Events archive

An introduction to Vygotsky

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11 October 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, OSAT

This seminar will be based on a reading of:

  • Daniels, H. (2005) Vygotsky and Educational Psychology: Some Preliminary Remarks. Educational and Child Psychology, 22 (1): 6-17.

Please come prepared with questions and Harry and Ian will respond and encourage a discussion.

Transitions between school design/practices

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07 June 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Speakers: Professor Harry Daniels and Hau Ming-Tse, Department of Education

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

The social construction of a teacher support team: an experience of teacher education in STEM

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24 May 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Dr Elvia Castro-Félix, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

There is considerable interest in understanding and explaining how a group of university engineering and science teacher educators learn and assimilate new conceptions about their role facing the forces of globalization that are transforming the system of higher education. This presentation adopts the notion of the Teacher Support Team (TST) grounded in Vygotsky’s sociocultural account of the social formation of mind. These structures of meaning provide insight into the role played by the context, the interactions, the needs and the demands of actual activities, agreements and learning processes that this group of STEM teachers undertook as they sought to transform their usual teaching methods that were focused on individual and isolated work in order to create more innovative practices and impact their students’ performance. This experience, based on the epistemological principles of the sociocultural approach, was focused on the educational model that emerges from needs that are perceived and shared through the professors’ interactions, as well as the transitions that such a team undergoes in its actions and decisions.

Interprofessional learning: finding the patient voice

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18 May 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Dr Helena Ward, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

Interprofessional learning (IPL) in the health professions is defined as two or more professions learning from with and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of patient care.  IPL has been identified as a major focus for educating and training health workforces due to the growing need for more collaborative and patient-centred care.  However a number of challenges to IPL have been noted, including different accreditation frameworks, resourcing, and logistics such as timetabling.  This seminar will report on a partnership between a primary health service and a university whose shared goal was to prepare students and graduates for interprofessional learning and practice.  This collaborative process led to the development of an interprofessional capability framework.  The role of the patient in IPL and the issue of researching the patient voice will also be discussed.

Resources for navigating competing demands at work: identifying supports through an adaptation of the double stimulation method

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08 March 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Kasper Munk, Department of Education

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

Many jobs require professionals to navigate competing demands, juggling multiple commitments to settle on a course of action. Understanding which resources professionals make use of in such challenging situations is important for ensuring that professionals have adequate support in these situations. This presentation describes a method for identifying the supports professionals use when they are faced with such problematic work tasks. It presents an adaptation of the double stimulation method, a method receiving renewed attention within cultural historical research. This method, originally used within experimental settings, can be used for the analysis of the moment-to-moment unfolding of real-life situations, allowing us to describe the interplay between artefact mediation and changes in intentional orientations. The approach is illustrated with examples drawn from a study of English secondary school teachers.

Exploring expert teachers’ sense making and meaning making of teaching and learning from classroom experiences

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22 February 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Sonia Khan, Department of Education

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

Expert teachers understand a relationship between teaching and learning as they not only enhance their students' learning but also the growth of their own professional knowledge of practice. The study seeks to gain an understanding of how expert teachers do what they do from within the boundary of their classroom teaching and learning experiences from sociocultural perspective, and what sense and meaning do they make from those experiences. In the classrooms, teachers introduce subject matter content, which is at the center of teaching and learning, through tasks. Sense making and meaning making happens through interaction with the tasks. The study aims to explore how expert teachers make sense and make meaning from teaching and learning experiences through setting of tasks. This is done by means of a multicase study that involves six English and six Mathematics expert teachers from different schools in Oxfordshire. Analysis will draw on the works of Bernstein and Vygotsky and focus on how institutional and classroom contexts shape human action.

The epistemological relevance of Peircean secondness for Vygotskian semiotic mediation

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08 February 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr James Ma, Canterbury Christchurch University

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

This presentation derives from a manuscript prepared for the ISCAR-affiliated journal Mind, Culture, and Activity. It concerns the author’s research project on the Peirce-Vygotsky co-articulation of signs, the first phase of which was reported in 2014 in this journal (21/4, “The synergy of Peirce and Vygotsky as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation”). The epistemology of Peircean pragmatics emphasises the life of the mind as integral to the making of human existence – in particular, the social, perceptual and logical nature of knowledge that determines the meaning of intellectual concepts by virtue of cooperative and open-ended endeavours. In challenging the methods of tenacity, authority and apriority, a Peircean vision of scientific inquiry elicits a new discourse upon the affordance of public meaning in knowledge construction. This, in turn, provides a rationale for developing further insights into Peircean semiotics, with specific reference to the self-perpetuating function of semiosis and its implication for addressing the cross-over of diverse modes of meaning in modern-day communication and representation. Premised on the fusion of deduction and abduction as a conceptual primer, it is argued that the intertwining of icon, index and symbol within Peircean secondness can come into play in Vygotskian semiotic mediation. This brings with it a tour d’horizon for the semiotic connectivity of language, meaning and consciousness – a central tenet of cultural-historical activity theory for understanding human interactions with the world. The presentation thus offers a fresh perspective on advocating semiotic methodology gleaned from the epistemological confluence of Peirce and Vygotsky.

Challenges of collaborative learning in higher education and professional practise

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25 January 2017 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Professor Anton Havnes, Visiting Research Fellow from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

There has been an increasing interest in learning inherent in peer-interaction in schools, higher education and work practise. This interest contrasts what probably has been (and still is) the dominant depiction of learning: a process situated in a teacher–learner relationship with a predefined content to be learned. Instead of the vertical direction of the teacher–learning interaction, peer learning can be characterised as learning in ‘horizontal’ interactions. Yet, for learning to take place there needs to be some disparities - also among peers. Research has painted a picture of learning through peer interaction a powerful mode of learning, but also as potentially waste of time. Peer interaction is not synonymous with peer learning. There is research that direct the attention to some aspects of peer interaction that potentially promote peer learning.

This talk will address some of the challenges that have emerged from a series of research projects where learning among peers have been a focus, or it has emerged as a focus through the analysis. It will address learning in higher education and professional practice, but will also draw on insights from research on the relationship between peer interaction in school settings.

Transitions between home and school mathematical practices

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30 November 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Professor Guida de Abreu  Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health, Oxford Brookes University

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

Epistemic fluency in higher education: bridging actionable knowledgeable and knowledgeable action

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15 November 2016 16:30 -
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Lina Markauskaite, Associate Professor,  Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation, University of Sydney

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, OSAT

What does it take to be a productive member of a multidisciplinary team working on a complex problem? How do people get better at these things? How can researchers get deeper insight in these valued capacities; and how can teachers help students develop them? Working on real-world professional problems usually requires the combination of different kinds of specialised and context-dependent knowledge, as well as different ways of knowing. People who are flexible and adept with respect to different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency.

Drawing upon and extending the notion of epistemic fluency, in this research seminar, I will present some key ideas that we developed studying how university teachers teach and students learn complex professional knowledge and skills. Our account combines grounded and enacted cognition with sociocultural and material perspectives of human knowing and focus on capacities that underpin knowledgeable action and innovative professional work.  In this seminar, I will discuss critical roles of grounded conceptual knowledge, ability to embrace professional materially-grounded ways of knowing and students’ capacities to construct their epistemic environments.

Lina Markauskaite is an associate professor at the University of Sydney and the deputy director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI). Her primary research area is concerned with understanding the nature of capabilities involved in complex (inter-)professional knowledge work and learning. Her work combines grounded, enacted cognition and socio-material views of knowledge and knowing and look at professional learning from, so called, “epistemic fluency” perspective. This theoretical account is elaborated in the co-authored book “Epistemic fluency and professional education: innovation, knowledgeable action and actionable knowledge (2016, Springer, co-authored with Peter Goodyear). Lina’s second research area is emerging interdisciplinary research methods. Her main work includes the coedited book “Methodological Choice and Design: Scholarship, Policy and Practice in Social and Educational Research(2011, Springer, coedited with Peter Freebody and Jude Irwin) and the special issue of the British Journal of Educational Technology “e-Research for Education: Applied, Methodological and Critical Perspectives (2014, coedited with Peter Reimann).

Relational expertise: what does it offer?

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02 November 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Professor Anne Edwards

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

OSAT reading group

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26 October 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

Reading:

Education in divided societies: the role of school collaboration (Public Seminar)

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24 October 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Speaker Professor Tony Gallagher, University of Belfast

Convener Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

Abstract

Mass education has traditionally been used as an integrating force, perhaps most notably in the role of the public school in the United States. In the latter part of the 20th century overt assimilation through education was increasingly critiqued and attention shifted towards the incorporation of various forms of multiculturalism in schools. In some societies separate schools operated in recognition of different identities: in some contexts separate schools were used to maintain patterns of domination-oppression, but in others it was an attempt to allow minorities to maintain their own identities. Northern Ireland has operated separate schools for over a century, and many pointed to this as a factor in social division and political violence: various interventions were applied during the years of the violence, but few showed evidence of creating positive systemic change. For the last decade a new approach, based on promoting collaborative networks of Protestant and Catholic schools, has been put in place. ‘Shared education’ seeks to create dialogic processes between communities, at all levels, by using network effects to change the nature of the relationship between schools and communities in local areas while focusing on social, educational and economic goals. This presentation outlines the background to the development of shared education in Northern Ireland and traces how it has developed. The paper also will examine briefly how the idea has been adopted in other contexts, most notably in Israel.

About the speaker

Tony Gallagher is a Professor of Education at Queen’s University Belfast. His primary research interest lies in the role of education in divided societies. Since 2007 he has led the Sharing Education Programme (SEP) in Northern Ireland and is currently working on related projects in Israel and Los Angeles. He is editor of Education, Citizenship and Social Justice (Sage); a member of the steering committee of the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy; and works for the Council of Europe on a number of activities, including higher education and citizenship education. He has held a number of leadership roles in Queen’s, including Head of the School of Education (2005-10) and Pro Vice Chancellor (2010-15). Currently he is Director of Research in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work.

