Vygotsky on “and Life”

I couldn’t help myself… this excerpt jumped out at me tonight and I thought it was appropriate to share here:

Our only concern is that there exist within the very nature of the educational process, within its psychological essence, the demand that there be as intimate a contact, and as close an interaction with life itself as might be wished for… Ultimately, only life educates, and the deeper that life, the real world, burrows into the school, the more dynamic and the more robust will be the educational process. (Vygotsky, 1997, p. 345)

So bring on the read/write web and the porous classroom… and bring on the serious games and simulations. :)

These two struck me, too, and thoughts like this help me feel that all of my efforts might be necessary after all.

p. 345 “The teacher’s educational work, therefore, must inevitably be connected with his creative, social, and life work.”

p. 346 “Only he who exerts a creative role in real life can aspire to a creative role in pedagogics.”

And this… students as creators, too:

The creative person is always from the race of the discontented… for such dislocations and snags, an inner affinity is needed between teacher and student, they must be close in terms of feelings, and in terms of thinking. Education is a process of mutual and continuous adaptation of both camps, where sometimes it is guide or leader which represents the most active and most original effective side, and sometimes those who are being led.” (Vygotsky, 1997, p. 349)

My god, this guy was writing something like 70 years ago… in Russia… and he wrote this:

In the city of the future , there will not be any one single building from which we might hand the sign, “school,” because the very word “school”… will be absorbed altogether in work and in life, and schools will be held in factories, and in the public square, in museums and in the hospital and the churchyard.” (Vygotsky, 1997, p. 346)

Talk about the porous classroom.

Ok, I’ll try to control myself.