Previous issue (2019. Vol. 15, no. 3)
Included in Web of Science СС (ESCI)
Vygotsky: Between Socio-Cultural Relativismand Historical Materialism. From a Psychologicalto a Pedagogical Perspective 1258
PhD, Professor, Fellow of Green Templeton College, Department of Education, Oxford, Great Britain
In this paper I draw a distinction between two strands of argument that have evolved in the wake of Vygotsky’s early 20th century writing. I examine key methodological differences between sociocultural relativism and historical materialism. I then consider the pedagogical implications of these differences. My concern is that the all too common western predeliction for a post modern account yields a deeply conservative approach to pedagogy. In this form pedagogy may loose its power as a tool of social transformation and may curtail the possibilities for individual transformation. I close with a quote which neatly captures this concern: “Methodology is not a "toolbox" of different methods from which the researcher selects some on the basis of personal or social preferences! Instead, it is an integrated structure of the epistemological process (Branco & Valsiner, 1997) that can equally and easily reveal and obscure the empirical reality in the knowledge construction process of social scientists”.
It is possible to point to differences in epistemological
and ontological assumptions which serve to create significant divides in the
post-Vygotskian field. Their existence is not always made clear and yet they
carry with them such important implications for research and the development of
Bakhtin M.M. Speech Genres and Other Late Essays. Trans.
Vern W. McGee. Ed. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. University of Texas
Press Slavic Series 8. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986.
Branco A.U., Valsiner J. Changing methodologies: A
co-constructivist study of goal orientations in social interactions. Psychology
and Developing Societies, 1997, 9 (1), pp. 35—64.
Brown A.L., Campione J.C. Psychological theory and the
design of innovative learning environments: on procedures, principles, and
systems. In Schauble L. (eds.), Innovations in Learning: New Environments for
Education. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 1996, pp. 289—325.
Chaiklin S. The Zone of Proximal Development’ in
Vygotsky’s analysis of Learning and Instruction. In Kozulin A. (eds.),
Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2003.
Davydov V. The Influence of L.S. Vygotsky on Education
Theory, Research and Practice. Educational Researcher, 1995, 24, pp.
Davydov V.V. Problems of Developmental Teaching: the
Experience of Theoretical and Experimental Psychological Research. Soviet
Education xx, 1988, 8: 3-87, 9: 3-56, 10:2-42.
Davydov V.V. Types of generalization in instruction:
Logical and psychological problems in the structuring of school curricula
(Soviet studies in mathematics education. Vol. 2; J. Kilpatrick, Ed.; J.
Teller, Trans.). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
(Original work published 1972), 1990.
Diriwächter R. ,Valsiner J. Qualitative Developmental
Research Methods in Their Historical and Epistemological Contexts. Forum:
Qualitative Social research, 2006. Vol. 7, no. 1. Art. 8.
Dyson A., Robson E. School, family, community: Mapping
school inclusion in the UK. Leicester: Youth Work Press, 1999.
Gee J.P. Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in
Discourses. Second Edition. London: Taylor & Francis, 1996.
Greeno J.G. The situativity of knowing, learning, and
research. American Psychologist, 1998, 53, pp. 5—17.
Griffin P., Cole M. Current activity for the future: The
Zo-ped. In Rogoff B. (eds.), Children’s learning in the zone of proximal
development: New directions for child development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass,
1984, pp. 45—63.
Gutiérrez K., Baquedano-Lopez P., Tejeda C. Rethinking
diversity: Hybridity and hybrid language practices in the third space. Mind,
Culture, & Activity: An International Journal,1999, 6 (4), pp.
Hedegaard M. Situated Learning And Cognition: Theoretical
Learning And Cognition. Mind, Culture, And Activity, 1998, 5(2), pp.
Hedegaard M. The zone of proximal development as basis for
instruction. In L.C. Moll (Ed.), Vygotsky and education: Instructional
implications and applications of sociohistorical psychology. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 349—371.