An introduction to Vygotsky

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12 October 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

Trends in Cultural-Historical Activity Theory

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16 June 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room E

Speaker: Issac Lim, Department of Education

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, OSAT

In this presentation, I will outline findings of my review of the empirical literature that have used CHAT to study the delivery of patient care in interprofessional settings since the 1990s. Specifically, I will speak about trends, provide a critique, as well as recommendations on what future empirical work in CHAT should focus on. Additionally, I will present a framework I developed for synthesizing the literature, which predominantly used qualitative research design approaches.

I am currently reading a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford. I am also a member of the OSAT research group. Please go to this URL if you would like to know more http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/about-us/directory/issac-lim/.

Experiencing developmental crises in critical times: from realising potential futures to actualising virtual possibilities?

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08 June 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Dr. Michalis Kontopodis, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies, University of Roehampton

Convener: Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

Most theories of psychological development refer to a crisis taking place in adolescence due to physical, cognitive and psychosocial changes. Little research has however explored how young people experience this psychological crisis in the context of today’s broader financial, socio-political and ecological crises. While a crisis indicates a period of intense difficulty, it can also be understood as the turning point when a difficult or important decision must be made – which involves the possibility for the emergence of radical novelty. Drawing on post-Vygotskian and post-structuralist grounds I aspire to explore in my presentation the challenges and possibilities for youth development in this frame. I will propose a differentiation between two modes of human development: development of concrete skills (potential development) and development of new societal relations (virtual development, which is at the same time individual and collective). I will reflect on the significance of this differentiation by exploring research materials from my recent projects with disenfranchised youth in Greece, Germany, US and Brazil. Last but not least, I will expand on the notion of virtual development to consider recent technological developments that enable the multimodal communication and transnational  collaboration among young people from diverse linguistic and geographical contexts.

Dr. Michalis Kontopodis' background comprises psychology, educational science, and youth studies. He accomplished his PhD at the Free University Berlin and is currently working as a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the Faculty of Education, University of Roehampton. Before that, he worked at the Humboldt University Berlin and at the University of Amsterdam and was a visiting scholar at the City University of New York; New York University, Moscow State University, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. Michalis Kontopodis is a former Secretary of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research. He has until recently coordinated the international research project DIGIT-M-ED "Global Perspectives on Learning and Development with Digit@l Video-Editing Media". His book "Neoliberalism, Pedagogy and Human Development" has recently been published as a paperback (second edition) with Routledge. Updates and recent publications: http://mkontopodis.wordpress.com

Adopting a Vygotskian approach to studying children’s mobile applications and early digital literacies

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03 May 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Sumin Zhao, Visiting Research Associate, UCL Institute of Education

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, OSAT

Trouble in the classroom: researching from a cultural-historical perspective adolescent disruption of teaching and learning

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03 March 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Dr Malcolm Reed, University of Bristol Graduate School of Education

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

This presentation continues a long-term interest in understanding and re-conceptualising classroom interaction. It will report research being undertaken in a state secondary school, working alongside English teachers as a participant researcher and occasional teacher on a weekly basis over eighteen months. I attend particularly to learners’ negativity, how it may be interpreted, and how it both shapes and responds to immediate and broad contradictions in learning and teaching activity. Drawing on a range of perspectives in cultural-historical theory, in particular those of Vygotsky, Bozhovich, Davydov, El’konin and Hedegaard, I seek to trouble our account of pedagogy and reflect self-critically on the process of doing classroom-based research.

Malcolm Reed taught English across the 1980s within the Inner London Education Authority, moved to the University of Bristol in 1990 where he led the PGCE English programme for twenty years, and has taught and coordinated educational research methods on doctoral programmes since 2006. He is the current President of the International Society for Cultural-historical Activity Research (ISCAR).

OSAT Reading Group

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10 February 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room C

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels Reading: Engeström, Y., Kajamaa, A., & Nummijoki, J. (2015). Double stimulation in everyday work: Critical encounters between home care workers and their elderly clients. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 4, 48–61.

Clever classrooms: evidence for the impacts of classroom design on learning (Public Seminar)

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25 January 2016 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Harry Daniels. Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT)

Abstract:

Based on an empirical study of 3766 primary school pupils and the 153 classrooms they occupied the EPSRC-funded HEAD (Holistic Evidence and Design Project has successfully isolated the impact of design features on the learning progress of those pupils over a year.  This was based on multi-disciplinary collaboration over several years that resulted in a radical new conceptual model of the holistic physical learning environment, taken from a child’s sensory perspective. This increased scope of consideration was then twinned with multilevel modelling of the data to identify the classroom level impacts. These model out at explaining 16% of the overall variation in the learning progress of the pupils in the spaces studied. The findings support detailed practical suggestions for teachers, designers and policy-makers. There are surprises in relation to some aspects that do not appear. Sub-analyses of the data are being carried out and raise interesting issues around subject-specific design and design for particular groupings of pupils.

About the speaker:

Professor Barrett is Professor of Management in Property and Construction at Salford University in the UK. Peter is a past President of the UN-established International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB). He is a member of the High Level Group of the European Construction Technology Platform and its UK equivalent. He is the Director for Research for Salford University’s Institute for Dementia and an international advisor to the OECD and the US-based Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.

Peter has produced over one hundred and seventy single volume publications, refereed papers and reports, and has made over one hundred and ten presentations in around sixteen countries. Professor Barrett has undertaken a wide range of research.

He is currently focusing on the theme of Senses, Brain and Spaces with a particular interest in the area of primary school design and achieving optimal learning spaces. The findings of this work have, for the first time, isolated a significant influence of “Clever Classrooms” on variations in pupils’ learning. This has directly influenced, for example, the UK Department for Education, the US Green Building Council and the Norwegian Education Directorate.

"'They gave you a PhD for THIS?" Research participants' reactions to a DPhil thesis on the impact of higher education in prison.

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20 January 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room C

Speaker: Dr Lila McDowell, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

This presentation will examine research participants' reactions to a DPhil thesis based on six months of ethnographic observation and five months of autobiographical writing workshops with men pursuing Bachelor's degrees while incarcerated in New York. Given the opportunity to read the finished product, several of the men shared their thoughts on the study's analysis and conclusions, both through letters and across visiting room tables. Their responses offer new insights into the ways that the men made meaning of their experiences, including the experience of participating in the study, as well as shed light on their evolving identities as writers, students, and educators.

Creating knowledge and enhancing change in organisations. A practice - based approach in a case study

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02 December 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate a case study of how an intervention carried out in an Italian company (on 197 employees) creates knowledge about employees’ dissatisfaction and enhances organisational change. The intervention is founded on a practice- based approach and, in particular, on an expansive learning cycle model conceptualised within the methodological framework of Activity Theory. In identifying areas of dissatisfaction, employees focused more on working daily processes rather than on material benefits. This study supports the hypothesis of the psychological function of work: people are interested in authoring their organisational reality. In relation to further implementation, this methodology could be a compass to guide the intervention focus about the employees’ dissatisfaction. The contribution presents an original procedure framework, borrowing its theoretical and methodological foundation from several contributions.

Metalinguistic activity in language education

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18 November 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Being Other: the effectiveness of arts based approaches in engaging with disaffected young people

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04 November 2015 16:00 - 18:00
Seminar room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Advantages and challenges in comparative research on inclusive and special education: the case of Finland.

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20 October 2015 17:30 - 18:45
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract: Despite the growing interest in comparative education research in general, in the field of inclusive and special education it is still relatively rare. One explanation might be that there are many challenges related to the international comparison of special education systems conceptually and related to the use of educational statistics. This presentation is based on the experiences of challenges and advantages in trying to create a reliable comparative view of the Finnish (special) education system compared with some other Western school systems (e.g. US, Canada, Australia). The Finnish special education system (currently redefined as Learning and Schooling support) should not be examined as separate from the Finnish compulsory school system, because special education is an essential and build-in part of the Finnish compulsory schooling. It should be noted that Finnish compulsory schooling covers almost 99 per cent of the age group and in that sense it is probably one of the most inclusive in the world. The unique element of the Finnish special educational services is the wide use of additional support services (called traditionally as part-time special education) available in every school. If needed, this support covers every student without any diagnosis or administrative decisions. This model of service has been created already during the 1970’s reform of comprehensive schooling as an answer to deal with a more heterogeneous group of pupils. In general, it should be noted that it is not fair/reliable to compare school systems from a cross-sectional standing only. Comparative research needs to take into account the historical structures and cultural differences. For a meaningful comparison, we need authentic and accurate information from the everyday reality of actual school life as well – not only from the level of education policy. Literature: Jahnukainen, M. 2015. “Inclusion, Integration, or What? A Comparative Study of the School Principals’ Perceptions of Inclusive and Special Education in Finland and in Alberta, Canada.” Disability & Society 30 (1): 59–72. doi:10.1080/09687599.2014.982788. Pulkkinen J., & M. Jahnukainen. 2015. “Finnish Reform of the Funding and Provision of Special Education: The Views of Principals and Municipal Education Administrators.” Educational Review. E-pub ahead of print. doi: 10.1080/00131911.2015.1060586. Graham, L. J., and M. Jahnukainen. 2011. “Wherefore Art Thou, Inclusion? Analysing the Development of Inclusive Education in New South Wales, Alberta and Finland.” Journalof Education Policy 26 (2): 263–288. doi:10.1080/02680939.2010.493230. Jahnukainen, M. 2011. “Different Strategies, Different Outcomes? The History and Trends of Inclusive and Special Education in Alberta (Canada) and in Finland.” Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 55 (5): 489–502. doi:10.1080/00313831.2010.537689. Itkonen, T., and M. Jahnukainen. 2010. “Disability or Learning Difficulty? Politicians or Educators? Constructing Special Education in Finland and the United States.” Comparative Sociology 9 (2): 182–201. doi:10.1163/156913210X12536181351033.

