Recent issue of "Cultural-Historical Psychology" - results of 1st ISCAR Summer School


The issue of the journal presented below contains scientific articles by participants of 1st ISCAR Summer School for PhD Students and Young Scholars «Cultural-Historical Research Methodology: Rethinking the Past for the Future» which took place on 20 - 24 June 2010 in Moscow State Psychology and Pedagogy University (MSUPE) with support from International Society of Cultural and Activity Research (ISCAR) — the largest international scientific society promoting development of interdisciplinary theoretical and practical research of social, cultural and historical aspects of human activity.

The leading European specialists in cultural-historical psychology took part in the Summer School activities. They are: Clotilde Pontecorvo (Italy), Georg Ruckriem (Germany), Harry Daniels (Great Britain), Pentti Hakkarainen, Milda Bredikyte and Nikolai Veresov (Finland), Liudmila Obukhova, Viktor Guruzhapov (Russia). Young scientists from the whole world — Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Serbia, China, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Russia — presented their research projects.

In the work of the Summer School the central subjects were: development of key concepts of cultural-historical psychology and activity theory in the works of Russian and foreign scholars, theoretical and methodological features of applied culturalhistorical research, support of joint projects, developing a system of scientific and practical exchange and academic mobility.

The joint article by C. Pontecorvo, Professor of «Sapienza» University of Rome (Italy), and F. Arcidiacono, Professor of University of Neuchatel and Lausanne (Switzerland), presents the results of a research dedicated to development of children's reasoning in argumentative communication. Analysis of children's discussions in different social situations serves an example which helps the authors show the importance of verbal reasoning in the process of children's development within family and school.

The article by Professor V. Rubtsov, Professor A. Margolis and Professor V. Guruzhapov is presented under the heading «Debate and Discourse». The paper deals with the organization of the educational process in elementary school from the perspective of the basic principles of psychological activity theory in connection with which the problem of training teachers is posed. In the article the content of the standards of primary education and standards of training elementary school teachers in Russian Federation is analyzed.

The need for methodological and paradigmatic rethinking of modern psychology is a problem examined in the article by G. Ruckriem, Professor of Berlin University. The author analyzes relevance of conceptual basis of cultural-historical psychology and activity approach in the current conditions of developing medium and digitalization.

Researchers from Oulu University (Finland), Professor P. Hakkarainen and M. Bredikyte, touch upon the subject of analyzing transition periods of children's development from the viewpoint of Vygotsky's genetic experiment method. The article by P. Hakkarainen presents experience in research of change of leading activity during transition in preschool age in conditions of joint interactions in variegated groups. Adding to this work, M. Bredikyte suggests thorough analysis of forming of conditions for development, the role of psychological tools and creative acts in the process of joint collective activity of children.

In her article L. Obukhova, Professor of MSUPE, suggests the reader to rethink the scientific works of P. Galperin from the view point of the modern researcher. In the first part the author analyses the development of Vygotsky's concepts in Galperin's studies and scientific ideas, and in the second part — reveals the essence of the genetic method suggested by this scientist with the help of the example of experimental study of scientific concepts in childhood.

Professor N. Veresov (Oulu University, Finland) in his article suggests his analysis of basic concepts of cultural-historical psychology in their connection to development process. The author focuses on methodological basis of organizing experimental research in the framework of cultural-historical and activity approach.

The article by M. Kontopodis (Humboldt University, Germany) presents experience in application of reflective self-consciousness development methods in educational practice. With reference to works of Vygotsky and Foucault the author analyzes results of research of reflection development in young women in vocational schools for unsuccessful in their school careers and socially challenged young people.

A joint work by two scholars from Brazil, A.M. Rodrigues and C.R. DeMattos, is dedicated to analyzing the basis for science education. In this article they present a thorough comparative analysis of different approaches to this issue in the works of foreign researchers and in the works of researchers belonging to culturalhistorical and activity schools of psychology.

M. Mendez, a researcher from Mexico, presents in her article an analysis of numeral knowledge development in children of Maya culture from the viewpoint of cultural-historical approach. She suggests a research of distinctive features of development and education of children with established vigesimal numeral system in traditional schools.

The article by a Ph.D. student from Helsinki University (Finland), D. Ritella, describes experience in implementation of activity approach to studying of software application in the process of collaboration planning and interaction between school teachers, with emphasis to development of «presence» position and sensing the social environment in the conditions of virtual communication.

The article by a Ph.D. student from University of Munich (Germany), A. Karsten, presents experience in analyzing written speech both in cognitive and communicative activity. The article describes research of writing speech which included a phase of selfanalysis by the subject of activity.

The work of L. Hawkins, an Australian researcher, covers the problem of modification of a well-known «expansive learning cycle» method which was developed by Y. Engestem in the framework of activity approach. Modification concerns this method as a method for organizing scientific research activity in connection with a necessity to create a systematic approach to research planning for scientific supervisors.

V. Rubtsov, A. Margolis

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