Hicks D. Self and other in Bakhtin’s early philosophical
essays: Prelude to a theory of prose consciousness. Paper presented at the
annual meeting of the AERA, Montreal, Canada, 1999.
Hughes M., Pollard A. Home-school knowledge exchange in
context. Educational Review, 2006, 58:4, 385— 395.
Hughes M. et al. Exchanging knowledge between home and
school to enhance children’s learning in literacy and numeracy. In: Castelli S.
(eds.), School, family, and community partnership in a world of differences and
changes. Gdansk: Ernape, 2003.
Matusov E. ‘When Solo Activity Is Not Privileged:
Participation and Internalization Models of Development’. Human Development,
1998, 41, pp. 326—349
Karpove Y.V. Vygotsky’s Doctrine of Scientific Concepts.
In Kozulin A. (eds.), Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Lee C.D. Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Blooming in the
Midst of the Whirlwind. New York: Teachers College Press, 2007.
Linehan C., McCarthy J. Reviewing the “Community of
Practice” Metaphor: An Analysis of Control Relations in a Primary School
Classroom. Mind, Culture, And Activity, 2001, 8(2), pp. 129—147
Matusov E. Applying Bakhtin Scholarship On Discourse In
Education: A Critical Review Essay Educational Theory, 2007, 57 (2), pp.
Mintrop H. Fostering constructivist communities of
learners in the amalgamated multi-discipline of social studies. Journal of
Curriculum Studies, 2004, 36 (2), pp. 141—158.
Moll L.C., Whitmore K.F. Vygotsky in classroom practice:
Moving from individual transmission to social transaction. In Forman E. A.
(eds.), Contexts for learning . New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, pp.
Moll L., Tapia J., Whitmore K. Living knowledge: The
social distribution of cultural resources for thinking. In Salomon G. (ed.),
Distributed Cognitions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Moll L.C. ‘Introduction’. In Moll L.C. (ed.), Vygotsky and
Education. Instructional Implications and Applications of Sociohistorical
Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Moll L., Greenberg J. Creating zones of possibilities:
Combining social contexts for instruction. In Moll L. (ed.), Vygotsky and
education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 319—348.
Petrovsky A. Psychology in the Soviet Union: A Historical
Outline. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1990.
Rogoff B., Matusov E., White C. Models of teaching and
learning: Participation in a community of learners. In Olson D. (eds.), The
handbook of education and human development: New models of learning, teaching,
and schooling. Cambridge, England: Blackwell, 1996, pp. 388—415.
Rowlands S. ‘Turning Vygotsky on his head: Vygotsky’s
‘scientifically based method’ and the socioculturalist’s ‘social other’.
Science and Education , 2000, 9, pp. 537—575.
Sawyer K. Unresolved Tensions in Sociocultural Theory:
Analogies with Contemporary Sociological Debates. Culture & Psychology,
2002. Vol. 8(3), pp. 283—305.
Sherin M.G., Mendez E.P., Louis D.A. A discipline apart:
the challenge of ‘Fostering a Community of Learners’ in a mathematics
classroom. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 2004, 36 (2), pp. 207—232.
Shulman L.S., Sherin M.G. ‘Fostering communities of
teachers as learners: disciplinary perspectives’. Journal of Curriculum
Studies, 2004, 36:2, pp. 135—140.
Vygotsky L.S. Mind in society: the development of higher
psychological processes. Cole M. (eds.). Harvard University Press, 1978.
Vygotsky L.S. The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky:
Problems of general psychology. (Vol. 1). New York: Plenum Press. (Original
work 1933—1934), 1987.
Whitcomb Dilemmas of design and predicaments of practice:
adapting the ‘Fostering a Community of Learners’ model in secondary school
English language arts classrooms. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 2004, 36, (2),
Yaroshevsky M. Lev Vygotsky, Moscow: Progress Publishers,
Yaroshevsky M. A History of Psychology Moscow: Progress