OSAT DPhil student conference

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14 October 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstracts: Sonia Khan:  Exploring teachers’ meaning making from classroom experiences The research draws on sociocultural theory to explore how teachers transform their knowledge for student learning to happen, and how they utilize this experience for their own learning. To understand this complexity, multiple case studies will be utilized. The data will be collected at three phases of a lesson- lesson planning, classroom observation and recall of the lesson. Marion Waite: Formative interventions for collaborative academic research writing How can formative writing interventions within the healthcare academy be examined for transformation of learning? I will present the endeavours and challenges of seeking congruency with the research context, writing research, cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), double stimulation, The Change Laboratory and the epicentre of research methods. Kasper Munk: Dealing with task uncertainty: cmplex demands in schools and teachers’ responses Competent teaching requires teachers to settle on which work tasks to carry out. However, complex demands in schools can create considerable work task uncertainty. My research project seeks to identify and explain different types of responses to task uncertainty through the development of a theoretical model of teacher task uncertainty.

An introduction to Vygotsky

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07 October 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Collaborating on complex problems

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10 June 2015 16:30 - 18:10
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Speakers: Bipana Bantawa, Anne Edwards, Nigel Fancourt and Nick Hopwood. Discussant: Kasper Munk In this OSAT symposium four contributors to a book to be published by Cambridge University Press  in 2016 will make short presentations on how they have employed the concepts of relational expertise, common knowledge and relational agency in their work. Anne Edwards will outline the three concepts and some examples of how they are currently being used in different settings internationally; Nick Hopwood will draw on his research on multi-professional services for families in New South Wales; Bipana Bantawa will outline how relational expertise is deployed in Galaxy Zoo, a crowd-sourced science project; and Nigel Fancourt will illustrate how the ideas have informed the Oxford Education Deanery , making links between the concept of common knowledge and current narrative research. Kasper Munk, who has long been familiar with these ideas while studying in Denmark, will be discussant. There will be time for questions and discussion and all are welcome to this open symposium. A short paper outlining the key concepts can be accessed here.  (But pre-reading is not obligatory.)

Design and practice: a study of the design, build and occupation of new schools (Public seminar)

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08 June 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Ernesto Macaro (OSAT) Abstract: In this seminar we will present an account of ways in which the discourses and practices of school design produce educational spaces which mediate and shape the discourses and practices of teaching and learning when the building is occupied. We will discuss previously unreported findings from an examination of the vision, design, build and occupation of four schools commissioned by the same Local Authority in Wave 3 of the Building Schools for the Future Programme. We examined the processes of occupation which in 3 cases involved changes of leadership We identified significant discontinuities at particular phases in relation to either the intended physical structure and what was actually built, and/or in relation to how space was intended to be used and how it was actually used in practice. We interviewed members of all the different agencies who were involved throughout this process, e.g. the school, the Local Authority, the Architects and the Contractors.   What became very clear was that different motives were in play for different agencies at different moments in the process. For example some agencies were driven by motives related to succcesful bidding for contracts at one moment and motives related to costs and time at another. Many of these were in conflict with one another at critical times in the process which would lead to significant compromises for the built school environment. About the speakers: Professor Harry Daniels joined the Department in 2013 having held Chairs at the Universities of Bath and Birmingham.  His recent research draws on cultural historical and activity theory approaches to learning and organisational change, focusing on professional learning, processes of social exclusion and practices of collaboration in a variety of educational, medical and emergency settings. Hau Ming Tse is a Research Fellow at the Department of Education and an Associate Lecturer in the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. A qualified Architect, she worked for David Chipperfield Architects, where she was an Associate Director. Projects include the Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield; the headquarters of BBC Scotland, Glasgow; San Michele Cemetery, Venice; and The Figge Art Museum, Iowa. Her research interests explore the relationship between space, perception and the environment.

OSAT Reading Group

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27 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Reading:

Agency in disguise: double stimulation in the waiting experiment

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20 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract: Ambiguous modes of action reveal aspects of the cultural and historical nature of agency which are still largely underscrutinized. A waiting experiment discussed in Vygotsky’s works in connection to his notion of double stimulation provides a useful framework for reflecting on how ambiguous actions can inform today’s theoretical and methodological discussions on agency. The paper presents empirical analyses of data collected in similar experiments carried out after Vygotsky’s descriptions. A subject escorted to a room is told that the experiment will start soon, but the experimenter does not return. Vygotsky’s accounts of these experiments primarily emphasize the seemingly unabiguous action of closure that participants undertake by “leaving” this situation. Complementing and expanding Vygotsky’s original accounts, the analysis presented here illustrates how the seemingly passive action of “staying” can also manifest strong agency. The analysis digs into the ambiguity of this action of staying and shows how participants engage in double stimulation by building on material and social resources and bringing in contents from their lives which transform the experiment into something else. This way participants who stayed, far from manifesting passivity and lack of agency, deliberately “took over” the situation beyond the participation in the experiment in which they remained only peripherally involved. While little attention has been paid to the waiting experiment described by Vygotsky, this analysis indicates its great heuristic potential for developing alternative types of experiments and studies of human action and agency. The waiting experiment points at the significance of exploring what human action and agency look like when researchers distance themselves from the dominant methodological demands of control and predictability. In a way the waiting experiment is an “experiment out of control.” It implies an epistemological posture according to which “control” is conceived primarily to be in the hands of the experimental participants themselves, to allow learning from and with research participants.

The concept of drama in Vygotsky’s theory.

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06 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract: Despite the growing popularity of Vygotsky’s theory, many of its aspects remain insufficiently considered. Understanding Vygotsky’s ideas is to a large extent complicated by the difficulty of the language he uses, which is deeply rooted in the culture of the Russian “Silver Century” and is rather challenging even for a native-speaker. Strange as it might seem, this is true about the notion of drama – which could be perceived as one of the key-concepts of the Cultural Historical Theory. The aim of this talk will be to link the concept of drama to Vygotsky’s theatrical background and to analyze how it is used in the context of his ideas about the development of higher psychological functions. In particular, the concept of drama gives a new perspective to interpreting the Vygotskian idea of the social situation of development. This perspective will be illustrated by a few examples of research with adolescents. About the speaker: Olga Rubtsova graduated from Moscow State Linguistic University where she studied general linguistics and languages. She completed her PhD in Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, conducting research on adolescent crisis and role conflicts of modern teenagers. She is currently Associate Professor of the Department of Educational Psychology and Head of the Centre for Foreign Languages “Psy-Lingua” in Moscow State University of Psychology and Education. Her research interests concern adolescent crisis, formation of role-identity in adolescence and role play games in development and education of adolescents.

OSAT Reading Group

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11 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Reading: Wells, G (2011) Integrating CHAT and action research Mind, Culture, and Activity Volume 18, Issue 2, 2011 Special Issue: Cultural-Historical Activity Theory and Action Research, pp 161-180

OSAT Reading Group

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11 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Reading: Wells, G (2011) Integrating CHAT and action research Mind, Culture, and Activity Volume 18, Issue 2, 2011 Special Issue: Cultural-Historical Activity Theory and Action Research, pp 161-180

Education, language and the social brain (Public Seminar)

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23 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels (OSAT) Abstract: In recent years, researchers in evolutionary psychology and anthropology have proposed that we have evolved with “social brains” that enable us to manage complex social relationships. Research in neuroscience also encourages the view that humans have a distinctively social form of intelligence. I suggest that the concept of the social brain is potentially useful for understanding the dynamic, iterative relationship between individual thinking and social activity, and the role of language in mediating that relationship. This gives the concept educational relevance. However, I argue that its current conceptualization is too individualistic; it needs to be redefined to take account of the distinctive human capacity for thinking collectively. Vygotskian sociocultural theory and empirical research derived from it offer a useful basis for this reconceptualization, enabling a better understanding of the relationship between “intermental” activity and “intramental’ and hence the processes of teaching and learning. Finally, I consider the implications of this reconceptualization of the social brain for educational theory, research and practice. About the speaker: Neil Mercer is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, where he is also Chair of the Psychology and Education Group and Vice-President of the college Hughes Hall. Previously, he was Professor of Language and Communications at the Open University. He is a psychologist with particular interests in the development of children’s language and reasoning, classroom talk, and the application of digital technology in schools. His research with colleagues generated the Thinking Together practical approach to classroom pedagogy, and he has worked extensively with teachers, researchers and educational policy makers on improving talk for learning in schools. His most recent books are Exploring Talk in School (with Steve Hodgkinson) and Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking and Interthinking: putting talk to work (both with Karen Littleton).

OSAT Reading Group

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18 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Reading: Neil Mercer (2013) The social brain, language, and goal-directed collective thinking: a social conception of cognition and its implications for understanding how we think, teach, and learn Educational Psychologist, 48:3, 148-168.

Examining three interdependent transitional processes as mediating child language brokering in schools.

