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versión On-line ISSN 2077-2955


VILCHEZ TORNERO, José Luis. Validity of Vygotsky's theory: cognitive development, mediation and the problem of teacher evaluation. trf [online]. 2023, vol.19, n.1, pp.1-29.  Epub 01-Ene-2023. ISSN 2077-2955.


The concept of cognitive development is essential in our current society. The lack of human intelligence in everyday situations and, especially, in the educational field, which should be precisely its greatest promoter, is evident. Huge amounts of resources are currently being invested in an educational system that is not getting the desired results. The lack of preparation and, above all, of educational professionals’ assessment criteria is what causes the social backwardness that we are currently suffering (scarcity of real citizens). A proper evaluation of teachers is substantially necessary for the improvement of the current educational system. Current teachers’ evaluations suffer from one of the essential concepts in Psychometrics: Validity. A clear definition of the concepts of cognitive development -the ultimate goal of education- and cognitive mediation -the real role of teachers- are needed for achieving a sound understanding of teaching quality. This paper aims at suggesting that the process of assessing of Higher Education professors’ performance should be based on their pupils’ cognitive development and how they manage to mediate that process.


Taking into account the contributions of Vygotsky and Owen, the author contributes to the understanding of the notion of cognitive development In this sense, since the beginning of the 20th century, Vygotsky already pointed out that true cognitive development is carried out based on the effort of the individual and the preparation of the mediators that help individuals to understand and to internalize the surrounding world.


A good definition of cognitive development and a better way to define it from the point of view of Experimental Psychology in the Executive Functions (EFs) can be found in the literature; these EFs enable subjects to better adapt to the environment.


The objective of this study has been achieved based on the operational definition of the teaching quality construct as the mediator that helps students to develop EFs. Now, it would only be a matter of devising and a reliable questionnaire for assessing that construct validity.

Palabras clave : teacher effectiveness; student achievement; mental development; thought processes.

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