Moving with and Beyond Vygotsky

577

Abstract

The 3rd International ISCAR Summer University for PhD Students was held on July 2—8, 2012 in Moscow hosted by Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE). 24 PhD Students from 10 countries (Russia, Norway, Brazil Republic of South Africa, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, USA) and 15 professors from 7 countries (Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Brazil, England) participated in the ISCAR Summer University. The ISCAR Summer University brought together young researchers and professors from all five continents with the aim of exploring and discussing issues of cul- tural historical psychology and activity theory. It offered the opportunity of rethinking both the historical con- text of the formation of the cultural-historical school and activity theory in the Soviet Union in the 20th cen- tury and the multiple contexts of its implementation and further development in different parts of the world of the 21st century.

General Information

Journal rubric: Scientific Life

Article type: report about the event

For citation: Barahona M., Dafermos M., de la Mata B.M., Hakkarainen P. Moving with and Beyond Vygotsky. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2014. Vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 104–106.

Full text

The 3rd International ISCAR Summer University for PhD Students was held on July 2—8, 2012 in Moscow hosted by Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE). 24 PhD Students from 10 countries (Russia, Norway, Brazil Republic of South Africa, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, USA) and 15 professors from 7 countries (Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Brazil, England) participated in the ISCAR Summer University. The ISCAR Summer University brought together young researchers and professors from all five continents with the aim of exploring and discussing issues of cultural historical psychology and activity theory. It offered the opportunity of rethinking both the historical context of the formation of the cultural-historical school and activity theory in the Soviet Union in the 20th century and the multiple contexts of its implementation and further development in different parts of the world of the 21st century.

The central theme of the 3rd International ISCAR Summer University "Moving with and Beyond Vygot­sky" represented the direction of presentations and discussions of the summer school. It was confirmed that studying the legacy of cultural historical school is still relevant when facing critical problems in psychological, educational, and social practice around the globe. In this context, the main question arose: how can we develop further cultural historical theory and methodology in the 21st century?

Participating in the ISCAR Summer University was a unique and fruitful experience for all participants. It offered the opportunity of combining an intensive program of inspiring and thought provoking presentations and discussions with spaces for informal interaction and free exchange of ideas. Members of different generations of cultural historical psychology and activity theory worked together considering crucial theoretical and practical issues and sharing their interesting ideas.

The presentations at the 3rd ISCAR Summer University were made on a wide variety of topics covering epistemology, methodology and applications of cultural-historical theory and activity theory in different fields and disciplines. The presentations and discussions were focused mainly on the following important issues:

— The epistemological and methodological background of cultural historical psychology;

— Research paradigms of a cultural-historical approach;

— Psychotherapy as a research method;

— Anthropology and its relationship to cultural historical theory;

— Ethnography as a research method in education;

— Socio-cultural research in a school context;

— Vygotsky's theory of emotions ("perezivanie");

— Narrative construction of self in a socio-cultural perspective;

— A cultural historical approach to mental development;

— Cross-cultural research of the development from a cultural-historical perspective;

—   Cultural-historical theory and teaching;

—  Cultural historical activity theory and teacher education;

— Activity theory in educational practice — schools, kindergartens, higher schools.

The papers selected to be published in this special section reflect the spirit of the summer school. These papers cover a wide range of topics and disciplines. However they share a Vygotskian approach to human development.

Bento Selau presents in his article a discussion of the concept of will in Vygotsky's works. He illustrates that L.S. Vygotsky paid attention to the human capacity of volitional control of higher psychic functions. Language is used as a psychological instrument for the constitution of will. The importance of a Vygotskian understanding of will is connected with its focus on freedom of the human being. In his psychological investigation of will, Vygotsky based his study on the philosophical theory of Spinoza who argued that will is not able to control passions directly. According to Vygotsky, self­determination is not a result of a pure act of will, but a result of indirect mediation, through the use of mediating artefacts.

Juliano Camillo and Cristiano Mattos in their article highlight the relevance of Science Education in the modern world. The paper offers an interesting insight into the importance of activity theory for the foundation of a science of education. The authors of the article propose the consideration of three kinds of tensions: a) the subject of activity (individual versus collective; b) the content of activity (ontology versus epistemology); c) the outcome of activity (alienation versus emancipation).

Carolina Picchetti attempts to apply the cultural historical theoretical framework to the analysis of developmental teaching in physical education. The article illustrates the possibilities of subject matter analysis based in a cultural historical framework, in an educational research. More specifically, the article is focused on collective game subject matter analysis. The article raises the question on how a collective game is able to contribute to students' theoretical conceptualisation and to students' personality development.

Marja-Leena Vuorinen and Pentti Hakkarainen report on an alternative, non-linear narrative model of teaching-learning process the authors developed. This model sees learning that takes place in joint play-worlds of teacher education students and children. The article illustrates how the pre-service teachers in the study elaborated narrative plot, organized concrete play­world environments, created the characters and embedded children's learning assignments in the storyline. The paper argues that the narrative practice model offers an alternative to the linear model benefiting pre-service teachers and students' learning. The paper argues that the route to analytic learning problems should go through narrative problem solving.

Malba Barahona examines English as a foreign language (EFL) pre-service teachers' beliefs about language teaching as part of the activity of learning to teach English in the Chilean context. This paper argues that beliefs mediate pre-service teachers' learning, and that they can potentially develop into concepts. This study suggests that beliefs are shaped and reshaped as pre-service teachers engage in the activity of learning to teach English.

Information About the Authors

Malba Barahona, PhD Education, Dr., Tutor in Spanish at the Australian National University, Lecturer in the MA TESOL at the University of Canberra, Australia, e-mail: malba.barahona@anu.edu.au

Manolis Dafermos, PhD in Philosophy, Professor of Epistemology of Psychology, Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Crete, Crete, Greece, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7321-8145, e-mail: mdafermo@uoc.gr

Benitez M. de la Mata, University of Seville, Spain, e-mail: mluis@us.es

Pentti Hakkarainen, PhD, Editor-in-chief of Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, professor emeritus, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6725-1822, e-mail: phakkar@gmail.com

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