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New Book
Educational Theory
In Cultural Contex

My interests are focused on exceptional children with an "atypical" background outside of the social/cultural mainstream, those who were underserved, subjected to deprivation, maltreatment, and abuse in their early formative years, e.g. internationally adopted post-institutionalized children. Following Vygotsky's appeal, I am looking for alternatives to existing tests and clinical procedures to evaluate their needs, and means of rehabilitation, remediation, and compensation. I believe that contemporary psycho-educational assessment and remediation must be interdisciplinary, culturally inclusive, and technologically advanced.
B. Gindis Ph.D.

This information is provided with the expressed verbal permission and
approval of Gita Lvovna Vygodskaya

Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Gita L.Vygodskaya

Gita Vygodskaya

Introduction of
Dr. Gita L. Vygodskaya
by Boris Gindis, Ph.D.

Published in: Remedial and Special Education.
Vol. 20, #6, p. 329.


1956 - 1959
Graduate School of the Psychology Department of Moscow State University, Ph.D. in Psychology
1946 - 1951
Moscow State University, Psychology Department, MS in Psychology

Work History

1973 - present
Retirement and part-time research on theory and history of psychology
1960 - 1973
Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Defectology of the Academy of Education, Moscow
1959 - 1960
Teaching and counseling in a special school for deaf children, Moscow
1951 - 1956
Junior Research Associate and a teacher of psychology at the high school level

Publications in the English language

Vygodskaya, G. L. [1995). Remembering father. Educational Psychologist, 30(1), 57-59.

Vygodskaya, G. L. [1995). His Life. School Psychology International, Vol.16, #2, pp. 105-116.

Vygodskaya, G. L. (1998). Afterword. In: K. Topping & S. Ehly, (Eds.) Peer-Assisted Learning. Lawrence Erlbaum, NJ, pp 329-333

Vygodskaya, G. L. [1999). Vygotsky and problems of special education. Remedial and Special Education, 20(6), 330-332.

Vygodskaya, G. L., & Lifanova, T. M. (1999). Part 1: Life and works of L.S. Vygotsky. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 37 (2), 23-81.

Vygodskaya, G. L., & Lifanova, T. M. (1999). Part 1: Life and Works of L.S. Vygotsky (cont.). Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 37 (3), 3-31.

Vygodskaya, G. L., & Lifanova, T. M. (1999). Part 2: Through the eyes of others. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 37 (3), 32-90.

Vygodskaya, G. (1999). On Vygotsky's research and life. In S. Chaiklin, M. Hedegaard, & U. J. Jensen [Eds.), Activity theory and social practice: Cultural-historical approaches (PP· 31- 38). Oakville, CN: Aarhus University Press.

Articles in Russian scientific journals

The book: "Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. Life. Work. Brush Strokes of the Portrait". Moscow, 1996.

It is my honor and pleasure to introduce Dr. Gita L. Vygodskaya to the readers of Remedial and Special Education. Gita L. Vygodskaya, the eldest daughter of Lev S. Vygotsky, was 9 years old when her father died from tuberculosis at the age of 37. Lev Vygotsky lived during a turbulent revolutionary time. He worked in psychology only 10 years (1924-34) accomplishing enormous achievements: he wrote about 200 pieces of innovative scientific literature, founded a powerful scientific school of thought (now known as the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory), and laid down the foundation for several new directions in contemporary psychology worldwide. When he died, he left reams of unpublished manuscripts. Soon after his untimely death the Stalinist regime had his works banned and his name deleted from the annals of science. For a long 20 years, his widow and two daughters kept those manuscripts in several boxes under their beds in their tiny two-bedroom apartment in Moscow. They lived through the trepidation of World War II, the hunger and misery of the postwar years, and a constant fear of persecution that the Western reader can not even imagine - saving the intangible treasure of the manuscripts of the person whom they knew as husband and father. After her mother’s death, Gita assumed the burden of saving her father’s manuscripts. She managed to live to better times and with her help, the first collection of selected works of Lev Vygotsky was published in 1956. This book was translated and published in the USA under the now well known title "Mind in Society". In the early 1980s, she was the major (often invisible) force behind a group of prominent former students of Vygotsky who prepared the six-volume collection of his works published between 1983 and 1987 in Russia.. Many manuscripts were published for the first time and only a few people were aware of who saved them from being lost forever. Gita continued her tireless mission of collecting and saving her father’s works for years. And finally, in 1996 in Moscow a book was released titled: "Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. Life. Work. Brush Strokes of the Portrait." This is the most detailed and honest scientific-based biography of the great scholar. It contains documented memories of colleagues, students, and friends along with unique first-time published letters, diaries, and personal notes. One chapter, titled "Through the Eyes of His Daughter", contains very personal (indeed, heartbreaking) memories of a daughter who always remembered her father as a young man. The world of scientific psychology owes an outstanding debt to this courageous woman!

Gita herself worked as a psychologist. She received her doctorate from Moscow University in 1959 and worked in the field of special education (with deaf children) for many years. Her daughter Elena is a prominent psychologist in Russia. In addition, Gita’s oldest grandson is currently in a doctorate program in psychology continuing the family tradition. His name is Lev in honor of his great-grandfather.

I have the pleasure of knowing Gita as a personal friend. Her kindness and intelligence are truly legendary. But what really amazes and attracts many people to her is her optimism and joy for life in spite of so much grief and the many tragedies that have befallen her. Her crystal-clear and vivid memory of her great father helps us to better understand the priceless treasure of this man’s scientific legacy. I hope the readers will feel this from the small segment published in this issue.

of Dr. Gindis



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