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04 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract After migrating to a new country children often learn the local country language faster than their parents. Consequently, increasing numbers of children and young people contribute to family life by interpreting and translating for family members and peers/friends. They may do more than literal word-for-word translation by also acting as cultural and linguistic mediators between their families and professionals, like teachers, and as such, can be termed child language brokers (CLBs). This presentation will report on a study supported by the Nuffield Foundation that collected data from teachers, and young adults who acted as language brokers in school as children (Ex-CLBs), to examine their perspectives and develop evidence-based guidance on this activity. As well as providing an overview of some of the key findings, this presentation will look at the theoretical concept of transition as three interdependent mediational processes (Zittoun, 2008). The three processes will be (i) identity processes, (ii) knowledge acquisition and (iii) sense-making. This will lead to an exploration of CLB’s positioning of their brokering practice in relation to teachers, the school context, parents and peers. About the speakers Dr. Sarah Crafter is a Senior Research Officer in the Thomas Coram Research Unit at UCL Institute of Education, University of London. Her broad areas of interest are around children and young people’s identity development and constructions of childhood in culturally diverse settings. Her work is underpinned by sociocultural theorising. As well as studying in the area of child language brokering, her research has encompassed children’s work, young caring, home-school mathematics and constructions of children’s mental health spaces. ​

Design matters? The effects of new schools on students', teachers' and parents' actions and perceptions

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28 January 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, (OSAT)

The death of human capital: why there are no exceptions (Public Seminar)

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26 January 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels (OSAT) Abstract: Human capital theory has dominated the understanding of the relationship of education to work. It has retained plausibility until now due to the social context in which it was articulated. But that context has now changed, radically. It is now exposed as a fundamentally flawed account of the education-economy relationship, theoretically and empirically. This seminar will explain why that is the case and how we move forward with a new account. About the speaker: Hugh Lauder is Professor of Education and Political Economy at the University of Bath and Acting Director, The Institute for Policy Research.  Hugh studied at the University of London, (The Institute of Education) and gained his Doctorate at the University of Canterbury (NZ). He was formerly Dean of Education at Victoria University of Wellington. He specialises in the relationship of education to the economy and for over 10 years has worked on comparative studies of national skill strategies. More recently he has worked on the global skill strategies of multinational companies with Phillip Brown. He is Editor of the Journal of Education and Work.

OSAT Reading Group

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21 January 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Reading Shotter, G. (1993) The Social Negotiation of Semiotic Meaning. New Ideas in Psychology, 11:10: 61-75.

Knowledge, learning, pedagogy and practice: using Activity Theory to explore partnership in parenting services

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02 December 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract This seminar is based on findings from a year-long ethnographic study of a residential parenting service in Sydney. Up to ten families stay at Karitane every week, for help in addressing challenges relating to parenting children from birth to 4 years of age. The service has adopted the Family Partnership Model (FPM), an approach that emphasises joint expertise, mutual respect, negotiation and power sharing between professionals and parents. Rather than solving problems for families, partnership promotes strengths-based approaches to build confidence and resilience in families, who are often from complex disadvantaged backgrounds. My analysis frames partnership in terms of workplace learning and parenting pedagogies: staff learn about and with families, and positive change in families is realised through pedagogic processes. Drawing on activity theory, I will explore: (1) the ZPD in relation to pitching the level of challenge and appropriate immediate and longer-term goals in working with families; (2) ‘nano-pedagogies’, in-the-moment interactions that draw on professional expertise, remain faithful to partnership, and which contribute to lasting positive change (3) relational agency, particularly as traced through handovers between staff, highlighting the collaboration underpinning emergent understandings of how best to support and challenge parents during their stay, and what will work for them when they return home. In doing so I bring Activity Theory into connection with (other) practice theories that highlight knowing as an emergent, material and embodied accomplishment, and learning as establishing, maintaining, repairing and restoring connectedness in action. Through this I trace how professionals work with knowledge that is incomplete, contingent, and uncertain. About the Speaker Nick Hopwood is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. He completed his postgraduate research at Oxford’s Department of Education, focusing on geography and environmental education in secondary schools. He then worked on the Next Generation of Social Scientists research programme, drawing on Activity Theory to understand doctoral education with a particular emphasis on workplace learning relationships and embodiment. Since joining UTS he has been focused on partnerships between professionals and parents (see abstract above), and on simulation pedagogies in university settings.

Sign action: towards an ontological affinity of Peirce and Vygotsky on semiotic mediation

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26 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Abstract Semiotic mediation has long been a central focus of sociocultural psychology and allied approaches under the cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) paradigm. It has also been studied in sociolinguistics within the tradition of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) (Halliday, 1978). In these two domains, the mediational, transformative functions of signs are highlighted. Although scholarship has alluded to the methodological implications of Peircean semiotics for CHAT (Edwards, 2007; Holland & Lachicotte Jr., 2007; Prawat, 1999; Valsiner & van der Veer, 2000), there has been scant attention to the cyclical, generative properties of signs identified by Peirce. The ever-changing and evolving landscape of human interactions with the world necessitates a more nuanced understanding of communicative and representational acts. This provides a rationale for sociolinguists and sociocultural theorists to forge ahead with the notion of multimodality by exploring new vistas for the centrality of semiotic mediation in sociolinguistic and sociocultural studies beyond linguistic imperialism. This seminar is based on recent research into the co-articulation of Peirce and Vygotsky on signs (Ma, 2014). It sets out with an overview of conceptual plurality and variance within sociolinguistic and sociocultural perspectives on semiotic mediation. These perspectives advocate for a paradigmatic shift in emphasis from the SFL tradition to the multimodal framework for communication and representation. Arguably, they will continue to complement and interact, configuring a new synthesis through dialectical relationships. Premised on this, the Peirce-Vygotsky synergy is introduced as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation. Following a discussion of its theoretical basis, the logical fusion of deduction and abduction is explained as authorising this synergy. Through the interplay of words and images exhibited in mother-child shared reading of storybooks, the seminar exemplifies how this synergy can afford a nuanced semiotic account of meaning making, interspersed with insights from the notion of “intersemiotic complementarity” (Royce, 2007). Exploratory as it is, this seminar seeks to inform current debates on the methodological relevance of Peircean semiotics for CHAT by bringing the confluence of Peirce and Vygotsky to bear on the study of communication and representation. References Edwards, A. (2007). An interesting resemblance: Vygotsky, Mead, and American pragmatism. In H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 77-100). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London, UK: Arnold. Holland, D. & Lachicotte Jr., W. (2007). Vygotsky, Mead, and the new sociocultural studies of identity. In H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 102-135). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Ma, J. (2014). The synergy of Peirce and Vygotsky as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation. Mind, Culture, and Activity. Prawat, R. S. (1999). Social constructivism and the process‐content distinction as viewed by Vygotsky and the pragmatists. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 6(4), 255-273. Royce, T. D. (2007). Intersemiotic complementarity: A framework for multimodal discourse analysis. In T. D. Royce & W. L. Bowcher (Eds.), New directions in the analysis of multimodal discourse (pp. 63-109). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Valsiner, J. & van der Veer, R. (2000). The social mind: Construction of the idea. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. About the Speaker James Ma is a linguist. He received a PhD from the University of Bristol and subsequent postdoctoral training from the University of Oxford. His academic interests are in cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), post-structuralism, semiotics, critical discourse analysis (CDA), and a priori research methodology.

OSAT Reading Group

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19 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT) Reading: Arja Haapasaari, Yrjö Engeström & Hannele Kerosuo (2014): The emergence of learners’ transformative agency in a Change Laboratory intervention, Journal of Education and Work. Published online April 1st 2014.

An introduction to Vygotsky Part 2: the headlines

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05 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Farewell to Anne Edwards: Contributions to Theory and Research

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30 October 2014 16:00 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

An Introduction to Vygotsky

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15 October 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Embodiment and materiality of remembering and reconciliation

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10 June 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT In this talk, I shall focus on commemorative practices and put forward one of the arguments represented in discursive psychological approach to social remembering (Murakami, 2012, Middleton and Edwards, 1990). Instead of considering remembering as representation of pasts, we consider an approach to remembering as future-oriented, forward-looking action. This argument is well demonstrated when we look into ecological and material aspects of commemoration and associated embodied action with which those people who take part in commemorative ritual practices (Connerton, 1989, Middleton and Brown, 2005). Commemoration is a social practice, in which a joint exploration of possible futures is empirically examinable. In particular, personal commemorative artefacts as well as public monuments do not just represent pasts in question, but work as what we may call ‘ecological collateral’ in which those who are engaged in commemoration are jointly creating and holding a possibility of being otherwise and exploring possible futures. Remembering as action can be studied with a closer attention to the way the unspeakable/untellable experience is reconstructed and rearranged through talk, coupled with embodied action as a collective experience such as rituals in the given environment that the experience is folded in the duration of time. The overall argument is that remembering is geared toward making future together with social others. This is at odds with a popular view of embodied memory in which the body as seen as a container, or carrier of memory as well as memory objects such as souvenirs, photographs and monuments are seen as the container of memory. I shall demonstrate the argument in my previous work on Second World War veterans’ reunions (Murakami, 2014 in press) and a study on British family reminiscence (Murakami and Jacobs, under review).  Lastly, I would like to consider implications of this argument to educational research, in particular in learning and teaching practices such as family history. References CONNERTON, P. 1989. How Societies Remember, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. MIDDLETON, D. & BROWN, S. D. 2005. The social psychology of experience: Studies in remembering and forgetting, London, Sage. MIDDLETON, D. J. & EDWARDS, D. (eds.) 1990. Collective remembering, London: Sage. MURAKAMI, K. 2012. Discursive Psychology of remembering and reconciliation, Hauppauge, NY, USA Nova Science Publishers. MURAKAMI, K. 2014 in press. Commemoration Reconsidered: Second World War Veterans’ Reunion as Pilgrimage. Memory Studies. MURAKAMI, K. & JACOBS, R. under review. Connecting dots: Family reminiscence In: SÄLJÖ, R., LINELL, P. & MÄKITALO, Å. (eds.) Memory practices and learning: experiential, institutional and sociocultural perspectives. Gothenburg, Sweden: University of Gothenburg.

