Fall 2023 - EDUC 879 G031

Lev Vygotsky's Theories in Education (5)

Class Number: 4170

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Natalia Gajdamaschko
    Office Hours: By appointment



Covers all major aspects of Lev Vygotsky's cultural-historical activity theory of human development and its contemporary applications in education. Concepts include the zone of proximal development of higher psychological functions, language and consciousness, interfunctional relations, analysis according to units, and "tool-and-result" methodology.


Meeting Dates:
September 15, 16 & 29, 30
October 13, 14
November 17, 18
December 1, 2

Meeting Times:
Fridays: 4:30 – 9:00 pm
Saturdays: 8:30 – 4:00 pm

Meeting Location:
Surrey Campus, SRYC Room 5140



  1. Understand Vygotsky's theory: Students will develop a deep understanding of Vygotsky's theory of human development, including its key concepts, underlying principles, and its implications for educational practices.
  2. Analyze the role of culture and activity: Students will explore the influence of culture and activity on human development and learning.
  3. Examine the connection between thinking, language and imagination development: Students will investigate the interplay between thinking and language development, and how these processes contribute to children's imagination development.
  4. Explore the teacher's role in human development: Students will examine the role of teachers in facilitating students' learning and development based on Vygotsky's theory. They will explore effective instructional practices, scaffolding techniques, and strategies to create a supportive learning environment.
  5. Investigate sociocultural theories of education and instruction: Students will explore various sociocultural theories of education and instruction, including the Imaginative Education approach. They will examine the connections and synergies between these theories and Vygotsky's theory, enabling them to broaden their perspectives on Imaginative educational practices.
  6. Apply theoretical knowledge to educational contexts: Participants will apply the theoretical concepts and insights gained from Vygotsky's theory and related approaches to real-world educational contexts. They will develop practical strategies to enhance teaching and learning experiences in Imaginative Education.

By the end of this course, participants will have a solid understanding of Vygotsky's theory, its implications for educational practices, and its alignment with Imaginative Education. They will be equipped with practical strategies to foster students' learning and development.


  • Participation 20%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final Paper/Project 50%





Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

ISBN: 978-0-674-57629-2

Vygotsky's Educational Theory in Cultural Context (2003) Kozulin & others (Eds.) Cambridge University Press. (also available as e-book from SFU library)

ISBN 10: 0-521-52883-6

ISBN: 978-0-521-52883-2

Vygotsky, L.S. Thought and Language - Revised Edition Alex Kozulin (Ed,) [Paperback] MIT Press

(also available as e-book from SFU Library)
ISBN: 978-0262720106


The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky. Edited by H.Daniels, M.Cole, J.Wertsch. Cambridge University Press.

ISBN: 978-0-521-53787-2


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.