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RE: [xmca] teaching Vygotsky

Message from Francine Smolucha:

Dear Shirley et al.,

This is long but worth the read.

It is interesting to hear about all the courses on Vygotsky that are currently being offered.
But, please note that Vygotsky's theory, and subsequent research on it, is routinely taught
in intro freshman classes as well. This is not a trivial point.

You might want to organize a historical chronology of Vygotsky courses.

And, in doing so  special consideration should be made for undergraduate courses 
like introductory child development courses that are taught to freshmen. By 2009,
Vygotsky is a staple in such courses. This did not happen by chance.

When I started translating Vygotsky's writings in 1984, I was a community college professor
teaching freshman about Vygotsky in child development courses with textbooks 
that never mentioned his theory.  I constantly badgered the sales reps from the textbook
publishers to get Vygotsky included as a major theory along with Freud, Erikson, and Piaget.
I wrote my own handout "Introduction to Vygotsky's Theory" for my students.
In 1989, I spoke with Laura Berk at the SRCD Conference in Kansas City and told her 
that I was disappointed that she had not (as of that time) included Vygotsky's theory
as a major theory in her child development textbook. She asked me to write a summary of
Vygotsky's theory for the next edition, which I did. 
[Note: I have been a paid reviewer for numerous textbooks]

As of 1991, Laura Berk's Child Development textbooks pioneered the inclusion of
Vygotsky's theory in the introductory chapter on theories of child development.
Course outlines at colleges gradually were revised to include Vygotsky's theory
in child development courses.

If my memory is correct, it was in 1984 that LeFrancois' Educational Psychology textbook 
pioneered the inclusion of Vygotsky's theory. The LeFrancois Ed Psych textbook devoted
an entire chapter to research on Vygotsky's theory. Eventually all educational psychology
textbooks would treat Vygotsky's theory as a major theory, covering research on
teaching in the zone of proximal development and the role of private speech.

I haven't looked at introductory psychology textbooks recently, but I suspect none of them
has yet included Vygotsky's Theory or Leontiev's Activity Theory - Luria will be mentioned
in isolation in the chapter on memory. [Please note: in thirty years of teaching intro psychology
I did see one textbook that mentioned Vygotsky's work on private speech in the child development 

I have taught courses in Abnormal Psychology and informed the students of the connection
between Donald Meichenbaum's work and that of Vygotsky and Luria. 

>From 1984-1986, I introduced Vygotsky's theory to the Learning Cognition course at
Governor's State University.

>From 1991 to 1996, I taught Vygotsky's theory of creativity (and teaching in the zone of
proximal development) to art education and art therapy students taking the educational psychology
course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This summer, I am scheduled to teach two different courses in early childhood education at a University
 that will include Vygotsky and the neo-Vygotskians. Let's hope the courses have sufficient enrollment
to "run." 

> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> From: s.franklin@dsl.pipex.com
> Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 19:58:52 +0100
> Subject: [xmca] teaching Vygotsky
> We are doing some research into courses which teach about Vygotsky.
> Would really welcome feedback in terms of course name and level, and  
> place.
> Thanks so much for your co-operation
> Shirley
> _______________________________________________
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> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

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