OSAT Student Conference

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05 June 2014 14:00 - 16:00
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Research presentations from the DPhil students: Jessica Chan, Tatiana Rodriguez Leal, and Desmond Tan. Tatiana Rodriguez Leal Pedagogies at Work: Senior Managers’ pedagogical strategies during times of organisational change. These ideas are the result of a case study of senior managers at the Royal Mail. Using empirical evidence from two senior managers at one Mail Centre, I will argue that as the organisation changes, senior managers use pedagogical tools to assist members of the organisation in meeting new expectations and adapting to new forms of their practice. These efforts are part of how senior managers work around the alignment and misalignment of values that is likely to occur as an organisation redefines itself. I adopt a sociocultural understanding of learners and understand learning as a process of becoming and, therefore, as identity work. Desmond Tan How do student teachers use AfL as a tool in their teaching? This presentation presents initial findings from a study which examined how four PGCE secondary geography student teachers learnt to implement Assessment for Learning (AfL) in their teaching. I will illustrate how and in what ways two student teachers used and conceptualised AfL as a tool in their teaching. Jessica Chan What kind of teacher is being formed? I am going to discuss the social situation of development which shapes teachers as they are in the practices of teaching. By saying that, demand as recognised is the key. The demand, which potentially creates a dialectic between individual and practice, is also mediated by the teacher’s professional identity. It is argued that teachers reacting to demands promotes professional development as they have to constantly negotiate with demands and appropriate their actions in teaching.     

Reading comprehension strategies: a mixed methods project of teachers' instruction and students' proficiency across subjects in upper secondary school

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28 May 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

Edusemiotics: semiotics as philosophy for education

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07 May 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Abstract Understood philosophically (usually as a distinctive version of pragmatism), semiotics has the potential to problematise education at a fundamental level. 2014 is proving a watershed year for the development of semiotics as philosophy for education, with the publication of Andrew Stables' and Inna Semetsky's co-authored Edusemiotics (Routledge) and the launching of edusemiotics as a theoretical discipline (alongside cultural semiotics and biosemiotics) at the IASS (International Association of Semiotic and Structural Studies) World Congress. Semetsky and Stables have also been invited to edit a special edition of Semiotica, and Stables has edited a series of papers to appear in Journal of Philosophy of Education. In this seminar, the rudiments of the edusemiotic position will be explained, and some of its implications for learning theory, teaching, management and policy explored. Andrew Stables is Professor of Education and Philosophy, and Head of Research, School of Education, University of Roehampton and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Education, University of Oxford.

Implementing the cultural-historical approach in the public system of early years education of a medium-sized city in Brazil: challenges, dilemmas and collective achievements

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09 April 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Abstract In 2011 a partnership was initiated between the Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) and the Secretary of Education of the Municipality of Bauru, a medium-sized city located in the countryside of the State of São Paulo (Brazil). The aim of the cooperation, designed as an extension project, was to elaborate and implement a new curriculum and pedagogical plan for early years education schools, within the framework of cultural-historical psychology and critical-historical pedagogy. Considering this goal and the perspective of its realization as a collaborative process, involving principals and teachers not only in the implementation phase but in the process of elaboration of the plan, the project has been structured on four simultaneous units of action: a) executive meetings, which involve a group of professionals responsible for planning, organizing and evaluating the actions; b) meetings with principals, which involve regular gatherings with the principals of all 63 schools which integrate the system, with the purpose of conducting theoretical studies and collective discussions regarding the formulation and implementation of the new curriculum; c) curriculum development, carried out by small groups in charge of organizing and formulating objectives, contents and methodological principles within six areas of knowledge (mother language, mathematics, science, arts, music and body movement culture), constituted by principals and teachers from different schools who volunteered for the task; d) teacher in-service training, through courses and reading groups focused on the theoretical background of cultural-historical psychology. In this presentation, we will discuss the main challenges, tensions, dilemmas and collective achievements along the process so far, considering the perspective of building a collaborative and formative process for all the people involved.  

English teachers in a post-war democracy

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05 March 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards & Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Overview This study investigates how social and cultural developments in the twenty years after the Second World War played out in the teaching of English in London schools.  We are seeking to establish what went on in English classrooms in relation to broad social and cultural change. In the post-war era a revitalisation of the subject occurred, initiated by teachers acting without official support in a few schools.  To date, no studies of English have examined specific changes in post-war school curricula as one facet of developments in society more generally. Methods The project is based on case studies of English departments of three London secondary schools. These include two grammar schools and one experimental comprehensive. We chose these departments because they influenced the way English developed, not only in the UK, but in the Commonwealth, the USA and beyond. Each case study involves oral history interviews with surviving teachers and pupils together with the study of official and unofficial school and departmental documents, such as lesson plans, mark books and pupil work. Through the interviews we are constructing life histories of key English teachers as well as probing former pupils' reflections of what their English lessons did for them. In addition we are using publications by teachers, press reports and archival materials, including records of such associations as the London Association for the Teaching of English (LATE).

OSAT Reading Group

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26 February 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Reading Vann, K. and Bowker, G. (2001) Instrumentalizing the truth of practice' Social Epistemology Vol. 15, No. 3, 247-262.

CHAT based formative interventions in mathematics classrooms

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12 February 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Abstract Drawing on studies at Grades 4-6 and 7-9 schools in Sweden I shall present an overview of three aspects in my seminar. First, the manner of educational research I am able to conduct. Second, examples of classroom interventions in mathematics. Third, collaboration with teachers in conducting interventions. In doing so I shall highlight CHAT constructs or units of analysis I find useful for educational practice, theory as well as research.

School Pedagogic Practices and Effectiveness of the Universal School-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program FRIENDS

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28 January 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room H

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) This session will draw on randomised controlled cluster study evaluating effectiveness of a classroom-based CBT prevention program FRIENDS on anxiety symptoms in children The Participants – 40 primary schools from three counties (N=1362, 9-10 year old), randomized into 3 trail arms - Health-led FRIENDS (14 schools, N=509) - School Led FRIENDS (14 schools, N=472) - Control (12 schools, N=401) The trial arms are balanced at baseline for school size, number of children, number of mixed classes, educational attainment and timetabling. This session examines the way in which the culture of the schools  (Balanced priority for academic and well being outcomes, priority for academic outcomes, priority for well being outcomes) mediate the intervention

Vygotsky, Hegel and Education

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22 January 2014 16:00 - 18:00
Seminar Room C

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Reading: Deery, J (2013) "Vygotsky, Hegel and Education" in Vygotsky: Philosophy and Education, Wiley Blackwell. Chap 7 126-148. A scanned copy of this reading is available on Weblearn for logged on users.

A sociocultural imagination: speculations on an alternative perspective on research (Public Seminar)

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02 December 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Ernesto Macaro, Director, Department of Education Abstract It has often been claimed that the notion of mediation lies at the heart of Vygotsky's contribution to social science. However developments of his account of the social formation of mind have tended to have been empirically constrained by limitations in attempts to capture aspects of the 'social' which lie beyond the interactional. In this session I will draw on a number of studies which provide glimpses of the need to nuance further the notion of mediation as part of the response to these limitations. I will argue that there is much to be gained from arguments that have developed in Philosophy and Sociology as attempts are made to enhance the power of a sociocultural imagination in educational research.

Vygotsky, Philosophy and Education

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27 November 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Anne Edwards, Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Jan Derry will speak about her new book of the same title. Further info....

OSAT Reading Group

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13 November 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Anne Edwards, Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT The reading for this meeting is: Sawyer, R.K. (2002) Unresolved Tensions in Sociocultural Theory: Analogies with Contemporary Sociological Debates Culture & Psychology Vol. 8(3): 283–305.

Putting Vygotsky to Work: Vygotsky and Luria

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06 November 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Convened by Professor Anne Edwards, Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

An Introduction to Vygotsky

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30 October 2013 16:30 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Anne Edwards, Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

"The Stuart Hall Project"

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24 October 2013 18:15 - 20:00
The Ultimate Picture Palace, Jeune Street, Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1BN

Stuart Hall was one of, if not THE, leading light of the contemporary cultural studies movement and was heavily involved in the Centre for Contemporary Culture Studies at the University of Birmingham which was controversially closed in 2002. for further information and to watch a preview go to the British Film Institute website This is the Oxford premiere of the film showing at the Ultimate Picture Palace If you are interested in going with a group from the Department contact Phil Richards, or just meet at the cinema.

OSAT Reading Group

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23 October 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Anne Edwards, Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT The reading for this meeting is: Mäkitalo, A. (2003)  Accounting Practices as Situated Knowing: Dilemmas and Dynamics in Institutional Categorization. Discourse Studies  Vol 5(4): 495–516.

Doing practical work: rationality and heuristics in teaching (Public Seminar)

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21 October 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Abstract A basic tension exists in education between ideas and reform proposals, on the one hand, and practical work in classrooms, on the other.  Teacher educators are often disappointed that their graduates do not use what they have been taught in their preparation programs. Similarly, designers of new curricula or reform teaching approaches are disheartened that teachers often ignore these innovations or translate them into the familiar patterns of normal practice.  Conventional attempts to resolve this tension focus on modifying teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and skills with respect to the recommended practices.  Recent analyses of the nature of practical work suggest that greater focus needs to be placed on understanding the goal systems and tools embedded in the work teachers actually do.  This presentation will review some recent work on practical rationality and heuristics that is focused on bridging ideas and practice in teaching.

OSAT Reading Group

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16 October 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Anne Edwards, Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT The reading for this meeting is: Hjorne, E. &  Saljo, R.  (2004) "There Is Something About Julia": Symptoms, Categories, and the process of Invoking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the Swedish School: A Case Study.  Journal of Language, Identity & Education Vol. 3 (1) 1-24.

