Talk:Lev Vygotsky

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Vygotsky on education[edit]

I just added my sandbox to the main article page. A reynolds (talk) 17:06, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

These are references that I intend to use for the expansion of this article.

[1] Gredler, M. (2012). Understanding Vygotsky for the classroom: Is it too late? Educational Psychology Review, 24(1), 113-131. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-011-9183-6

[2] Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

[3] Lavery, L. (2008). Self-regulated learning for academic success: An evaluation of instructional techniques. Unpublished Ph.D., University of Auckland.

[4] Nickel, J. (2011). Early childhood educations students’ emergent skills in literacy scaffolding. Canadian Children, 36(1), 13-19.

[5] Reid, K.D. (1998). Scaffolding: A broader view. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 31(4), 386-396.

A reynolds (talk) 02:58, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Vygotsky's theory of ZPD can be applied to schools today to improve learning. Scaffolding can lead to differentiated instruction in order to identify peers who are more advanced and those who are lagging behind. Using this method, the student is paired with a peer in order to raise a higher level of development through collaboration.

A reynolds (talk) 03:49, 7 July 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gredler, M (2011). "Understanding Vygotsky for the classroom: Is it too late?". Educational Psychology Review. 24 (1): 113. doi:DOI: 10.1007/s10648-011-9183-6 Check |doi= value (help).  More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help)
  2. ^ Hattie, J (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York: NY: Routledge. 
  3. ^ Lavery, L (2008). "Self-regulated learning for academic success: An evaluation of instructional techniques". Unpublsihed Ph.D., University of Auckalnd. 
  4. ^ Nickel, J (2011). "Early childhood educations students' emergent skills in literacy scaffolding". Canadian Children. 36 (1): 13.  More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help)
  5. ^ Reid, K.D. (1998). "Scaffolding: A broader view". Journal of Learning Disabilities. 31 (4): 386.  More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help)

tools of the mind[edit]

Could someone write something about how Vygotsky's work on early child play and development influenced the tools of the mind program? I'm not qualified to write it myself but think it should be included in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Vygotsky - Piaget question[edit]

Is the statment in the article true/misleading: "In the West, most attention was aimed at the continuing work of Vygotsky's Western contemporary Jean Piaget." I thought this was perhaps true for Europe, but the surely the USA had more of a behaviourst focus?--Dave Catlin 08:05, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I guess, the point is that both Piaget and Vygotsky had initially been virtually unknown and then "discovered" in North America; however, Piaget was discovered earlier. So, I would say the statement imho is partially correct, and should be understood as "[at the time when Vygotsky was discovered in the North America (i.e. publication of Thought and language in 1962)] most attention was aimed at the continuing work, etc." Yasya 23:43, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Social Psychology question[edit]

Should Vygotsky be assiciated with Social Psychology?

I say why not; Lev's weakness(and his strength) was his social focus(some might say obsession).Dylanmiller 03:20, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that would be misleading...Social Psychology is a very broad discipline. My impression has always been that these disciplines developed with little reference to each other. This could largely have been due to the West's rather late discovery of V. Would Vygotsky be useful to current social psychologists--YES, but that is a different question. However, I am not a social psychologist, so there may be links that I am unaware of. --JMM-UVicEdPsych (talk) 02:51, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

totalitarian Vygotsky question[edit]

New Question: For those that have read much Vygotsky: do you consider Vygotsky to be an 'advanced human thought is linguistic by nature' totalitarian?Dylanmiller 03:20, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand either the question or even its possible origin... I would say there is nothing totatitarian in LSV, even, on the contrary, I would say his approach is radically anti-totalitarian. Yasya 04:24, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Pleae formulate your questions comprehensibly if you are interested in our opinion/.

Belarussian psychologist[edit]

No, not Belarussian at all. One might call LSV a Russian or a Soviet psychologist, but definitely not a Belarussian one (despite the fact that he was born in Belarus, indeed). I am changing this into "Soviet" Yasya 04:24, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Similarities between Piaget and Vygotsky[edit]

What are the similarities between the Piaget's Cognitive development theory and Vygotsky's Social development concept?

