Mastering Tools of the Mind in School (Trying Out Vygotsky's Ideas in Classrooms)
What makes us believe a scientific theory? What makes us interested in a particular theory? What characteristics does a theory need to have to be taken out of the laboratory or a scientific publication and noticed by the public, to be appreciated, valued, and applied? Virtually all scientists ask themselves these questions. Virtually all scientists want their theories to be verified, applied, and appreciated. As Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky wrote, "Man proves the truth of his thoughts only by application" (Vygotsky, 1993, p. 55). Indeed, nothing can be as beneficial or as detrimental to a theory as its application to real life. This chapter considers the application of one psychological theory to real life. The theory is that of Vygotsky. Real life in this case is life in school.