RE: [xmca] Engeström's theory of expansive learning, views appreciated!

From: Valerie Farnsworth <Valerie.Farnsworth who-is-at>
Date: Mon Jan 21 2008 - 01:32:25 PST

Hello Dima,
I am also at the University of Manchester and organize a reading seminar group that meets roughly every 2 weeks. Our topics vary, but Engestrom's work is certainly one that we discuss. We are based in the School of Education but participants come from various other departments/fields. If you would like to be on the mailing list to receive notice about the seminars and other events in the region which may interest you, please email me:

Kind regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of dima dayoub
Sent: 20 January 2008 23:16
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [xmca] Engeström's theory of expansive learning, views appreciated!

Dear all,
I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester, currently writing up my research. I am interested in exploring the adoption experiences of online education in the Syrian Virtual University, a new initiative in the region.
I would appreciate any feedback on the following:
I am reflecting on whether Engeström's notion of 'experiencing' necessarily implies intervention-mediation. I have read his 2007 article 'Enriching the theory of expansive learning: lessons from ourneys towards coconfiguration' and I have understood the occuring reflections in the variousorganisations studied as an outcome of intervention sessions. In my research, I have found that 'experiencing the future' can also be a natural way of mentally steering away from current tensions, triggered by great disparities between the rhetorical and the real, and verbalised informally or in the research context. Such reflections were not necessarily followed by action, particulary when the participants were not in a position to act, and tensions took the shape of external influences.
Doesn't intervention relegate the role of the less powerfully-positioned researchers? Does it not also define the participants as those who are enabled to act, e.g. 'a head physician' or 'a manager'?
Any 'corrective' or other interpretations of Engeström, will be truly appreciated.
Many thanks in anticipation
Dima> Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 09:26:57 +1100> To: xmca who-is-at> From: ablunden who-is-at> Subject: RE: [xmca] Once Again, Learning and Development!> > Helena,> Go to the context:>> Marx deals with your question there, I think.> > Marx is a little ambiguous, across his life, on what is included under > "production," but since we are talking about whole social formations in > this instance, and taking into account other claims in this same work, I > think we can say that he is talking about economic production as distinct > from "superstructure". Personally, however, I would say that for the > purposes of psychology, it is questionable whether "production" can be > conceived in that limited way. My point only was that this general approach > to complex human forms of development, in the Hegelian/Marxist tradition, > has always had this idea about a "leading activity."> > Andy> > At 10:26 AM 20/01/2008 -0600, you wrote:> >Andy et al:> >> >What does Marx mean by "production"? What is included? Can you give some > >examples of social formations and then examples of "production" that are > >specific, of not unique, to each formation?> >> >I'm reading John Berger, especially "The Production of the World," his > >essay about Van Gogh, but Berger uses the phrase "production of the world" > >in other essays, too.> >> >Helena> >> >________________________________________> >From: [] On Behalf > >Of Andy Blunden []> >Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 8:02 PM> >To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity> >Subject: Re: [xmca] Once Again, Learning and Development!> >> >There is in every social formation a particular branch of production which> >determines the position and importance of all the others, and the relations> >obtaining in this branch accordingly determine the relations of all other> >branches as well. It is as though light of a particular hue were cast upon> >everything, tingeing all other colours and modifying their specific features.> >> >Marx, <../../1859/critique-pol-economy/appx1.htm#p211>Preface to the> >Critique of Political Economy (1859)> >> >> >> >At 08:16 AM 19/01/2008 -0800, you wrote:> > >... Actually, I'm not sure if this way of understanding what Vygotsky> > >meant by central functions and peripheral functions is right at all. It's> > >okay for learning, but it does seem too microgenetic to describe> > >development, doesn't it? Perhaps the BEST thing to do is to take this back> > >to XMCA and see what others think!> > >> > > David Kellogg> > > Seoul National University of Education> >> >_______________________________________________> >xmca mailing list> >> >> >_______________________________________________> >xmca mailing list> >> >> > Andy Blunden : tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435, > mobile 0409 358 651> > _______________________________________________> xmca mailing list>>
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Received on Mon Jan 21 01:34 PST 2008

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