For some similarities as well as major differences between Piaget and Vygotsky see, e.g., Vygotsky, Thought and language, chapter 2. Yasya 20:35, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I miss some of Vygotsky's most brilliant insights[edit]

The most important, i think, is his notion that every thought is an internalization of two prior external events. One is the physical movement of the child. And one is the physical response from the environment. Vygotsky mentions for instance how a child learns to point with his finger. It starts with stretching out the full hand ; next comes the mother to the child's aid ; and then all is internalized as pointing - aka building up expectation "the environment moves in the mind, but not (yet) in reality"

PS: i would like to add that 17th century philosopher Spinoza , in his work Ethics , created a philosophical structure where the above notion is formalized - ofcourse you need to accept his axioma first. The proposition is then something along the lines of : if a body is associated in the mind with another body , and at some later moment one body is encountered , then "automatically" the second body is recalled in the mind. I'd have to look up the exact proposition number - maybe someone can help out? Best regards, Ron

Are these insights little known, are they of no interest, or is there another reason perhaps? woepwoep 18:19, 29 April 2006 (GMT+2)

Birthday cake example and explanation I hope my additions helped clarify the meaning of cultural mediation. If it is not clear, please let me know the problems so we can work on them-jake

Books and Articles about Vygotsky's Work[edit]

I suggest keeping only the most important monographs (btw, quite numerous, so far) in this section with rare exception given to the most outstanding articles. Yasya 06:44, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

This article once had a number of useful external links, now removed. IMHO an encyclopedia SHOULD provide such links as long as they lead to material that is relevant, NPOV, and accurate. Whoever removed them might consider restoring those that meet Wikipedia crieteria. frankatca; 19 Sept. 06

What exactly article do you mean? Yasya 00:44, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean. You are talking not about bibliography on Vygotsky, but the external web sources... I restored this section as well as categories and links to the article in other languages. Yasya 03:27, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Major cleaning has started[edit]

The article, overall, has always seemed quite confusing and hardly readable to me. So, I am announcing the beginning of a major clean-up. Suggestions are welcome! Yasya 14:03, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Yasya, I am willing to contribute. I have studied Vygotsky's work for some time now. Let us know which direction your clean-up is taking. (Btw, did you say you had put the references back? I only see then in the History of the page. I agree that the original list is a bit too much but some source references and the link to Vygotsky's archive online seem useful to me). Jsarmi 15:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I guess, somebody's been very creative with the article: I reverted it to the older, 'normal' version. Please have a look at it and you'll have all the references, interwiki and other stuff restored. Generally, I think, since last September the article has improved to certain; however, there is yet a lot to do. Presently, we need to improve the quality of the sections that we have so far as well as to add several other ones, like, Defectology or Vygotsky's Brain studies, etc. I think the best strategy in doing this would be to rely on the authoritative scholarly works, those by van der Veer & Valsiner (1991, 1994), Veresov (1999), Lifanova & Vygodskaya (1996/1999) (see the reference section of the article) as well the various stuff done by Cole and Wertsch definitely being my favourites. --Yasya 17:45, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Critiques of Vygotsky section[edit]

Tetzchner is leaving the party: whereas his(?) criticism of "the social constructivist field of psychology in general" might well be justified in general, it has nothing to do with Vygotsky proper and overall Vygotskian paradigm psychology. A new although brief version of the critiques of Vygotsky is introduced. --Yasya 18:00, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I added the Tetzchner section back. It is relevant, and it comes from a published source, which is referenced.

