Shelekhov I.L.

Tomsk State Pedagogical University (Tomsk, Russia), Associate Professor of the Department of Personality Development Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Special Education, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor, Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Psychological Sciences.

Belozerova G.V.

Tomsk State Pedagogical University (Tomsk, Russian Federation), Head of the Editorial and Publishing Department, Master of Psychology.


The relevance of the study of the phenomenon of childhood is indicated. The areas of scientific knowledge about childhood are determined. The definitive palette of the term childhood is presented. The author’s definition of childhood is proposed. The approaches to the study of childhood have been investigated. The purpose of childhood is revealed, its functions are studied. The features of the child’s development process are indicated. The space of childhood is considered, its characteristics and functions are described. In order to popularize science, the authors present a graphic image made in the style of the Danish artist H. Bidstrup, reflecting the relevance of the study of the problems of childhood. Based on the comparison and analysis of the system research data, the following main conclusions were made: the in-terest of society in the problem of childhood has arisen since the Renaissance (XIV-XVII centuries); various aspects of the child’s world and his psychology are revealed in works of art (graphics, painting, sculpture), fiction and educational literature; childhood psychology is a relevant and promising topic of scientific research.
The study of the phenomenon of childhood is of a polydisciplinary nature: traditionally, these are the sciences about a person (psychology, sociology, philosophy, biology, medicine, history, cultural studies), as well as specific areas of interdisciplinary knowledge (psychoanalysis, pedagogy, ethnography, history). The goal of childhood as a period of ontogenesis is growing up, considered as the appropriation, mastering, realization of adulthood. During the childhood of Homo sapiens sapiens, three main functions are distinguished, reflecting the heterogeneous aspects of human existence: biological (somatic development of the body), psychological (development of the human psyche), social (inclusion of the individual in the system of social education). There are two points of view on the child’s development process: development is continuous and development is discrete. Childhood is interpreted as a derivative of the historical era, its characteristic culture (spiritual and material), the level of economic development and is an n-dimensional psychosocial-cultural space.


science; philosophy; biology; medicine; psychology; pedagogy; history; childhood; child; development; society; culture.