When Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist published, it was unique in several ways. It presented Vygotsky as a Marxist methodologist, both locating him in his historical period and delineating how his life and writings have been a catalyst for a contemporary revolutionary, practical-critical, psychology. It highlighted Vygotsky’s unconventional view of how development and learning are related and, in doing so, brought human development into prominence. It introduced important linkages between Vygotsky’s views on thinking and speaking and those of Wittgenstein, drawing implications for language acquisition and language learning. And it drew attention to Vygotsky’s understanding of the role of play in child development, and expanded on the significance of play throughout the lifespan. In these ways, this classic text presented a more expansive Vygotsky than previously understood.
The Introduction to this Classic Edition will summarize what has transpired in the years since Lev Vygotsky first published. It will answer who and where is Vygotsky now? What place does he have in scholarship in psychology, education, and other fields? How are practitioners making use of him—to address the challenges of our times, solve seemingly intractable social problems, revolutionize psychology, and develop skilled and worldly citizens? What have the authors accomplished since they first articulated their view of Vygotsky as a revolutionary scientist?
"We need the ideas of practical revolutionaries more than ever. In this Classic Edition, Newman and Holzman invite educators and therapists to consider collaborative and creative ways of influencing learning and development. In a world that increasingly feels over-determined in dispiriting ways, they inspire readers to find new ways to socially extend Vygotsky's practical-critical approach to learning and change."
—Tom Strong, Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Canada
"In 1993, Lev Vygotsky was embodied as a revolutionary scientist by Newman and Holzman. Since then, the book has been an omnipresent figure, provoking academics into discussion on the unity of learning and development in conference rooms, on working as a community builder in various cities and countries, and on making stages for young people beginning their future."
—Yuji Moro, Professor, Institute of Psychology, University of Tsukuba, Japan
"Newman and Holzman engage you into play with Vygotsky’s ideas of history, dialectics, materialism, and subjectivity … and while playing with these two dedicated ‘more knowledgeable others,’ you are ‘a head taller;’ you perform a revolutionary activity. I have been reading everything I could find by and on Vygotsky in English and Russian, and found this book to be a truly rare, uplifting, and hopeful piece in a Holzman-Newman-Vygotskian way."
—Natalia Collings, Associate Professor, Teacher Education, Central Michigan University, USA
"Newman and Holzman’s ‘own’ Vygotsky is different from the Vygotsky of different interpretations: it is Vygotsky of the community work, Vygotsky of the art, Vygotsky of performance and becoming, Vygotsky of human completion and agency. These unique ways of interpreting Vygotsky are as important today as they were at the time when the book was first published."
—Ana Marjanovic-Shane, Associate Professor of Education, Chestnut Hill College, USA
"This book was an essential contribution to Brazilian researchers in the Vygotskian perspective, containing intense philosophical dialogues with other voices—supporting, clarifying, and even contrasting with the pillars of Vygotskian theory. This book is an invitation to overcome alienation and to engage in a transformative act: a truly possible revolutionary praxis"
—Fernanda Liberali, Ph.D., Applied Linguistics and Language Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil
Table of Contents
Vygotsky and Psychology: A Debate within a Debate
The Laboratory as Methodology
Practice: Vygotsky’s Tool-and-Result Methodology and Psychology
The Zone of Proximal Development: A Psychological Unit or a Revolutionary Unity?
Playing in/with ZPD
Reform and Revolution in the Study of Thinking and Speech
Completing the Historical Vygotsky
Logic and Psychotherapy
About the authors:
Fred Newman was a public philosopher, psychotherapist and playwright who created social therapy. His writings on psychotherapy, politics, culture and social change synthesize Marxism and postmodernism.
Lois Holzman is a developmental psychologist, director of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy, and author of numerous writings on play, learning and development, most recently, Vygotsky at Work and Play.