Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934), who was born in what is now Belarus, did little traveling in his short life—he died at the age of 37. The trips he did make were mostly within the Soviet Union. However, his eclectic interests and knowledge of languages enabled him to explore vast intellectual realms of neurology, education, psychology, history, culture and art.

The 2007 EECERA Conference Exploring Vygotsky’s Ideas: Crossing Borders will examine how his ideas both influenced and were influenced by scholars worldwide—from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to Western Europe and the Americas.

Vygotsky’s international influence is astonishing considering that his ideas were condemned within the Soviet Union starting in the mid-1930s. Publication of his works resumed in the Soviet Union after the de-Stalinization movement in the 1960s, and several of his major works were translated and published abroad. In the West, Vygotsky’s ideas were both embraced and reinterpreted.

Like the ideas of all great thinkers, Vygotsky’s concepts, insights, and formulations are very much alive and continue to inspire and influence a new generation of researchers. The EECERA 2007 conference is a rare and exciting opportunity for researchers and practitioners from East and West to explore the convergences and divergences in the understanding and application of Vygotsky’s work to policy, research, and practice today.