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ERIC Number: EJ1008098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-1559-9035
Vygotsky, "Defectology," and the Inclusion of People of Difference in the Broader Cultural Stream
Smagorinsky, Peter
Journal of Language and Literacy Education, v8 n1 p1-25 Spr 2012
This essay reviews Vygotsky's work on defectology. First, Vygotsky's cultural heritage as a Jew during the transformation from Tsarist Russia to the Soviet Union is considered as a factor in his views on defectology and inclusion. The review then outlines his perspective on the "defect," including his definition of "defect," his view of the generative potential of overcoming the obstacles of biological difference, and his consideration of the secondary defect of low self-worth that follows from being treated as different and defective. Finally, the review considers his defectological writing as part of his broader effort to formulate a theory of situated, mediated human development. This section includes attention to how cultures provide developmental contours within which to promote both individual and collective development toward particular ends; how collective activity provides the socialization through which those developing outside the diagnostic norm may proceed toward such collective ends; and how Vygotsky conceived of education in order to address the developmental needs of evolutionarily different children. The paper concludes with the implications of Vygotsky's work for the education of children of difference. (Contains 7 footnotes.)
Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. 315 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-7866; Fax: 706-542-3817; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A