Tetzchner should reread Vygotsky's Thinking and Speech, specifically, the part where he describes experiments conducted by R. Levina under the supervision of Vygotsky (the list of specific references available upon request). There, Vygotsky is discussing exactly what Tetzchner is saying he never did: the experiments on problem-solving in small children , i.e. the "exploration the child does on its own". The changing role of speech--from "egocentric" to internal speech is the issue that Vygotsky discusses at length. This is just one example out of a great many. Tetzchner might be right about "the social constructivist field of psychology in general", but has no clue about Vygotsky's work, specifically. It is both a published source and a referenced one, but still - totally irrelevant. All respect to Tetzchner, yet - deleted. --Yasya 22:34, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
How about adding some summary of published refutation of Tetzchner to the article, instead of just deleting a large section, based on what seems to be your own original research ?
Indeed, my research has a lot to do with the topic discussed. Anyway, none of the arguments presented here was not published. Yet again, I need to say that I believe the source in question is irrelevant for a number of reasons. However, I am ready to admit that I am wrong if anybody convinces me in the opposite. Unfortunately, I can not read in Swedish and would love if anybody could direct me to a relevant English-language source by this author. Apart from a bit obscure second-hand rendering of Tetzchner's criticue of "social constructivism", there is one direct quotation from the original text. Here it is: "A theory about cognitive development must comprise both the exploration the child does on its own and the knowledge mediated through cooperation with adults". -- To keep the ball rolling and as the evidence of the published and referenced studies on the topic, here is an article written by Vygotsky's student who personally conducted the experiments in 1931 that are described in Vygotsky's "Thinking and speech" (1934). As a response to Tetzchner's critique of--presumably--Vygotsky consider, please, the following. Quote: "At first the study was conducted without any interference on the part of the investigator. This was done so that we would have an opportunity to observe the child's natural behaviour. If the child did not complete the task, the experimenter began to provide instructions, etc." (p. 283). The article was first published in Russian in the journal of Voprosy psikhologii, 1968, No. 4, pp. 105-115. However, since I believe Russian still remains a somewhat exotic language in the West--and even in the field of Vygotskian studies!--consider, please, translation into English first published by James Wertsch in 1979. Here it is: Levina, R. E. (1981). Vygotsky's ideas about the planning function of speech in children. In J. V. Wertsch (Ed.), The concept of activity in Soviet psychology (pp. 279-299). Armont, NY: Sharpe. One might also want to consider the references to the article. I will be happy to discuss the relevance of Tetzchner's critique whatsoever with respect to this source. --Yasya 22:39, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I do not have time to delve into the matter for now, and will leave it up to your judgement to do as you please with the article. But I still think the critique section of the article is lacking. The most common criticism I have seen against him is criticism from more Piaget-oriented theorists who think he puts too much emphasis on the social part of the development of concepts, and too little on the childs individual exploration of the world around it and/or the childs biological development. Regardless if their opinions are based on misunderstanding of Vygotsky or not, I think this form of critique is common enough to merit mention.

Needed 2 say[edit]

There seems to be a mistake in when Vygotsky died. According to the page at the moment, he died of Tuberculosis in 1934. However, throughout the text, most of the reference to his work is to 1978.

[[ The latter dates refer the dates of the English translations; Vygotsky did die in Russia in 1934. Frankatca 17:02, 8 October 2007 (UTC) ]]

Thought this should be mentioned, though I don't know too much about it all yet —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:57, 17 March 2007 (UTC).

For the history of Vygotsky's translations into English see Influence and development of Vygotsky's ideas in the West. --Yasya 14:18, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Confirmation of importance of speech to cognition[edit]

A mention of the famed '30 million words-heard gap by age three' study(1)of Drs. Betty Hart and Todd Risley -- an analysis of thousands of hours of recorded conversations in a mix of 42 Kansas City homes, professional, middle-class, and welfare, with follow-up, showing up to a 20 I.Q. point difference, two standard deviations, directly attributable to children's home language environment may be worth including in this article as confirmation of Vygotsky's evidence of the profound connection between speech and cognition. However as this is not Vygotsky's work, it may not qualify. Your thoughts? Frankatca (talk) 19:55, 28 April 2012 (UTC) 1 -


This article would be improved by an explicit bibliography of Vygotsky's published work. And known [English] translations.

Should the following be listed, for which Vygotsky is an author?

Thought and Language by Lev Semenovich Vygotsky

Educational Psychology (Classics in Soviet Psychology Series) by L.S. Vygotsky

Mind in Society: Development of Higher Psychological Processes by L. S. Vygotsky, Michael Cole, Vera John-Steiner, and Sylvia Scribner

The Collected Works of L.S. Vygotsky: Volumes 1, 2 & 3: Problems of the Theory and History of Psychology (Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics) by L.S. Vygotsky, Robert W. Rieber, and Jeffrey Wollock

And the following, for which Vygotsky is the principal subject?

