Previous issue (2020. Vol. 16, no. 2)
Included in Web of Science СС (ESCI)
Applying Activity Theory in Multiagency Settings 1884
PhD, Professor, Fellow of Green Templeton College, Department of Education, Oxford, Great Britain
In this paper I explore the extent to which two approaches to the social formation of mind are compatible and may be used to enrich and extend each other. These are: Activity Theory (AT) as derived from the work of the early Russian psychologists, Vygotsky and Leontiev, and the work of the sociologist Basil Bernstein. The purpose is to show how Bernstein provides a language of description which allows Vygotsky’s account of social formation of mind to be extended and enhanced through an understanding of the sociological processes which form specific modalities of pedagogic practice and their specialized scientific concepts. The two approaches engage with a common theme namely the social shaping of consciousness, from different perspectives and yet as Bernstein acknowledges both develop many of their core assumptions from the work of Marx and the French school of early twentieth century sociology. The work of the Russian linguist is also be used to further nuance the argument applied in multiagency settings.
- Bernstein B. Official knowledge and pedagogic identities. In F. Christie
(ed.) Pedagogy and the Shaping of
Conscious- ness: Linguistic and Social
Processes. London: Cassell, 1999.
- Bernstein B. Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Iden- tity: Theory Research
Critique. Revised edition. Rowman and Littlefield: Oxford, 2000.
- Bourdieu P. Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1977.
- Cole M. Cultural Psychology: A once and future disci- pline. Cambridge
Mass: Harvard University Press, 1996.
- Cole M., Engeström Y. A cultural-historical approach to distributed
cognition. In G. Salomon (ed.) Distributed cog- nitions: Psychological and
educational considerations. New York: Cambridge University Press,
- Daniels H., et al. Learning in and for multi-agency working. Oxford
Review of Education, 2007. Vol. (33) 4, pp. 521—538.
- Engeström Y. Innovative Learning in Work Teams: Analysing cycles of
Knowledge creation in Practice. In En- geström Y. (eds.) Perspectives on
Activity Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
- Department for Education and Skills, 2002a. Spending Review: Investment for
reform. London: DfES.Department for Education and Skills. 2002b. Safer School
Partnerships: Guidance. Issued jointly by Department for Education and Skills,
Home Of- fice, Youth Justice Board, Association of Chief Education Officers and
Association of Chief Police Officers (Ref: DfES/0485/2002).
- Engstrom Y.,Miettinen R. Introduction. In Enges- tröm, Y. (eds.)
Perspectives on Activity Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1999, pp. 1—18.
- Freeman M., Miller C., Ross N. The impact of philoso- phies of teamwork on
multiprofessional practice and the impli- cations for education. Journal of
Interprofessional Care, 2000. Vol. 14(3), pp. 237—247.
- Hakkarainen K., Lonka K., Paavola S. Networked Intelligence: How Can Human
Intelligence Be Augmented Through Artifacts, Communities, and Networks? 2004.
Avail- able at: URL:
Hakkarainen_Lonka_Paavola.pdf. (Accessed 15.06.2005)
- Halliday M.A.K. Relevant models of language, in Explo- rations in the
Functions of Language. London: Arnold, 1973.
- Halliday M.A.K. 1975. Learning How to Mean: Explo- rations in the
Development of Language. London: Arnold.
- Halliday M.A.K. Language as Social Semiotic: The So- cial Interpretation of
Language and Meaning. London: Arnold, 1978.
- Hasan R. (forthcoming) Semiotic mediation, language and society: three
exotropic theories — Vygotsky, Halliday and Bernstein. Manuscript (in
- Hasan R. Understanding talk: directions from Ber- nstein’s sociology.
International Journal Of Social Research Methodology, 2001. Vol. 4 (1),
- Hasan R., Cloran C. A sociolinguistic study of everyday talk between
mothers and children. In Halliday M.A.K. (eds) Learning Keeping and Using
Language. Volume 1. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1990.
- Hasan R. Speech genre, semiotic mediation and the development of higher
mental functions. Language Science, 1992a. Vol. 14 (4), pp. 489—528.
- Hasan R. Meaning in Sociolinguistic theory. In Bolton K. (eds.)
Sociolinguistics Today: International Perspec- tives. London: Routledge,
1992b, pp. 245—287.
- Hasan R. On Social Conditions for Semiotic Media- tion: the genesis of mind
in society. Knowledge and Pedagogy. In Saadovnik A.R. (ed.) The Sociology of
Basil Bernstein. Nor- wood, NJ: Ablex, 1995.
- Hasan R. The ontogenesis of decontextualised lan- guage: some achievements
of classification and framing. In Morais A. (eds.) Towards a Sociology of
Pedagogy: the contribu- tion of Basil Bernstein to research. New York:
Peter Lang, 2001, pp. 47—80.
- Hasan R. Semiotic Mediation and Mental Develop- ment in Pluralistic
Societies: Some Implications for Tomor- row’s Schooling. In Claxton G. (ed)
Learning for life in the 21st century: sociocultural perspectives on the
future of education. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2002a, pp.
- Hasan R. Ways of Meaning, Ways of Learning: code as an explanatory concept.
British Journal of Sociology of Educa- tion, 2002b. Vol. (23) 4, pp.
- Holland D., Lachiotte L., Skinner D., Cain C. Identity and agency in
cultural worlds. Cambridge Mass: Harvard Uni- versity Press, 1998.
- Leont’ev A.N. Activity, consciousness, and personality. Englewood Cliffs:
- Linehan C., McCarthy J. Positioning in practice: Understanding
participation in the social world. Jour- nal
for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 2000. Vol. 30 (3), pp. 435—453.
- Morrison T. Working together to safeguard children: challenges and changes
for inter-agency co-ordination in child protection. Journal of
Interprofessional Care, 2000. Vol. 14(4), pp. 363—373.
- Pirkkalainen, J., Kaatrakoski H., Engestrom Y. Hybrid agency as hybrid
practices. Mimeo, 2005.
- Secker J., Hill K. Broadening the partnerships: experi- ences of working
across community agencies. Journal of Inter- professional Care, 2001.
Vol. 15(4), pp. 341—350.
- Silverman D., Torode B. The Material Word: some theories of language and
its limits. London: Routledge. 1980.
- Slater P. Training for No Secrets: a strategic initiative. Social Work
and Education, 2002. Vol. 21(4), pp. 437—448.
- Sturge C. A multi-agency approach to assessment. Child Psychology and
Psychiatry Review, 2001. Vol. 6(1), pp. 16—23.
- Wertsch J.V. Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1985.
- Wertsch J.V. Voices of the Mind: A Socio-Cultural Ap- proach to Mediated
Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univer- sity Press, 1991.
- Diamond J. Managing change or coping with conflict?- Mapping the experience
of a local regeneration partnership. Local Economy, 2001. Vol. 16(4),
- Bernstein B. The Structuring of Pedagogic Discourse Volume IV: Class, Codes
and Control. London: Routledge, 1990.