The Support Of Individual Educational Trajectories In Digital Childhood


The individualization of education, rapid expansion of the sphere of digital knowledge and risks associated with cybersocialization put the problem of a professional psychological organization and pedagogical support of the individual trajectories of education of children and adolescents. The present study aims to identify invariable elements of activity to support individual learning trajectories. As a result of comparative analysis of the approaches to the mentoring organization, the structure of activities of the tutor, curator (facilitator) and coach is identified and described. The essential and formal limitations of various approaches in solving the problems of support of individual learning paths are considered, as well. We have found that the compared approaches have fundamentally different attitudes towards the subject of activity. It is shown that academic tutoring is more effective in the modern educational environment in comparison with curatorship and coaching. The stages of support of individual learning trajectory carried out within psychological counseling for adults are determined empirically. We show that the acts of transformation in the structure of the activity of an academic tutor fully correlate with the stages of tutoring humanistic counselling. They can be transferred to work with children, taking into account the specifics of each particular age and personal characteristics of the pupil. The general orientation of activity to support individual training trajectory has been developed that may become the basis for training mentors and be used in the work of tutors.

Keywords: Individual educational trajectoryaccompanying the individual trajectory of educationtutoringcoachingactivities


The main directions of the modern educational process development. The problem of supporting the individual trajectories of education.

The individualization of education, orientation towards personal characteristics of a pupil, along with the solution of the problems of accessibility of quality education for everyone are one of the main directions of the educational process development in Russia (Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation…, 2000; Order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation…, 2013).

We see a rapid expansion of the digital sphere of knowledge in modern society. The Internet becomes the social environment for children and adolescents in which both learning and development take place. The improvement of information technology (IT) and telecommunications and their use in education, on the one hand, create unprecedented opportunities for increasing the access of those participating in the educational process to modern innovative developments related to the education content and the organization of the learning process (virtual worlds, distance courses, interactivity, the efficiency of feedback, individualization of the pace and volume of the educational content, etc.). On the other hand, the high level of children’s activity in the digital environment entails many risks associated with the quality of consumed content, distribution of the child’s temporal and personal resources in relation to the diverse content surrounding it, creating learning problems that become impossible to overcome without any assistance (Belobrykina et al., 2017; Soldatova, 2017). In this regard, the issues of professional psychological-pedagogical “accompaniment” of the child in the modern information field, the identification and description of the distinctive features of such accompaniment become vital. The position of a tutor as a specialist providing external support and selection of the individual trajectory of self-education and development of the pupil in accordance with his needs and opportunities is rapidly gaining popularity in educational institutions. However, we believe that the content (composition and structure) of the professional support activities has not yet been clearly defined.

Individual development trajectory is a personalized way of realizing the potential of pupils in joint activities that implies the formation of a subjective experience, taking into account biological and psychological characteristics (Bergman et al., 2003). The trend of moving towards individualization of education within a social group (class) in order to help pupils become creators, and not just consumers of information, can be clearly traced in the world pedagogical science and practice (Ilyasov et al., 2017; Naidenova, 2016). However, by the present day, speaking of educational activity, traditional teaching has been first and foremost characterized as devoid of the subject, since it has no clear idea of the learner’s intentions. In most cases, the latter is defined as an individual showing some cognitive interest. In group classes, educational institutions introduce a collective subject, characterized by joint activity and being the core of the development of the learning process (Klarin, 2015). The most popular ways of overcoming pragmatism in education today are the introduction of programs for developmental learning (Elkonin, Davydov, Zankov, etc.), design methods of work, development of the Olympic movement, creative competitions, etc. However, these alone do not solve the issue of building educational trajectory, which could be optimized for a particular child. The educational space is not limited only to the learning function, which, as a rule, is organized by the teacher. It also includes educational reflective and socially practical functions. It is assumed that both of them remain naturally in the hands of the pupils themselves and should not be imposed from outside. Meanwhile, studies show that not all the pupils are able to control the psychological-pedagogical factors of learning independently, which negatively affects the results of their education and development in general (Pogozhina et al., 2018; Shchennikov et al., 2016). One way to solve the problem of individualization of education in the era of digital childhood can be the development of a mentoring institute for every stage of pedagogical life of pupils, starting from the preschool period.

Problem Statement

There are a number of approaches to the organization of mentoring: tutoring, curatorship, coaching, facilitation, etc. There is a need to carry out comparative analysis of approaches to choose the most effective trajectory for teaching children and adolescents.

Research Questions

  • Are there similarities and differences in the structure of the activities of the tutor, curator, or the coach?

  • Are there any restrictions in accompanying individual learning trajectories for children and adolescents when using different approaches?

  • Is it possible to transfer the experience of supporting an individual learning trajectory, carried out within the framework of psychological counseling for adults, to work with children?

  • Is it possible to develop a general orientation of the activity of accompanying the individual trajectory of education?

Purpose of the Study

The goal of research is to identify the invariable elements of activity to support individual learning trajectories.

Research Methods

Theoretical methods.

Theoretical critical analysis and synthesis of domestic and foreign literature on the studied issue, the method of theoretical modelling, design and forecasting.

The empirical method.

This is a method which implies studying an individual case.

  • Subject : Maria, 18 y.o., an architectural college student (the name has been changed).

  • Purposes : the realization of the student’s educational and self-development potential and assistance in overcoming learning difficulties.

  • Problem : the presence of “chaos” in the mind and experience of the student, the lack of psychological resources in solving educational issues.

