Vygotsky at Work and Play 2nd Edition

by Lois Holzman
“In many respects, Holzman’s concern in this book is with human development, and in its exposition, it brilliantly demonstrates just such development in action.”

-Kenneth Gergen, author, The Saturated Self; Playing with Purpose: Adventures in Performative Social Science

Vygotsky at Work and Playis a vivid portrayal of the Vygotskian-inspired, politically engaged approach to human development known as social therapeutics and the psychology of becoming. Holzman weaves together Vygotsky’s discoveries—about play, speaking and thinking, the zone of proximal development, creativity and imagination, and secondary disability—with qualitative case studies from organizations practicing the approach. She shows Vygotsky at work and play in psychotherapy offices, classrooms, outside-of-school programs, corporate workplaces, and virtual learning environments. This expanded edition includes new chapters dealing with social issues and policies that threaten the full flowering of human development—the medical-model approach to social/emotional life, worsening police/community relations, and increasing authoritarianism in schools, thus continuing to bring Lev Vygotsky’s work to bear on the critical question—“How can we develop in a world in crisis?"


Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist (Classic Edition)

by Fred Newman & Lois Holzman
"We need the ideas of practical revolutionaries more than ever … In a world that increasingly feel over-determined in dispiriting ways, [Newman and Holzman] inspire readers to find new ways to socially extend Vygotsky’s practical-critical approach to learning and change.”

-Tom Strong, Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Education, University of Calgary, Canada

What People are Saying

Psychological Investigations: A Clinician’s Guide to Social Therapy Edited

by Lois Holzman and Rafael Mendez
“This collection is truly a gift… Newman performs what makes social therapy a distinct group therapy and what makes it radical. [He] provokes, stimulates, and compels us to rethink our theories and practices and keep them abreast of the global changes…” 

– Harlene Anderson, Houston Galveston Institute

The first comprehensive treatment of social therapeutic practice,Psychological Investigations moves social therapy to the foreground as a qualitative new way of doing therapy. Featuring over 70 dialogues between Fred Newman—the creator of social therapeutic group process—and therapists-in-training, this book explores the nature of the social therapeutic group process, the social therapeutic relationship, and applications to health care, alternative medicine, education and youth development. These dialogues, together with introductory overviews by Lois Holzman and Rafael Mendez, illuminate the core philosophical and political issues underlying the revolutionary and controversial practice of social therapy. Psychological Investigations is a provocative invitation to both new and seasoned professionals seeking alternative modes of practice and understanding. (Brunner-Routledge, 2003)


Postmodern Psychologies, Societal Practice and Political Life

Edited by Lois Holzman and John Morss
“The book opens new avenues for thinking and doing psychology and for contributing to personal, relational, and collective wellness.”

– Isaac Prilleltensky, Victoria University

In this volume, developmental psychologists Lois Holzman and John Morss bring together a distinguished grouping of international scholars and practitioners to reflect upon the achievements and limitations of recent attempts to bring a postmodern orientation to psychology. They provide a rigorous assessment of postmodernism in psychology and offer provocative new possibilities for social-psychological practice. Postmodern Psychologiesintroduces the general reader to the flavor as well as to the substance of psychology’s key debates in the first postmodern century. (Routledge, 2000)


Performing Psychology: A Postmodern Culture of the Mind

Edited by Lois Holzman
“Extraordinary essays and plays?in an argument against the limits of the old psychology and a vocabulary for something better.”

– Ian Parker, Manchester Metropolitan University

This collection of essays by and about the controversial American philosopher, therapist, and playwright Fred Newman is an important contribution to current dialogue on such issues as the nature of human subjectivity; the relationship of theatre to human development; the status of science in the postmodern world; the process of therapy and diagnosis; and the possibility of re-initiating creativity and growth. Arguing that both psychological activity and its study are essentially performance, Holzman’sPerforming Psychology offers a new methodology for understanding human life. (Routledge, 1999)


The End of Knowing: A New Developmental Way of Learning

by Fred Newman and Lois Holzman
“Newman and Holzman take the postmodern discussion beyond its usual focus on words, discourses and narratives to more closely examine what it means to communicate in transformative ways.”

– Tom Strong, University of Calgary

Throughout the modern era, a period of explosive growth and technological achievement, knowledge was king and understood to be the engine of human progress. But what if knowing has become an impediment to further human development? The End of Knowing addresses the practical question of how to reconstruct our world in the wake of modernism’s colossal failure to solve social problems. Newman and Holzman propose “the end of knowing,” in favor of “performed activity” and present the positive implications of this approach for social and educational policy. (Routledge, 1997)


Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary Scientist

By Fred Newman and Lois Holzman
“Routledge’s Critical Psychology Series has produced another landmark… a provocative and accessible introduction to the early Soviet psychologist’s life and work, as well as to current Vygotskian research.”

– Australian Journal of Psychology

The current debate in psychology and politics over the possibility for human development has sparked a renewed interest in the work of the brilliant Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky. Newman and Holzman are among the few contemporary followers of Vygotsky to explore the potential of his Marxist methodology to transform psychology and education. (Routledge, 1993)


Unscientific Psychology: A Cultural-Performatory Approach to Understanding Human Life

By Fred Newman and Lois Holzman
“A philosophical tour de force…from ancient Greece to modern science and scientific psychology.”

–Theory & Psychology

Western Philosophy is dead. Yet its assumptions and presuppositions disguised as science  live on in modernist psychology. Arguing that psychology is a pseudoscientific hoax, the authors deconstruct three of psychology’s most powerful myths: the myth of the individual, of mental illness, and of development. More than a critique of mainstream psychology, Newman and Holzman present a methodology for reconstructing psychology as a developmental and community-building activity.

(Praeger, 1996, hardcover; iUniverse, 2006, paperback)


Schools for Growth: Radical Alternatives to Current Educational Models

By Lois Holzman
“A passionate manifesto calling for a new type of schooling based on revolutionary activity, relational and dialectical philosophy, and the development of performance.”

– Anthropology and Education Quarterly

Developmental psychologist Lois Holzman challenges us to look at our assumptions about schooling, learning and development. She contends that our very conceptions of what it means to teach, learn and grow are obstacles to children’s learning and development. Offering a radical reading of Vygotsky, she introduces the general reader to a methodological reformulation of learning and development as relational activities and, guided by this perspective, takes the reader on an intriguing visit to three independent schools. (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997)


Vygotsky at Work and Play (Japanese translation)

by Lois Holzman

Schools for Growth: Radical Alternatives to Current Educational Models (Chinese translation)

by Lois Holzman