Vygotsky’s work on the development of scientific concepts in childhood, as set forth in Thought and Language, is placed against the backdrop of his life. His ideas on the interrelationship between spontaneous everyday concepts and nonspontaneous scientific concepts, the interdependence of thought and language, and the relationship between school instruction and mental development are outlined and illustrated through examples. Differences between the theoretical positions of Vygotsky and Piaget are explored and recent work that extends and applies a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective to educational issues is summarized. Implications of this perspective for research and practice are discussed.
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