OSAT Student conference

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05 June 2013 16:30 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Tatiana Rodriguez Leal How senior managers learn during a process of organisational change. Respondent: Professor Harry Daniels The purpose of my study is to explore how senior managers learn during a process of organisational change. My aim is to build further understanding of how senior managers negotiate their own purposes and values with those of the organisational change narrative and what kind of learning, if any, takes place in this process. I am also exploring what are the strategies that managers use to engage their teams with the organisational change narrative, and if these include any pedagogical activity. My initial intention was to build a collection of case studies based on the trajectories of six to eight managers from an organisation as it goes through major change. Data are being collected through interviews, observations and an open-ended questionnaire. As I do my fieldwork I am facing two interesting challenges. First, my initial findings are pointing to an organisational challenge that all my participants are dealing with and which seems to be a major issue in the organisation. That is the gap between the kind of managers the organisation wants to have,  who the managers actually are, and the tools the organisation it offering to foster their development. This is making me consider whether I should base my research in this common issue rather than in individual trajectories as I first intended. Second, my participants have been very collaborative with my research and have trusted me greatly. If I write a case study based on their trajectory I feel impeded to say anything that will make them look bad. How do I deal with this ethical conundrum? Desmond Tan “I need an Assessment for Learning (AfL) booklet!”: Student teachers employing AfL during their teaching. Respondent: Dr Ian Thompson The Assessment for Learning (AfL) literature have suggested several strategies (tools) for teachers to employ in the classroom to help pupils to learn. These often include peer assessment, self assessment, open questioning, formative feedback, sharing lesson objectives and sharing assessment criteria. However, much of the literature have focused on how teachers have used such tools rather than student teachers. This presentation presents some initial observations on how student teachers use AfL as a tool and the complexities in employing AfL in their teaching. Marika Schaupp Core competence as a germ cell? Analyzing the forms of generalizing in managerial discussions for developing organizational capability Respondent: Professor Anne Edwards I am presently working on an article in which I analyze top management's discourse concerning a strategy for building organizational capability in a large Finnish road building company. The managers operationalized the goal of managing capabilities by an attempt to define organizational core competences. It seems that the management in particular lacks the tools to deal with the various facets of a capability as a socio-material product of collective learning and development. The conceptualizations still dominating decision-making are based on a hierarchical idea of organization and treat organizational capability as a mere aggregation of individual competences. My preliminary hypothesis is derived from Davydov's (1990) idea that the higher the level of generalization incorporated in the conceptualization for interpreting the problem, the more complex challenges it can tackle. Thus, I hypothesize that there is an increasing need, in Davydov's terms, for theoretical-genetic conceptualizations of organizational capability and its development in order to manage the collective side of learning in rapidly changing activities in organizations. In the student seminar I will present the path how I came to my present idea of the article and its structure.

OSAT Reading Group meeting

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30 May 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Readings

Towards an anthropology of learning

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21 May 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT The interpretation of cultures begins with learning in practiced physical places and social spaces. Theories of learning have often been compartmentalized in particular disciplines such as psychology, education and neurobiology. In other disciplines ‘learning’ remain a black box often referred to but not perceived as an object of study in itself. This is, with a few exceptions, the case in anthropology. Many anthropologists refer to their ‘learning experiences’ in the field and even use the phrase to legitimate the data presented ethnographies. There is a lot to be gained in providing anthropology with means to open the black box of learning in the field. The present talk explores the grounds for a possible common language intersecting anthropology and ethnographic fieldwork with insights from CHAT (Cultural-Historical Activity Theory). The joint theoretical object-motive of understanding human beings as active agents drawing on material and cultural resources may serve as a starting point for taking a closer CHAT-inspired look at how ethnographers learn in the field. I shall advance this proposition with a reference to an empirical study of science fiction as a cultural resource in Danish physics education.

The Change Laboratory: a means to overcome the crisis of collective learning

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15 May 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT

Performing the work of institutions: performance management as tool in institutionalised organisations

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08 May 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Abstract Performance management has become a controversial and pervasive suite of tools for diffusing legitimated and institutionalized ways of knowing in everyday organisational routines in schools throughout the world. The performance management of senior school leaders, in particular, offers insight into the microprocesses of attempts to re-orient the everyday work of organising towards institutionalised ends. Current emphases in new institutional theory on organisational routines captures important aspects of organisation as a filter in the diffusion of legitimate practices. However a focus on organisational routines alone misses the connections that  cultural historical and cultural practice theories make among the tools of organising, institutionalised categories of knowledge, and the mediating role of organisations.  I will draw on the work of Douglas, Bernstein, Daniels and Säljö to talk about conceptualising performance management as an organising tool that aspires to realise the epistemic work of institutions. An ongoing study of performance management of headteachers in England that I am carrying out with colleagues will serve to illustrate this developing framework. About the speaker Dr David Eddy-Spicer is Senior Lecturer of Educational Leadership, Institute of Education, London Centre for Leadership in Learning. He teaches and supervises in the areas of school improvement and educational leadership and management. Current research explores the dynamics of innovation in education, with particular attention to authority and leadership, professional identity, and organisational change. Recent research probes the interrelationships of governance structures, professionalisation and professional authority in schools. These studies trace the influence of policy and governance structures on particular alignments of person, collective, and institution in the everyday interactions that constitute professional work in schools. The theoretical perspectives he brings to that work are informed by sociological notions of everyday knowledge, social semiotic theories of language and communication, and cultural historical theories of practice and activity.

OSAT Reading Group meeting

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02 May 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Professor Harry Daniels, Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Ian Thompson, OSAT Hutchins, E. (1993) 'Learning to navigate' in Chaiklin, S & Lave, J. (eds) Understanding practice: perspectives on activity and context, Cambridge University Press, 35-63. The reading is available on WebLearn for those members within the University of Oxford who have login access. Please contact Ian Thompson, if you would like to be added to the site

A sociocultural perspective on the pedagogic implications of school design: early day reflections on an AHRC funded project

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05 March 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Abstract During the 2000s, the UK government invested heavily in the Building Schools for the Future and Academy programmes, commissioning a number of architect-designed new schools at relatively high cost. Since 2010 the policy rhetoric has shifted to the need for more standardised designs at much lower cost. Our question is -- Does design matter? Our research will take place in five state funded secondary schools built since 2007 under the Building Schools for the Future and Academy programmes. They represent different designs by Feilden Clegg Bradley, who are acknowledged as one of the leading firms in the field of school design. We will follow children from their feeder primary schools (some of which are also new-build) to the newly designed secondaries, alongside children from those primary schools who move to older secondary schools as a control. Thus we will be able to follow children from new primary to new secondary, old primary to new secondary, new primary to old secondary, and old primary to old secondary, though the majority will be studied in the newly built schools. The sample will comprise about 300 children in total. The project is supported by RIBA and BCSE. It will run for 36 months, in five phases. Its progress will be informed by a steering group involving professional architects and those involved in school building policy as well as the project team. In this seminar we will share early day findings and methodological and theoretical concerns.

Pedagogy and the development of abstract concepts: the case of school mathematics

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27 February 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Abstract Mathematical concepts are abstract structures that encapsulate relations, properties and behaviours of quantitative, spatial and axiomatically-generated objects. At school level some of these can be understood through their real-world manifestations, so conceptualisation can involve inductive generalisation and creative processes, but many others - for example negative numbers - are not obvious and inductive reasoning from experience often leads to error.  There have been many attempts to generalise the process of concept formation in mathematics in ways that are pedagogically helpful. In this seminar I shall present some of these and we shall discuss whether a focus on activity is a satisfactory and useful approach.

Concept formation

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21 February 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Readings

  • Yrjö Engeström, Jaana Nummijoki & Annalisa Sannino (2012) ‘Embodied Germ Cell at Work: Building an Expansive Concept of Physical Mobility in Home Care’, Mind, Culture, and Activity, 19:3, 287-309
  • James G. Greeno & Carla van de Sande (2007) ‘Perspectival Understanding of Conceptions and Conceptual Growth in Interaction’, Educational Psychologist 42:1, 9-23

Concept formation

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23 January 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis, Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) Readings

  • Lev Vygotsky (1986) Chapter 5: An Experimental Study of the Development of Concepts, Thought and Language, translation newly-revised and edited by Alex Kozulin, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press A copy of this chapter will be available to download (for members of the university) from the OSAT Weblearn site shortly. An earlier translation is already available freely at http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/words/ch05.htm
  • Sylvia Scribner (1985) ‘Knowledge at work’, Anthropology and Education Quarterly 16, 3: 199 – 231.

OSAT Reading Group: Teacher Learning

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28 November 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis The readings for this meeting have been chosen by doctoral students in the centre, continuing this term’s theme of ‘Teacher Learning’: Hoffman-Kipp, P., Artiles, A.J. & López-Torres,L. (2003) Beyond Reflection: Teacher Learning as Praxis, Theory Into Practice 42,3: 248-254 Johnson, K.E. & Golombek, P.R. (2003) ‘Seeing’ Teacher Learning
, TESOL Quarterly 37, 4 (Winter): 729-737 The above journal articles can be downloaded through university single-sign-on accounts. The following additional reading is available for download from Weblearn for OSAT members in the University of Oxford. Click on the title and log in. Wardekker, W. (2010) Afterword: CHAT and Good Teacher Education, in Ellis, V., Edwards, A. & Smagorinsky, P. eds. Cultural-Historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development: Learning Teaching, London: Routledge

School customer? The personalisation of education (Public Seminar)

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19 November 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Anne Edwards OSAT Since the 1980s, schools in England have been subjected to three kinds of accountability: to market accountability; to bureaucratic accountability; and, much less so, to professional accountability. For the most part, bureaucratic controls – such as the national curriculum, national testing, league tables and Ofsted – have all served the so-called marketisation of schooling. That is to say, 'consumers' (here defined as parents) were said to require objective and reliable information on which to base a rational choice of school for their child. National test-data and school-ratings constituted that information. The ensuing competition to attract pupils schools would arguably 'drive up' standards. In all of this the parent, not the pupil, was defined as the consumer. More recently, the logic of school-choice has been given further expression in charter schools (United States), in free schools (Sweden and England), and in academies (England). In 2004, the marketisation of schooling was given an added dimension. David Miliband, the then Schools Minister in England, delivered a speech entitled 'Personalised learning: building a new relationship with schools'. This seemed to resonate with the child-centred education of the 1960s and '70s, but official denials quickly followed. Instead, personalisation was declared to be more akin to customisation, or 'tailoring'; and its intellectual roots were said to be in marketing theory, not in developmental psychology or in Romanticism. Whereas school-choice legislation positioned the parent as the consumer or user, the policy of personalised learning purports to enable the pupil to be the so-called co-producer (with the appropriate professional) of his or her own learning. This implies that what is to be learned, how it is to be learned, when and where it is to be learnt shall all be the consequence of a 'co-production' between the pupil and the professionals. But from the outset, the meaning of personalised learning has eluded precision, and various 'weak' and 'strong' types have emerged. Its curricular and pedagogical consequences are unclear. What is clear is that personalised learning has a particular appeal to those who seek to apply information technology in education. Indeed, some would say that ICT is necessary for personalised learning to occur, citing the examples of the School of One in New York and the Kunskapsskolan in Sweden.

