In the late 1920s, after the Russian revolution, Marxism had just replaced a dictatorship. Society members were expected by the government to “sacrifice their personal gains for the greater good of the nation.” Therefore, the sacrifice of an “individual was considered a success for the culture” (Lev Vygotsky, n.d.). It was in this cultural environment that Vygotsky came up with the Sociocultural Theory. In Vygotsky’s theory, he described the difference between lower mental functions, and higher mental functions. Lower mental functions were instinctive, whereas higher mental functions were based on so called “cultural tools.” Although some animals have high mental functioning, only humans use cultural tools of language and literacy. This is shown in the …show more content…
His family had a history of tuberculosis and he became very concerned with death from that point on. Even though he was only twenty-three at the time, he was afraid that he would not survive (Lev Semonovich Vygotsky, n.d.). In the summer of 1925, after returning from a trip to England, Vygotsky had a relapse of his tuberculosis and was hospitalized (Zavershneva, 1926). In the spring of 1934 Vygotsky suffer another attack of tuberculosis, this time it was fatal. He died at the age of thirty-seven. Leaving a wife and two daughters and his theories virtually lost in time for almost 50 years (Lev Vygotsky Biography, 2014).
Although Lev Vygotsky died over 80 years ago and his writings and books were not available to the American public until the last few decades of the 20th century, his legacy lives on. Even though he could not personally finish formulating all of his theories, many of his students, such as Luria, believed in his theories and continued his work well into the 1970s. Vygotsky’s theories are controversial and also compelling. Vygotsky’s theories are still influencing the field of educational psychology