Seventy years after his death, the visionary work of Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) continues to have a profound impact on psychology, sociology, education, and other varied disciplines. The Essential Vygotsky selects the most significant writings from all phases of his work, and material from all six volumes of his Collected Works, so that readers can introduce themselves to the pioneering concepts developed by this influential Russian therapist, scholar, and cultural theorist, including:
• The cultural-historical approach
• The role of language in creating the mind
• The development of memory and perception
• Defectology (abnormal psychology/learning disabilities/special education)
• The Zone of Proximal Development
Each section features an insightful introduction exploring relevant aspects of Vygotsky’s life and illuminating the revolutionary historical context in which these writings were conceived. Together, they reflect the studies he was conducting at the time of his death and the pathbreaking clinical observations that made his reputation.
For years, these papers were available mainly in hastily translated underground editions; now The Essential Vygotsky distills them into their most accessible form. Readers will be impressed and inspired by his insights, his optimism, his prescience, and his humanity.
These papers are particularly relevant for students of developmental psychology, language, special education, and the history of these fields.