Experience as a contextual basis to connect professional concerns and conditions of practice. A case study of teachers implementing a curricular reform in Italy

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06 November 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

This is an OSAT Research Seminar on the topic of Teacher Learning convened by Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis. Teachers’ learning from experience is conceptualised as a process of joint construction of a system of common knowledge that is developed to interpret the nature of their emerging concerns and to introduce changes in some conditions of their practice. The development of teachers’ agency emerges from the complex interplay between the institutional context of professional practice and the construction of a system of common knowledge from experience. A case study of a group of primary teachers is presented, in order to highlight the tensions emerging between the requirements of a curricular reform and their experience, as well as their strategies to introduce changes in their activity. Dr Sorzio will introduce his paper which is available for OSAT members within the university to read in advance on the centre's Weblearn page. Unfortunately, the paper is not available outside of the university. Those who plan to attend the seminar are encouraged to read the paper in advance as Dr Sorzio is keen to receive feedback and provoke discussion. If you are a recently arrived member of the university and not able to access the reading, please contact Dr Viv Ellis

Creating expansive learning opportunities in schools: the role of school leaders in initial teacher education partnerships

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31 October 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

This is an OSAT Research Seminar convened by Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis. This presentation analyses the learning opportunities afforded student teachers when participating in a PGCE primary school placement.  Cultural historical activity theory is used as a theoretical framework.  The study integrates developmental work research with the aim of ensuring that critical enquiry is kept at the forefront of the activity.

Is there a role for grammar in a modern English curriculum? (Public Seminar)

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22 October 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Ian Thompson OSAT In the light of current government plans to revise the English curriculum, this seminar will consider the possible place of grammar in an English or literacy curriculum. It will take an international perspective, briefly reviewing the way in which grammar has been a long-contested issue in the English curriculum in Anglophone countries. It will then present some arguments for a constructive role for grammar within language teaching, and finally, will offer insights from research conducted at the University of Exeter which has demonstrated a beneficial impact on writing attainment of an approach which roots attention to grammar within a socially constructed, meaning-making conceptualisation of language.

OSAT Reading Group: Teacher Learning

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18 October 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Two Classic Articles

  • Peter van Huizen, Bert van Oers & Theo Wubbels (2005) A Vygotskian Perspective on Teacher Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies 37,3: 267 – 290.
  • Deborah P. Britzman (1986) Cultural Myths in the Making of a Teacher: Biography and Social Structure in Teacher Education, Harvard Educational Review 56, 4: 442 – 457.

Education, well being and the emergent economies of Brazil, Russia and South Africa (Public Seminar)

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11 June 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Anne Edwards Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory (OSAT) Abstract In this seminar I will discuss the findings of a project that was designed to address a series of questions concerning the relationships between rapid economic growth, education and children’s well being and security in Brazil, Russia and South Africa. The relationships between these three variables are poorly understood. In order to address this issue a series of seminars were set up in San Paulo, Moscow and Cape Town, to which leading policy makers and academics were asked to discuss the project’s key questions which were: 1. What changes are envisaged in educational provision and its objects in both the rising powers and elsewhere in order to ensure economic sustainability of rapid growth? 2. What will be the likely educational consequences and responses to the social challenges of the urban-rural divide, social and economic inequality and access to education including Higher Education? 3. How will the lives of children be transformed and be made more or less secure as these changes are invoked? 4. What will be the challenges for Africa as a result of new development roles being taken by the Rising Powers with regard to education? 5. How are the relationships between economic growth, education and well being in general and more specifically security understood in each state? This study provided a window on how they were linked at a time when the three countries are considered three of the key rising powers. At stake was a question about the sustainability of their economic ‘miracles’: was economic growth founded on the education system and if not was it necessary to support the future economic development of these countries? Our tentative findings suggest that the links between education, children’s well being and economic development is tenuous in all three countries. Although, this is recognised and policies are being established to address this problem in Brazil and Russia,.

OSAT Student Conference

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30 May 2012 10:00 - 16:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Further details will be announced shortly

OSAT Reading Group

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23 May 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis The reading for this session is: Alexander, R. (2001) Chapter 17 from 'Culture and Pedagogy: International Comparisons in Primary Education'. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN: 978-0631220510

OSAT Reading Group meeting

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09 May 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis The reading for this meeting is: Bruner, J.(1997)'Culture, Mind and Education'. In The Culture of Education, pp.1-43, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

How Incarcerated Undergraduates Use Higher Education to Make Sense of Their Lives

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02 May 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Abstract This seminar reports on DPhil research that asks how students engage with the processes of higher education while incarcerated in a maximum-security prison in the United States. Data was generated and collected through six months of participant observation and two autobiographical writing workshops, conducted in order to discover what it means to be a college student in the larger context of the prison. The analysis explores how incarcerated undergraduates use the tools offered by membership in the figured world of the prison college to reconstruct their identities and reinterpret their past, present, and future experiences.

OSAT Research Student Symposium

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06 March 2012 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Discussant: Dr Ian Thompson Presentations will include: Bipana Bantawa The role of translation as practice in knowledge production in Galaxy Zoo: a citizen science initiative Helen Campbell Pickford Adapting to reality: data generation in a developing country Minyeong Song Beginning teacher’s identities and agency: a case study on newly qualified L2 English teachers in South Korea

The dilemmas of discourse revisited

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07 February 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room C

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Pre-reading for this seminar is available on WebLearn for members of OSAT in the University of Oxford: Wootton, A. (1975) Language and social class: vocabularies of motive in Dilemmas of Discourse: Controversies about the Sociological Interpretation of Language, London: George Allen and Unwin, Chap.5

OSAT Reading Group

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02 February 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Readings: Mercer, N. (2008) Talk and the development of reasoning and understanding Human Development 51, 1, 90-100. Mercer, N. (2008) The seeds of time: why classroom dialogue needs a temporal analysis Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17, 1, 33-59.

OSAT Reading Group

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24 January 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Anne Edwards and Dr Viv Ellis Analysing institutional discourse Readings Mäkitalo, Å. (2003). Accounting practices as situated knowing: dilemmas and dynamics in institutional categorization. Discourse Studies 5(4), 465-519. Mäkitalo, Å. , Säljö, R. (2002). Invisible people: institutional reasoning and reflexivity in the production of services and ‘social facts’ in public employment agencies. Mind, Culture, and Activity 9(3), 160-178.

Class, culture and school

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08 December 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room C

Pre-reading: Willis, P. (2003) ‘Foot Soldiers of Modernity: The Dialectics of Cultural Consumption and the 21st-Century School’. Harvard Educational Review 73(3): 390–415.

OSAT Reading Group

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24 November 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

The following reading is available from the Culture and Psychology journal site. Click on the title to access it: Hedegaard, M. (2005) Strategies for Dealing with Conflicts in Value Positions between Home and School: Influences on Ethnic Minority Students’ Development of Motives and Identity Culture and Psychology Vol. 11(2): 187–205 The following reading is available on WebLearn for eligible users who are students and staff members of the University of Oxford. Click on the title and log in for access. If you would like to be added to this site please contact Phil Richards at philip.richards@education.ox.ac.uk Hedegaard, M. and Chaiklin, S.(2005) 'An Introduction to Radical-Local Teaching and Learning' in Radical-local teaching and learning: a cultural-historical approach, Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, Chap.3 pp 33-50 Professor Hedegaard will be joining us for discussion of these readings.

OSAT Reading Group

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02 November 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

The following readings are available freely online. Click on the title to access each of them. Panofsky, C. (2003). ‘The relations of learning and student social class: toward re-“socializing” sociocultural learning theory’. In Kozulin, V., Gindis, B. Ageyev, V. & Miller, S.M. eds. Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Anyon, J. (1980) Social class and the hidden curriculum of work Journal of Education 162: 67 – 92.

Already at work in the world: Fictions of experience in the education of teachers (Public Seminar)

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24 October 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convened by Dr Viv Ellis, OSAT Part of the SES/OSAT Symposium 'What and how do teachers learn from experience?' Abstract We are always in and of the world that we teach. Our embeddedness is not negotiable. Because experience evolves in the meanings that we bring to what we live, it rests on our histories, as well as our immediate situations and futures. I ask how teachers can find purpose and community in the face of persistent ambiguity.

What and how do teachers learn from experience?

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23 October 2011 -
Rewley House, University of Oxford

A Research Symposium supported by the Society for Educational Studies and the Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT) For further information contact Viv Ellis

An introduction to Vygotsky - OSAT workshop

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19 October 2011 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room G

Open to all higher degree and PGCE students

OSAT Reading Group

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12 October 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room E

Readings are available on WebLearn to members of the OSAT group within the University of Oxford. Please contact Viv Ellis if you would like to become a member of OSAT Willis, P. (1977/1981). Learning to Labour: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs. Morningside Edition (with an Introduction by Stanley Aronowitz). New York: Columbia University Press. (Chapter 3 ‘Class and Institutional Form of Culture’). Willis, P. (1990). Common Culture. Symbolic work at play in the everyday cultures of the young. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. (Chapter 1 ‘Symbolic Creativity’). Other background reading (available online): Mills, D., & Gibb, R. (2001). ‘Centre and Periphery: An interview with Paul Willis’. Cultural Anthropology, 16(3): 388 – 414.