Lev Vygotsky: Critical Assessments: 4 Volume Set (Critical Assessments) by Peter Lloyd

Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist (Critical Psychology) by Lois Holzman

The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky by Harry Daniels, Michael Cole, and James V. Wertsch

Vygotsky's Psychology-Philosophy: A Metaphor for Language Theory and Learning (Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics) by Dorothy Robbins

Lev Vygotsky (Continuum Library of Educational Thought) by Rene Van Der Veer

The Essential Vygotsky (Vienna Circle Collection) by Robert W. Rieber and David K. Robinson

Vygotsky and Pedagogy by Harry Daniels

Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind by James V. Wertsch

Parallel Paths to Constructivism: Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky by Susan Pass

Vygotsky's Educational Theory in Cultural Context (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) by Alex Kozulin, Boris Gindis, Vladimir S. Ageyev, and Suzanne M. Miller

Frankatca 17:02, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:14, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Vygotsky and adult learning theory[edit]

As I read though "Mind in Society, the development of higher psychological processes" (Vygotsky, 1978), I am impressed with the idea that much of his work could potentially be applied to adult learning theory as well. We tend to revert back to 19th century learning models when we are in higher education environments. I wonder what Vygotsky would have thought of this. I welcome comments and feedback. Echoecharlie (talk) 23:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

External links?[edit]

An anonymous editor [] deleted the valuable external links on this page. Is this vandalism? Or a valid and helpful edit? I consider it vandalism. Frankatca (talk) 13:54, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Maturation and environmentalism[edit]

I suggest that the above stub be merged here, as it is a statement about Vygotskyan psychology. That's if there is anything worth saving at all. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:06, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Link removed[edit]

I removed this from the external links: . The relevant context seems to be the announcement of the conference. I suppose this could be used as a biography reference due to the information about Vygotsky's family, though I imagine there are far better sources for that. Otherwise it seems like a deadend, aside from the fact that such a conference happened. Maybe its proceedings would be more relevant?

"Cognitive Studies conference The Cognitive Studies Group of the Institute for Behavioral Research will hold its annual mini-conference Oct. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Athena Room of the Horence is open free to the public.Vygotsky, Culture and Children's Learning." The conference is open free to the public.

Speakers include Gita L. Vygodskaya, retired senior research associate at the Academy of Education, Moscow, and daughter of Lev Vygotsky; Jon Tudge, associate professor of human development and family study at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; Elena Kravtsova, granddaughter of Lev Vygotsky and co-director of Project Golden Key, an alternative educational approach implemented in more than 30 child centers in Russia; and Ann Cale Kruger, associate professor of educational psychology and special education at Georgia State University. For more info, contact Paula J. Schwanenflugel by phone (542-4273) or e-mail." Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 08:30, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Vygotsky citation issue: Miller 2002[edit]

Miller, 2002 is repeated cited in the section: criticisms of Vygotsky. But Miller 2002 is not listed under the references. Can anyone clarify this issue? I would like to read Miller 2002. (talk) 17:15, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

I assume that it's this: Miller, P.H. (2002), Theories of developmental psychology (4th ed ), New York: Worth Publishers. I do not have a copy and have never read it, but I have added this now after first instance, as it's the only authour and date that seems to fit. I am surprised this is being used as the principal in-line ref when it seems to be a general work and not specific to Vygotsky. BridesheadRecarpeted (talk) 11:29, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Spelling of middle name[edit]

Multiple versions. I have made one adjustment per Mind in Society. If you are a Russian-English translator would you please provide the standard format for transliteration?--Te Karere (talk) 03:01, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

As a result of finding multiple sources with shared spelling - Wertsch (1985) and Moll (1992) - I have changed the spelling from the Mind in Society version. Assistance from translator still welcome.--Te Karere (talk) 20:38, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

A few of the references aren't Wikipedia-standard[edit]

I've noticed that some of the references aren't using Wikipedia's system; I saw Miller (2002) at one point instead of the superscript [#] and the full reference below. Is this okay? I have no idea how to go about rectifying this but I thought I'd bring it to attention. Cheers. Frosty050 (talk) 09:13, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Weight issue and possible COI[edit]

Yasya (talk · contribs) is inserting a very large section on what is apparently a paradigm shift in thew making in Vygotsky studies, the section is almost entirely based on very recent articles by A Yasnitsky and R Van der Veer. According to his user page User:Yasya is identical with A. Yasnitsky and the section seems to be a likely breach of WP:SELFCITE and WP:Weight. I may be wrong but I would be more comfortable if someone other than the author in question would comment on whether there are possible weight issues in the way this revisionist movement is portrayed. The further reading section is almost entirely populated with publicatyions by Dr. Yasnitsky. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:26, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

