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Drawing on the legacy of Soviet-era psychologist Lev Vygotsky, this entry offers a theoretical foundation for understanding children through a wholeness perspective. Such a view of children’s learning and development includes both the child’s perspective and the institutional practices that a child participates in, as well as the societal conditions that frame these practices.

Parents and educators or other professionals working with children base their interactions on ideas or conceptions of what it means to be a child. These ideas should preferably include seeing the child as actively contributing to the shared activity. In this interaction, it is important to see the world from the child’s social situation. A child’s social situation is influenced by what the child’s attention is oriented to and by values ...

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