Vygotsky's views on art and emotion

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04 July 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

In this seminar, Prof Smagorinsky will explore Vygotsky's earliest scholarship, The Psychology of Art, which focuses primarily on literary reading, in particular Shakespeare's Hamlet; and work from later in his career when he wrote about the role of emotion in both theatrical drama and the drama of everyday life. The role of perezhivanie - or ‘meta-experience’ (i.e. how one experiences one's experiences in order to frame new experiences) - will be considered in speculating on both the teaching of literature in schools and the role of emotion in human development, especially in its fundamental relation to cognition. This seminar is presented in association with the Forum for English and Drama in Education and is part of the OSAT symposium ‘Vygotsky, Pedagogy, English, Drama’.

OSAT Research Symposium - Vygotsky, Pedagogy, English, Drama

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04 July 2011 -

In association with the Forum for English and Drama in Education. Confirmed participants so far include Myra Barrs, Tony Burgess, Carol Fox, Anton Franks, Line Wittek, John Hardcastle, Viv Ellis & Peter Smagorinsky Click here for further details.

OSAT Methods Seminar: Analysing activities in practices: a methodological session

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16 June 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Prabhat's research is attempting to reveal and analyse the distinctive elements of a successful pedagogy in a group of rural schools in Northern India. In this session we will discuss some of the analytic challenges of infering meaning from both observational and interview data by working with (i) extracts of classroom observations and (b) stimulated recall intervews with the teachers who were observed.

OSAT October SES Symposium Planning Meeting

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13 June 2011 14:00 - 16:00
Seminar Room G

This meeting is for OSAT colleagues interested in joining us in planning a small international research conference in late October this year. We are particularly interested in working with doctoral students who might gain useful experience of conference and seminar planning, abstract reviewing and organisation. Members of the planning and organisation team would also be able to participate in the conference free of charge. The conference/symposium is being supported by a small grant from the Society for Educational Studies and we are focusing on the question of 'learning from experience'.

OSAT Research Student's Seminar

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02 June 2011 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Viv Ellis Presentation by Hannah Grainger-Clemson The Social Drama of a Learning Experience: how is drama appropriated as a pedagogical tool in secondary classrooms? Discussant: Dr Ian Finlay

OSAT Reading Group

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19 May 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Dr Viv Ellis and Professor Anne Edwards OSAT The readings for this meeting are available for registered members on WebLearn. Click the titles to access them. Kris D. Gutiérrez, Patricia Baquedano-López, Héctor H. Alvarez, Chiu (1999) Building a Culture of Collaboration through Hybrid Language Practices Theory into Practice Vol. 38, No. 2, Building Community through Cooperative Learning (Spring, 1999) pp. 87-93 Gutiérrez, Kris D. , Baquedano-López, Patricia and Tejeda, Carlos(1999) 'Rethinking diversity: Hybridity and hybrid language practices in the third space', Mind, Culture, and Activity, 6: 4, 286 — 303

Teacher teams implementing assessment for learning

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17 May 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Dr Viv Ellis and Professor Anne Edwards OSAT in association with the Teaching and Teacher Education Research Group. Hege is a PhD student at the University of Oslo who is two years into her PhD on how teachers working together make sense of and implement AfL. Her focus is on the implementation by teachers of a new way of working. Hege will be in the Department for the whole of Trinity Term. If you would like to contact her she can be reached on h.y.hermansen@uv.uio.no

OSAT Reading Group

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12 May 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Dr Viv Ellis and Professor Anne Edwards OSAT A discussion based around two chapters from Hedegaard, M., Edwards, A. & Fleer, M. (Eds) (in press) Motives in Children and Young Peoples Development: Cultural Historical Perspectives Cambridge: CUP The readings are available on the OSAT Weblearn site to OSAT group members who are staff or students at the University of Oxford. Please contact Hannah Grainger Clemson if you have difficulty in obtaining the readings. Hedegaard, M. 'The dynamic aspects in children’s learning and development' Chapter One in Hedegaard, M., Edwards, A. & Fleer, M. (Eds) (in press) Motives in Children and Young Peoples Development: Cultural Historical Perspectives Cambridge: CUP Wardekker, W., Boersma, A., Geert ten Dam, G., & Volman, M. 'Motivation for school learning: enhancing the meaningfulness of learning in communities of learners' in Hedegaard, M., Edwards, A. & Fleer, M. (Eds) (in press) Motives in Children and Young Peoples Development: Cultural Historical Perspectives Cambridge: CUP

OSAT Reading Group

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10 March 2011 17:00 - 18:30

Convener: Viv Ellis We will continue our theme of ‘Knowledge in practices’ for this meeting but we will also address one of the issues currently exercising researchers in advance of the REF – the question of ‘impact’ and particularly how research is communicated and deliberated in the public sphere. Both of our readings are by Mike Rose, Professor of Social Research Methodology at UCLA, someone who has published widely in peer-reviewed academic journals but whose principal publications are ‘trade’ paperbacks published in the US by Penguin Books. The readings, available for downloading from WebLearn by OSAT group members, are: Rose, M. (2004) Chapter 7, ‘Rethinking Hand and Brain’, The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker, New York: Penguin. Rose, M. (2001) ‘The Working Life of a Waitress’, Mind, Culture and Activity 18,1. How we write – and for whom we write – has come into focus recently in the UK, for example with specific criticisms of the writing of Judith Butler by journalist Nick Cohen in The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/30/nick-cohen-higher-education-cuts - and in a Times Higher Education piece by Matthew Reisz: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=412480 As always, everyone is welcome at OSAT events and ‘refreshments will be served’.

Agency in adolescence: how young people construct their own adolescence (Public Seminar)

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07 February 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Anne Edwards OSAT In this lecture I will be drawing on material in my new book “The nature of adolescence: 4th Edn.” (2010), and I will be exploring the concept of agency as it applies to adolescent development. In the book I argue that two approaches to adolescence - the biological and the social constructionist view – are inadequate to explain a range of behaviours, and that a new approach is needed to take into account the fact that young people are clearly constructing their own paths through this developmental stage. I will draw on interview material collected specifically to include in the book, as well as what I consider to be very important recent research looking at such things as monitoring and supervision, and information management by young people. I will argue that the concept of agency in adolescence should inform the way adults relate to young people. Relationships should be bi-directional rather than uni-directional, and I will propose a partnership model of interaction which is necessary to plan effective interventions, to conduct better research and to forge more fruitful relationships with young people. This seminar will be accompanied by the launch of the 4th edition of Dr Coleman's book and followed by a drinks reception in the common room. All are welcome to attend.

OSAT Reading Group

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02 February 2011 17:00 - 18:30

Convener: Viv Ellis Continuing the theme of Knowledge and Practice the readings for this meeting are as follows: Young, Michael (2010) From the ‘new sociology of education to a ‘realist sociology of knowledge’ or Why educators must differentiate knowledge from experience? Young, Michael (2007) Durkheim and Vygotsky's theories of knowledge and their implications for a critical educational theory, Critical Studies in Education, 48: 1, 43 — 62 The readings are available for download from WebLearn by OSAT members within the University of Oxford. If you experience any difficulty obtaining the readings please contact Viv Ellis via Hannah Grainger-Clemson at hannah.graingerclemson@education.ox.ac.uk

The Vygotskian teacher: what does it mean and what are the implications for English in schools?

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02 February 2011 10:00 - 11:00
Seminar Room D

Convener: Viv Ellis OSAT in association with the Teaching and Teacher Education Research Group

OSAT Reading Group meeting

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25 November 2010 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

OSAT Reading Groups this term are examining the theme: Knowledge in the Professions The readings for this meeting are available on WebLearn. Click on the titles to log in and download. Knorr-Cetina, K. (2001). ‘Objectual practice’. In Schatzski, T.R., Knorr-Cetina, K. & von Savigny, E. eds. The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, London: Routledge, pp. 175 – 188. Jensen, K. & Lahn, L. (2005). ‘The binding role of knowledge: an analysis of nursing students' knowledge ties’. Journal of Education and Work 18, 3: 305 – 320 To be placed on the OSAT mailing list contact Dr Viv Ellis via hannah.graingerclemson@education.ox.ac.uk

OSAT Reading Group meeting

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04 November 2010 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room D

OSAT Reading Groups this term are examining the theme: Knowledge in the Professions The readings for this meeting are available on WebLearn. Click on the titles to log in and download. Adler, P., Kwon, S-W. & Heckscher, C. (2008). ‘Professional work: The Emergence of Collaborative Community’. Organization Science 19, 2: 359 376. Evetts, J. (2009). ‘New professionalism and New Public Management: Changes, Continuities and Consequences’. Comparative Sociology 8 (2009): 247 – 266.

OSAT Reading Group meeting

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04 November 2010 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room D

OSAT Reading Groups this term are examining the theme: Knowledge in the Professions The readings for this meeting are available on WebLearn. Click on the titles to log in and download. Adler, P., Kwon, S-W. & Heckscher, C. (2008). ‘Professional work: The Emergence of Collaborative Community’. Organization Science 19, 2: 359 376. Evetts, J. (2009). ‘New professionalism and New Public Management: Changes, Continuities and Consequences’. Comparative Sociology 8 (2009): 247 – 266.

The relational turn in expertise

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27 October 2010 16:30 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Professor Anne Edwards Department of Education After the seminar, please stay to celebrate the publication of Professor Edwards' book 'Being an expert professional practitioner: the relational turn in expertise'