[xmca] ISCAR in Sevilla -- our questions before the conference

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (ana@zmajcenter.org)
Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 05:58:31 PDT

One of the possible reasons for the silence about Sevilla, I think, is
the vastness of the program, the myriad of impressions -- just deciding
where to start. Well, I'll try to do something with our collective memory.
Remember we had a brief gathering of questions we wanted to have had
discussed in Sevilla just before we all took off and left for Spain?
Think of the issue or question you wanted to have answered or at least

Did you find this issue answered or discussed?
I will post some of my own thoughts in the next e-mail.
In the meantime, to refresh your memories, here are some of these questions:

1. Leading activities: transitions from one to another; what categories or
methods prove useful for some leading activities but less so for others; how
to tell if an analysis works differ depending on the leading activity being
studied? What happens to contemporaneous "non-leading" activities?

 2. How should we understand the relation between monism, marx, & Spinoza?

 3. How can language (Discourse mode?) be a tool for developing critical
thinking among urban poor school participants?

 4. some question about work activity (I am guessing, Helena), or maybe,
what happened to your exciting symposium idea!

 5. My question is about intervention studies. What do we know about the
influence of relative power between interveners and those
who are being "helped" on what transpires? This could be reformulated to as
"who is the agent in intervention studies and who
profits from them?"

question: How can chat help us to understand the meanings that are made
during curriculum cycles and lessons within those cycles in adult
vocational classrooms?
I think my question relates to the positive interplay (or not) between
researchers, practitioners and policy-makers - i.e Government - to
create positive change in notions and practice
How can we think/see in more detail the merging/meeting/interweaving of
macro-social deterministic theories with studies of the micro world of
"intentional" agentive beings?

I am pondering the methodological question, "for how long does a collection
of individuals need to be interacting to be considered a cultural group?" Of
course, it is tightly related to the activities in which they are engaging
and the contexts within which those activities are happening. Still if we
think, for example, about youth peer communities at school, how might we
think about the temporal dimensions involved from a CHAT point of view?

My question is the interaction between different activities: what can be
   "taken" from one activity to another? (Old question of the universals)
   Also: what can be created only in a combination of several activities.
   This is what I mean: we all participate in more than one activity all
   the time. Is it possible to learn something in one activity and then use
   it in another? In other words: what does it mean to "transport" a
   way of acting, behaving, or thinking from one activity to another?
   And - what is a product only of participating in a certain
   combination of activities at the same time?
connections between activity systems
1. My old question about CHAT methodology and qualitative research
methodology. What is on the crossroads? How can units of analysis
drawn from CHAT dialectical perspective be researched through
phenomenological data analysis? What are the opportunities and
challenges people find in their research? I am on final stages of
my own cross-cultural research on teachers' reflective actions in
Dewey schools that emerged from CHAT theoretical framework, but has
qualitative research design, so I am facing these questions right

2. My second question about the heterogeneity of mediational means
and meaning making. What is the relationship between the
mediational means we choose and meanings we construct? My frame of
reference on that is teacher education and curriculum design, but
it would be interesting to explore any thinking on that in other
fields too... I am planning to discuss it in my paper presentation
My concern is that people from different fields apparently view
"development" in very different ways, thus creating confusion whenever we
are discussing development. We have had the same situation with "learning,"
but at least with learning we admit openly that we have different learning
theories. Development, what is development?

I am always curious why people don't, for example, discuss the development
of higher psychological functions versus lower psychological functions? Is
Vygotsky's concept obsolete, not deserving, or falsified (if so, by whom?)?


Did any of this issues get some answers or were they at least addressed at ISCAR?
What do you think?

Ana Marjanovic-Shane

(215) 843-2909

(267) 334-2905

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