the section is almost entirely based on very recent articles by A Yasnitsky and R Van der Veer -- Not correct, which is obvious to anybody willing to inspect the references to the sections in question, namely, 5 Criticisms of North American "Vygotskian" legacy & 6 Criticisms of available Vygotsky's texts. Please feel free to remove any or all publications by Dr. Yasnitsky if only it makes any sense.--Yasya (talk) 18:38, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
if, as our lead says "Vygotsky is the most popular Russian psychologist in Russia and North America" then there should be LOTS of different sources and the article should widely reflect the various scholarly takes. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 19:46, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Sure. Not only the most popular, but also, apparently, the most controversial. And the article does quote quite a number of these different sources, I believe. Please feel free to check out Lev Vygotsky#References. --Yasya (talk) 20:03, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposed revision to Cultural mediation and internalization[edit]

Cultural mediation and internalization Vygotsky investigated child development and the important roles of cultural mediation and interpersonal communication. Through cultural mediation, not only was knowledge accumulated and passed on, but the means of furthering an individual’s cognitive capabilities were transmitted to the next generation as well. This was done through the use of symbolic systems that naturally develop within a culture – “cultural semiotic systems” (Gosawmi, 2008, p. 391).

These cultural semiotic systems allowed for symbolic representations of knowledge to be developed, which would then act as tools children would use to further their own cognitive development. Thus, these systems were seen as a means of cognitive behavior organization by Vygotsky. As the brain develops, these cultural semiotic systems would work congruently with the elementary mental functions that Vygotsky believed all infants were born with to guide cognitive development. The means in which this occurred was through parent-child interaction in which the child would pick up and internalize the tools of the cultural semiotic system. Internalization can be understood in one respect as "knowing how". For example, riding a bicycle or pouring a cup of milk are tools of the society and initially outside and beyond the child. The mastery of these skills occurs through the activity of the child within society.

“Because these symbol systems are the product of sociocultural evolution (they are not reinvented by each individual), Vygotsky saw sign systems as social in nature” (Gosawmi, 2008, p. 391). Because of this, Vygotsky viewed sociocultural mediation as key to cognitive development in children. The symbolic tools transmitted by adults, which were created through the development of the culture, guided cognitive development in the child, who would then use those tools as a means of organizing/structuring cognitive behavior. Vygotsky believed that it was those symbolic tools created within a culture that allowed for those mental functions to move beyond their basic capabilities. This is a further aspect of internalization, that is appropriation, in which the child takes a tool and makes it his own, perhaps using it in a way unique to himself. Internalizing the use of a pencil allows the child to use it very much for his own ends rather than drawing exactly what others in society have drawn previously.

Goswami, U. (2008). Cognitive development: The learning brain. (pp. 391 - 392). New York, NY: Psychology Press. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elli7047 (talkcontribs) 02:37, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Goswami might be a really smart guy, but I am just wondering how exactly this stream of consciousness is reflected in Vygotsky's own -- rather than Goswami's -- writings. Generally, looking at a person (i.e, Vygotskii in our case) through the eyes of another person (i.e, Goswami in our case) is not a particularly rigorous method and reliable practice, I guess. --Yasya (talk) 14:52, 29 November 2012 (UTC)


Shouldn't Marx be mentioned in the side panel as an influence? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Do you have any source to support this? Martinevans123 (talk) 18:53, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

External site plagiarizing this article: not a copyvio[edit]

This site includes a copy of some of the material from this article, but it is copied from herewhich can be verified by comparing the dates in which the text was online. Just to note that this material is not plagiarized in this article but the plagiarism is the other direction.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:44, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I thought that everything at Wikipedia was free for anyone to use and was wholly without copyright? Martinevans123 (talk) 18:53, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
It is not without copyright it is a license that requires attribution. I.e. you can use it if you say you got it from wikipedia. But my point here is mainly that it is that site copying us and not vice versa.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:54, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, good point. Does Mr Wales pursue offenders, relentlessly, through the law courts, on our behalf? When was the last multi-million dollar out-of-court-settlement that we've all missed? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:16, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
If they did it I'd be a rich man by now.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:42, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Yasnitsky, A. (2018). Vygotsky: An Intellectual Biography[edit]

Sure, Martinevans123, you are absolutely right, mea culpa :) -- The book has not been printed yet, but when it does, -- as some people who have read it say -- it is going to be a nice thing. Well, we'll see. In the meantime, thanks for removing the reference. One might want to restore it, in due time :). --Yasya (talk) 23:01, 16 October 2017 (UTC)