November 28, 2023

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education.  The current status of Vygotsky’s psychology in education

education. The current status of Vygotsky’s psychology in education

The work, recently published by Noveduc publishing house, coordinated by Silvia Dubrovsky and Carla Lanza (specialists and researchers in educational psychology), was presented on Friday, October 20 at the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the UBA. The presentation was attended by the curators, Wanda Rodríguez Arocho (Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Education and author of one of the book chapters, connected from the United States of America, where she resides), the famous translator, sociologist and labor researcher. By Lev Vygotsky, Dostoyevsky and many Russian authors Alejandro Ariel Gonzalez (Argentina) and Bettina Bendersky (MA in Educational Psychology and Educational Psychologist).

Berezhevany. The power of Vygotsky’s concept. Reflecting on and changing school practices. Social and historical theory, learning and teaching It deals with the thought of Lev Vygotsky, and in this case focuses on the concept Berezhevany (expertise In Spanish we will come back to this.) It is added to a series of new linguistic investigations and restoration work that constitute a major contribution to the recovery of Lev Vygotsky’s thought and his legacy in Latin American writings, in the context of the global capitalist economic crisis and the structural poverty of childhood. Throughout Latin America.

the book

The work consists of a series of essays organized into seven chapters written by Silvia Dubrovsky, Carla Lanza, Nikolai Veresov, Wanda Rodríguez Arocho, Ana Luisa Bustamante Smolka, Elizabeth dos Santos Braga, Deborah Daínez, Noemi Eisenkang, and Roberto Valdés Puentes, to organize an important part of Works performed in different contexts and from different perspectives based on the Vygotskian category of Perezhivanie (experience, in Spanish) Unit of analysis For educational practice. It is in this sense that the authors and coordinators of this new work point out that “The proliferation of socio-cultural approaches in the last decade in the international context has allowed us to treat the Berezhvani category as a heterogeneous unit that combines emotional and cognitive aspects of personality.”.

The conceptual framework that runs through the book and unifies the different views on this potential concept is drawn from Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory (the authors refer to it as “socio-historical”, apparently a sign of a post-Vygotskyan position) which was intended for the authors, “In an interpretive theory of cognitive processes of development and that in the field of educational and psychological practices, it was very important and enriching to take it as a unit of analysis, in order to achieve a more closely related understanding of the processes of learning and development.”

Reading the introduction and seven chapters of this new work is a point of support and allows us to begin thinking about university teaching and research practices, as well as about everyday experiences in schools. As well as highlighting Vygotsky’s “dialectical materialist theoretical framework: Marx’s work played an essential role in the development of his psychological ideas,” against the assimilation of his thought out of context “in the ideological world of contemporary capitalism.” [1]

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The opening of the book presentation was overseen by curators Sylvia Dobrowski and Carla Lanza, who emphasized the interconnectedness of the work between different disciplines: psychology, linguistics and education. Then giving the floor to the sociologist and translator Alejandro Ariel Gonzalez who focused on the importance of translation in the field of social sciences in terms of the importance of the meaning of concepts that are then applied, as in this case, with the term Perezhivanie in education. In this sense, Gonzalez took a walk through the concept BerezhevanyIts origin and derivatives in translation, explaining that Perezhivanie is a Russian word and it is a concept that is generally translated into “Live experience” and used in connection with “The state of social development”Thus, there are multiple nuances in its meaning. It refers to the state of a person with special emphasis on the personal meaning, especially the emotional and profound impact of the situation on the person, whose memory the whole situation arouses. Therefore, it includes the circumstances surrounding him, such as the extent to which these circumstances affect a person, how he perceives and feels them, and how he deals with them. Something like an experience!

Vygotsky himself used it in “Environmental problem” In the fourth chapter of the lessons on the science of propulsion used in “The Psychology of Experience by Fyodor Vasiliuk”, “Perezhivanie entry in the Dictionary of Psychology” Written by I.A. Meshcheryakov, as well as by R. van de Veer and J. Valsiner and in an excerpt from Beth Ferholt’s thesis, to name a few, allow us to see, according to González, the different translations and interpretations of this concept, including the one brought to Argentina in 1913 by Ortega y Gasset who coined the word “expertise”. In this sense, Alejandro took the precaution of thinking of these investigations as a material basis for deepening the concept. Berezhevany According to linguistic studies and research on translations of the concept. However, this concept has no translation in English or French.

