October 6, 2011
I was delighted to come across this Amazon reader review of my book Vygotsky at Work and Play. The author is David R. Cross, Ph.D.
A Transformative Book Reflecting on a Transformative Life, July 2, 2011
Every now and then you get lucky, and find the book that is just the book you need at that point in your career to take the next step forward. (I used “book” in this opening sentence, but the same could be said for “article” or “presentation,” but here we are concerned with books.) Lois Holzman’s Vygotsky at Work and Play is just that sort of book. Up until reading it, I had been unaware of Lois Holzman’s work, and this book is a great introduction. It is a kind of intellectual autobiography, a conceptual reflection on her several decades of good work. The book is short, well-written, and a great lead-in to the work Holzman has done, mostly in partnership with Fred Newman. Their work is both multifaceted and highly innovative, and it challenges some traditional conceptions about how science is done. Their work is multifaceted because they have made significant contributions to therapy (social therapy), schooling, out-of-school (youth) programs, and the workplace (organizations). The same conceptual principles underly all of this work, which derive mainly from Vygotsky and Wittgenstein. Their work is innovative for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their methodology. Part of their innovation is their (re)conceptualization of Vygotsky’s “Zone of Proximal Development,” and another part is their emphasis on performance, both as a product and a process of development in context. This is a book worth reading.