Vygotsky and the Kharkov School

VygotskyIn a recent issue of History of Psychology, 11(2), announced just as AHP was preparing to break for the summer, Anton Yasnitsky and Michel Ferrari published an article adding significant depth to our understanding of the development of Vygotsky’s theories following his death.

Between the death of Vygotsky in 1934 and the discovery of Vygotsky’s work in the West in 1962, Vygotskian psychology was developed through research done by the first generation of Vygotsky’s students and their followers, primarily associated with the Kharkov School. Surprisingly, these studies carried out in the 1930s, of great importance for the development of virtually all subsequent Vygotskian psychology, still remain largely unknown; this represents a significant gap in understanding the history of Vygotskian psychology as an empirical study of consciousness. This paper provides a systematic overview of the research agenda of the Kharkov group between 1931 and 1941 and provides new insights into the early development of Vygotskian psychology.

Students interested in pursuing this topic further will find a related bibliography at AHP here, originally provided as part of a discussion of Vygotsky’s pre-history in Late Imperial Russia.

About Jeremy Burman

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman is a senior doctoral student in York University’s Department of Psychology, specializing in the history of developmental psychology and its theory (especially that pertaining to Jean Piaget). Prior to returning to academia, he was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.