Then Wanda Rodriguez Arocho, connected via video from the United States, intervened to review each chapter of the book, presenting and detailing it. “This book is a contribution to the dissemination of the concept of Berejivani which Vygotsky used at different times in his production and in different meanings. Highlighting its importance and implications in education allows us to expand its scope as a conceptual tool for the study of human development and its connection with educational practices.. Wanda highlighted from the research the journey that has been undertaken regarding the reception of Vygotsky’s works in Latin America and especially in Argentina. Recalling the original principles that he established in his work, Marxist philosophy: consciousness as a product of the material conditions of life, and dialectics as the engine of human activity in those conditions, and the result of the transformation of activity into material reality. He stressed that it is an important dimension because its foundation has been omitted or underestimated in many translations, and that the author’s conceptual network depends on precisely these foundations, of which Berezhevany It’s part.

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However, the author warned that appropriating concepts also entails risks and that one of them is the risk of generalization, thinking that the entire experience is attributed to a subjective meaning and is an experience, citing as an example the concept Proximal development zoneis the possibility of management out of context.

In continuation of her intervention, Wanda Arocho, author of a chapter in the book about… “The place of Perejivani’s concept in contemporary developments of the cultural historical approach and its relevance to educational practice.” Developing the concept of invasion Berezhevany In the approaches to the funds of knowledge and the funds of identity, in the theory of subjectivity that together save the unity of the subjective environment, the emotion-thought, the centrality of social development positions, and the understanding of development as complex and dialectical and subjectivity as expression. The new ontology and its more precise links between education and educational activity from a historical-cultural point of view.

Finally, Bettina Benderski contributed her intervention on the relationship between concepts and the school experience that is always with others, on how school teaching and learning from this point of view refer to collective and social situations. In this sense, the comprehensive book and presentation allow us to consider, deepen the conceptual discussion, reformulate and recover the legacy of Lev Vygotsky and a concept with enormous potential as Perezhivin Starting from the unit of analysis but to intervene in the current educational reality. The coordinators opened and closed by excited about the ability to present this new work within the framework of research and lectures from a socio-historical approach based on Vygotsky’s thought.

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Inheritance to redeem

As previously mentioned, this new publication joins several recent works and investigations on Vygotsky’s thought, which, as Alejandro Gonzalez has pointed out, have the importance of translations to recover this legacy as reclaiming, for the first time globally in its complete, uncensored version. A classic by Lev Vygotsky “The Historical Significance of the Crisis in Psychology”It was translated directly into Spanish from Russian by Gonzalez himself, along with the articles “The Socialist Transformation of Man” And “thought” Through the IPS editions, with editing by Juan Duarte and an introduction by Juan Duarte and Pablo Mignini, allowing one to enter the reading of Vygotsky and his “cultural historical” theory through another very interesting door that the censors kept closed for decades: the door of his Marxist philosophy and methodology. At the same time, it allows us to know the revolutionary and anti-capitalist strategic political goals of the author, which are directly related to the struggle against any dogmatism.

The recovery of Vygotsky’s thought, the discussion and exchange between different interpretations and approaches, is very important in a world where the dominance of neoliberal thought with a reductionist approach to neuroscience, meritocratic education, individualism and “entrepreneurship” is linked to the market and the international world. Credit organizations such as the IMF, OECD and World Bank that promote science in the service of capitalist profits while 60% of children and adolescents live in poverty, want to eliminate knowledge based on the experiences of the working class as its history and legacy. and the traditions and culture of its people, seeking ahistorical and uncritical thinking in the service of maintaining domination, oppression and exploitation of man by man.

For us, let us return to Vygotsky’s thought when the working class today faces the double challenge of ending this system, allowing – as Vygotsky pointed out – an end to the capitalist alienation that reduces humanity to a mere abstraction of its potential, and the restoration of its work. The methodology necessary to think about the dialectic of psychology constitutes in these times an indispensable task for creating a psychology that contributes to the liberation of humanity.