April AERA conference and CHAT mini-course

From: Steve Gabosch (bebop101@comcast.net)
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 01:37:31 PST

I am planning to register for the April AERA conference in San Diego to
attend this CHAT mini-course. I wish this mini-course was 4 days and not
just 4 hours - what a line-up! Are there other activities at the AERA
conference to recommend to a student of CHAT such as myself?

- Steve

>AERA will be sponsoring a CHAT mini-course this year with eleven instructors
>who are expert in CHAT, most of them senior scholars:
>Instructors: Geoffrey Bowker, Michael Cole, Yrjo Engestrom, Manuel Espinoza,
>Kris Gutierrez, Vera John Steiner, Elina Lampert Shepel, Jay Lemke, Eugene
>Matusov, Ana Marjanovic Shane, Gordon Wells, Stanton Wortham.
>Both newcomers to CHAT and advanced doctoral students and emerging scholars
>are welcome to attend. 12 students will be selected on a competitive basis
>to work one-on-one with appropriate instructors. Those who wish to be
>considered for this advanced status of participation should send a 5 page
>description of their work that may include 1-2 pages of data and/or
>questions. Those who wish to attend on any other basis should send a 1-2
>page description of the research they intend to do or have already begun.
>Descriptions should be sent to the organizers:
>Judy Diamondstone
>Bill Barowy
>The mini-course is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13th, from 8:00am - 12:00pm.
>A fuller description is attached.

Relevance of Cultural Historical Activity Theory to diverse projects
of education research

CHAT-based assumptions have influenced work in many different settings both
within and outside the field of education, in educational psychology (Cole
1996); curriculum and instruction (Espinoza; Guttierez; Matusov; Wells);
creativity research (John Steiner); scientific and multi-media literacy
(Lemke); organizational learning and medical practices (Engestrom; Bowker &
Star), to name a few. New interpretations, applications, and extensions of
CHAT implicate tensions that must be understood to advance this tradition
in a principled way. How are other approaches to sociocultural analysis,
such as social semiotics, actor-network theory, and dynamic systems theory,
related to CHAT?

This mini-course is designed to support graduate students working in the
CHAT tradition or those whose work might benefit by familiarity with CHAT by

1. explicating CHAT principles in the light of the research and scholarship
of eminent instructors;

2. relating CHAT to other approaches to sociocultural analysis.

3. establishing links among new scholars doing related work;

4. linking new to senior scholars whose work is compatible and who can help
to advance new CHAT-related work and ensure its excellence.

It will also offer a forum for discussion of means to develop existing
CHAT-related resources to make them more useful to more graduate students.

All participants will submit ahead of time 1-2 page descriptions of their
work and interest in CHAT to the organizers, who will assign them and
instructors to roundtables focused on compatible issues (and one roundtable
for newcomers to CHAT).

Advanced doctoral students may submit more extended (5 page) descriptions
of their research, samples of data, and CHAT-related conceptual &/or
methodological questions to the organizers. From these submissions, a
subset of 10-15 doctoral students will be selected on a competitive basis
to interact over their own research with instructors whose work is relevant
to their own and to work intensively with one or more peers doing similar
work. Instructors will cycle out of roundtables for 45 minute sessions with
one or more students with whom they have been paired

Geoffrey Bowker, in the Communications Department at the University of
California San Diego, works on information infrastructures focusing on
classification systems and collaborative work practices in fields such as
medicine, environmental science, industrial geophysics. He will discuss
distributed cognition as a significant aspect of cultural tools

Michael Cole, Professor at University of California San Diego and director
of the Laboratory of Culture and Human Cognition, has been influential in
disseminating CHAT throughout North American academia. He will be asked to
give his perspective on the history of CHAT in education research

Yrjö Engeström is a Professor and Director of the Center for Activity
Theory and Developmental Work Research at University of Helsinki, and
Professor at the University of California, San Diego. He studies
transformations in work and organizations. He will be asked how he
elaborated Leontev’s model of activity as a tool for intervention research

Manuel Espinoza, a graduate student at the University of California San
Diego, teaches CHAT and other courses and works with Kris Gutierrez and
Michael Cole in Fifth Dimension sites. He is interested in the migrant
experience, transformative education in the tradition of Freire, and
language ideologies. He will be asked how he considers the work of Vygotsky
and Luria to be relevant to transformative education

Kris Gutierrez, Professor of Urban Schooling at the University of
California San Diego, has published widely in arguing for “third spaces”
that facilitate the learning of empowering literacies by minority students.
She will be asked to trace the history of the notion of "third-ness" and
explain how it is an important contemporary contribution to CHAT

Vera John Steiner, Presidential Professor of Linguistics and Education at
the University of New Mexico, has published extensively on creativity and
on collaboration from a Vygotskian perspective. She will be asked to
discuss relations between private speech and collaborative interactions

Elina Lampert Shepel was trained in the Vygotsky school in Russia, has
worked internationally to develop teacher education programs, and teaches
education courses at Columbia University. She will be asked how activity
theory relates to teaching and learning

Jay Lemke, Professor, Educational Studies, the University of Michigan,
applies discourse and multimedia analysis to science education and other
fields; studies education reform and institutional change in the framework
of complex systems theory and multiple timescale analysis; and explores
more affectively engaging and culturally diverse modes of education,
including the potential role of popular culture media. He will be asked to
discuss how CHAT informs frameworks derived from the hard sciences and vice

Eugene Matusov, Associate Professor of Education, University of Delaware,
studies collaboration and learning in communities of practice. He draws on
Bakhtin to understand issues of identity and motivation in informal
settings and innovative educational institutions. . He will be asked how
Bakhtin relates to CHAT

Ana Marjanovic-Shane, schooled in Russia with members of the Vygotsky
school, has developed a theory of metaphor as a central semantic process in
meaning construction. She will be asked to discuss the intellectual roots
of her theory (Vygotsky, Bakhtin and American pragmatic linguistics), and
how they mutually inform each other

Gordon Wells, Professor of Education, University of California, Santa Cruz,
and formerly professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of
the University of Toronto, has for many years engaged in collaborative
action research with elementary and middle school teachers, and has
discussed in publications the compatibility between Systemic Functional
Linguistics and CHAT. He will be asked to explain these relations, how they
are useful for studying classrooms, and whether they are useful in working
with teachers and children.----

Stanton Wortham, Associate Professor and Chair, Educational Leadership
Division, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, has
examined the operations of discourse in classrooms, television news, and
psychology interviews. He will be asked how linguistic anthropology informs
a theory of mediation

Judy Diamondstone

Bill Barowy

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