is realized more successfully if the learning has a special orientation, is designed and organized so that the student is included in an active and conscious diverse activity that would develop in him sensory perceptions, motor, intellectual, volitional, emotional, motivational spheres. The developmental function of teaching is most successfully realized in a number of special technologies or methodical systems, pursuing precisely the goals of personal development. In the domestic didactics for this purpose there is a special term “developing training”.
In the 1960s, one of the Russian didacts, L. V. Zankov, created a system of developing instruction for junior schoolchildren. Its principles, selection of the content of education and methods of instruction are aimed at developing the perception, speech, thinking of schoolchildren and contributed to the theoretical and applied development of the problem of development in the course of training along with studies of other domestic scientists: DB El’konin, VV Davydov, N. A. Menchinskaya, etc. Thanks to these studies, domestic didactics received valuable results: the theory of the step-by-step formation of mental actions (PA Galperin), methods of problem training...
The modern organization of instruction is directed not so much to the formation of knowledge as to the versatile development of the student, primarily the intellectual training of methods of mental activity, analysis, comparison, classification, etc.; training in the ability to observe, draw conclusions, highlight the essential features of objects; training to the ability to distinguish goals and methods of activity, to check the results of it.
It should be noted that the development of the sensory, motor, emotional spheres of the individual in training lags behind the intellectual development. Meanwhile, it is very important that in the learning process the ability to subtly and accurately perceive the properties and phenomena of the surrounding world: space, light, color, sound, movement, ie, that the student master the depth and range of perception of his senses.
The development of the infant’s motor sphere consists in, on the one hand, forming arbitrary complex movements in teaching, work, and play. On the other hand, it is necessary to ensure active and comprehensive physical development of schoolchildren, since it is important for health, and for intellectual, emotional, creative activity of the individual.
The development of the emotional sphere, the subtlety and richness of feelings, experiences from the perception of nature, art, surrounding people, all phenomena in general is also one of the tasks of learning. In didactics there are examples of such methodological systems that are aimed at this (D. Kabalevsky, B. Nemensky, I. Volkov).
Therefore, once again, it should be recalled that any teaching leads to development, but the teaching is of a developing nature, if it is specifically directed at the development of the individual, which should be realized both in the selection of the content of education and in the didactic organization of the educational process.