  • Procedure : first, counseling was conducted within the framework of the humanistic approach, then – the activity approach to learning and the assimilation of social experience were applied.


Comparative analysis of approaches to the organization of mentoring in education.

Are there any differences in the structure of the activities of a tutor, a curator and a coach? The structure of any activity includes the object (of influence), the product (the result of influence), the process of transformation of an object into a product, the means of transformation and the psyche as a reflecting and regulating component of the activity (Galperin, 2017; Leontiev, 1983, vol. 2). Table 01 shows the results of comparative analysis of the activities of a tutor, a curator and a coach (comparative analysis of the available literature shows that there is a similarity between the essence of the activities of a curator and a facilitator, therefore, these will be grouped together).

Table 1 -
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Are there any restrictions in accompanying individual trajectories of teaching children and adolescents when using different approaches to organizing mentoring? The results of the analysis are presented in Table 02 .

Table 2 -
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It is found that the compared approaches have fundamentally different attitudes towards the subject of activity. If the curator (facilitator) in the course of the work is oriented to the social and practical aspect, without affecting the educational and reflective functions of the educational space for children and adolescents, in the work of the tutor and the coach, the individual experience of the subject and the individual development program are brought to the fore. A deeper theoretical analysis shows that tutoring has a number of advantages over coaching, affecting directly individual trajectories of a pupil’s development, and also having a broader methodological and technological base that allows the successful conclusion of the child on the path of individual development. In addition, coaching is focused mainly on individual work and the solution of local current tasks, in the case of work in a social group, it becomes less effective. Among other things, the activity of the coach involves the use of psychological means that affect the sphere of self-organization, so admission of specialists whose training is not fully certified to work with children can have negative consequences. In the work of the academic tutor, the learning process is activity-oriented, being a means and tool for passing crisis situations, which characterizes the tutoring itself as an element of developing innovative education (Klarin, 2016).

Activities to support the individual trajectory of learning as part of the psychological counseling system. Case study.

Is it possible to transfer the experience of accompanying the individual trajectory of training, carried out within the framework of psychological counseling for adults, to work with children? To answer this question, it is necessary to correlate the stages of the tutor's work (Table 1 ) with the steps that we selected in the process of individual counseling. The following stages are identified in counseling: 1) establishing contact with Mary is the longest part of the work (it took about 3 months to establish a lasting contact); 2) the stage of cooperation: the “revelation” of Mary. At this stage, she is able to realize her personal experiences and problems related to her studies, as well as the fact that she does not have enough strength or time to figure it out. Only after the analysis of personal problems and experiences, Maria's understanding of her personal characteristics, there is a transition to the third stage; 3) work with educational activities: the search for ways to increase success in learning, motivation, resources. At this stage, the consultant's work combines the methods of organizing activities (in the paradigm of carrying out co-productive activities with the learner) and personally-consultative techniques aimed at relieving anxiety as a consequence of educational failures. Joint productive activity presupposes a divided implementation of individual structural components of activity by subjects of interaction. First, the task, the orientation in the learning situation and the control function are performed by a psychologist; the executive part of the activity is a student. Gradually, as they form, the structural components of the activity are completely transferred to the student; 4) the stage of completion of counseling.

The method of case study shows that if a student has so-called personal problems and problems related to the realization of her educational potential, work should be carried out in the sequence described above: establishing contact with the student; stage of awareness and solving personal problems; the stage of construction and maintenance of the trajectory of training and the stage of completion. The consultation, organized in this way, helps Maria build the best way for her to realize her educational potential at this life stage and develop effective strategies for solving problems for the future. As advisory work, Maria is able to determine that what is paramount to her, and what could wait; understand and accept yourself; re-enter the system in school; enrolled in courses for admission to the university. At the final stage, Maria has time not only to learn and do all the tasks, she decides to quit the courses, because she finds the strength not to do what she really does not like, and enrolls in the distance learning of web design, because she considers this profession to be quite interesting, profitable and popular. And at the moment gets pleasure from it. In Table 03 , we correlate the stages of tutoring with the stages identified in the course of the case study.

Table 3 -
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In terms of composition and structure, the types of mentoring compared are quite similar, although the stages identified by us are more generalized. The main thing is that they are united by this orientation to individual trajectories of education and development of students, which can be realized both in the individual and group form. Given the personal characteristics, the amount of internal resources, as well as the type of the educational environment, regardless of age, you can orient the activity by accompanying any student.


Mentoring as an activity.

Based on comparative analysis of the approaches to mentoring and the results of the empirical work, we propose the following orientation of the activity of accompanying the individual trajectory of education:

  • Establishing contact with the pupil; clarification of the problem situation, hypotheses about factors that affect the “quality of life” of pupils (personal problems and difficulties in learning activities).

  • The beginning of cooperation. Helping the pupil understand and solve personal problems; getting rid of anxiety.

  • Construction and maintenance of the trajectory of training in co-productive activities (the formation of necessary cognitive, metacognitive, organizational skills, coping with problem situations, etc.).

  • The end of accompanying. Supporting the pupil's independence, helping in acquiring and transferring those functions carried by the mentor to internal plan (primarily support functions, reflective function, planning and control).

The proposed orientation can become the basis for training specialists in the field of psychological-pedagogical support for individual trajectories of learning children and adolescents, and also be used in professional activities of tutors.


Our heartfelt gratitude to the valued subjects who participated in the long process of the study.


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