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[Xmca-l] Re: 3rd generation activity theory

Mark --

I take "third generation activity theory" to involve interactions between
activity systems in addition to the principles you enumerate. Perhaps I am
mistaken. A brief paper by Harry Daniels contains a summary that accords
with my understanding.

It can be confusing to ask for advice on xmca when you get a lot of it form
disparate people!



On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 10:00 PM, Mark de Boer <mark.yomogi@gmail.com>

> Hello!
> Thank you for your replies. For some reason I did not get them in my
> mailbox, so I am consolidating
> the mail here from the XMCA archive site and replying to everyone
> below each of your messages.
> Hi Mark,
> I think the issue is really complex.
> Are the students using the open forum to make the poster better for
> presentation
> or to advance the thinking that the poster represents.
> If it is the first then I don't think you can think of it as the type of
> progressive thinking the Knowledge Forum for instance is looking to create
> through student interactions.  It is instead the students looking to use
> the
> technology to advance their needs within the larger system (a good
> poster means a better grade).
> On the other hand if you can show that the students are really
> changing each other's
> thinking about what's on the poster (and I am not sure you can from
> the dialogue you
> presented here) then you can make an argument for augmented thinking,
> for progressive
> development of thinking, I am guessing for 3rd generation activity theory.
> I think Kai Hakkarainnen and Sammi Paavola have written some really
> interesting stuff on this.
> Take a look at some of their articles.
> Michael
> Hello Michael,
> The students are doing both. They use the forum to better the poster,
> but as they are doing this,
> the poster is evolving to change from data to 'a message', i.e. the
> data are facts concerning pet
> bottle manufacturing, recycling, and usage, which evolves into a
> message that pet bottles are harmful for
> the environment, harmful for our bodies, and that we should stop using
> them. So although the dialogue
> I  showed here doesn't show this (there is a lot of dialogue that is
> not shown in my short example),
> the majority of the dialogue moves the process forward, what should be
> done, what message should be put in the poster,
> but the content in the posters provides the most evidence that there
> is influence of content, content added
> often has an influence on other content, and the message evolves. The
> issue is complex, it is a language learning classroom,
> and I am attempting to show that through the student interaction, they
> are dynamically assessing each other.
> Hi Mark
> It is not clear to me from your explication why you need 3rd gen AT.
> Mike
> I concur with Mike, Mark.  There is not a *system *of activity being
> negotiated here as I see. Beliefs, motives, goals, division of labour,
> subject, object, outcomes. It's seems like overkill in your situation,
> where content is being negotiated and renegotiated.  I am at a loss to
> offer you anything more than what you are dealing with in terms of
> dialogue, except you might like to see what Eugene Matusov might have to
> offer.
> Carol
> Hello Mike and Carol,
> Originally, my thoughts were to examine what the learners were doing
> in the forums, and came up
> with the conclusion that this was an object oriented activity. The
> thinking came from reading
> 'Toward overcoming the encapsulation of school learning' by Engestrom,
> as learners are working on their
> understanding of the different concepts of the topics they are going
> to present on. I showed division of labour,
> subject, object outcomes, tools. My dilemma, was that I wanted to show
> that on one side there was the language which was driving
> the process forward, this can be easily proven using different
> analytical tools, but I also wanted to show that as a result of
> collaboration, the students would develop content.(this can also
> easily be seen from the data). But as they developed content,
> they would discuss it, thus the content was also responsible for the
> collaboration. This would be done up to the point of where
> they would present. Thus the division of systems (in my mind).
> I also wanted to show that the object (poster) was not the end
> product, it was used as a tool for their presentation
> (tools-and-results activity).
> I am confused now, because I have written, submitted, and passed 2
> literature reviews towards my PhD with these concepts in mind and
> now I am currently writing the final paper, showing the analysis of the
> data.
> > On Aug 16, 2016, at 9:04 AM, Mark de Boer <mark.yomogi@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I can understand what happens between 1 and 2. This is a simple case. But
> > between 2, 3, and 4 it becomes complicated.
> Mark, I don’t yet understand what happens between 1 and 2!
> > 1. Student A: 'Let's begin working on our poster'
> > 2. Student B: 'I made my poster, please check' (poster1 file an
> attachment
> > in the forum)
> How did “our poster” become “my poster”?
> Martin
> Dear Martin,
> Because this is a group of 4 students, even though they are developing
> a poster as a group, they
> (as is seen later on) end up dividing the work and each start to
> create 'their part of the poster',
> so the dialogue moves from 'let's make our poster' (as a group) to 'I
> made my poster' (contribution to the
> group's whole poster). Later on in the dialogue, the group leader
> divides the work of the poster into
> topics as I showed, but then after a number of days, he decides to
> assign these topics to the other
> students in the group. The dialogue moves from one poster being
> created - moving from student to
> student, to 4 sub posters being created by 4 students, and the
> dialogue shows evidence that the
> students are looking at each others posters, making suggestions about
> what gets written, and in
> some cases altering other student's posters. At the end the posters
> are printed and put on the wall
>  ready for presenting.
> Mark,
> I don't understand what happens between 5 and 6:
> "5. Student B: 'I think that we should put the following contents in our
> poster (suggesting a list of topics concerning pet bottles and pet bottle
> use) Please give me your opinion.
> 6. Student C: 'I made a poster about (topic a), please check' (poster4 file
> an attachment in the forum, originally poster3)"
> How did poster3 get changed into poster4 that is "about topic a". Or was
> poster3 already about topic a? If so, then why the need to introduce to
> everyone with "I made a poster about (topic a)"? Was "topic a" something
> that was introduced by Student B in turn #5? Is this due to the students
> not having the resources in English to indicate how their turn relates to
> the previous turn?
> The continuity/discontinuity (aka "old/new information") is what is unclear
> to me. The fact that this poster4 is a revision of poster3 suggests
> continuity and old information. But the statement "I made a poster about
> (topic a)" suggests discontinuity and new information.
> -greg
> Dear Greg,
> I'm sorry I wasn't clear here. Even though the poster is starting to
> get developed, the leader of
> the group decides that there should be specific themes running though
> the poster, thus topics (a-d) are decided
> and written into the forum. Poster 3 file already contains some
> information, but now student C takes that poster
> and adds topic-a information. (Topic b information was already there).
> So the poster begins to get built by adding
> topic information. So although there is continuity and old
> information, there is discontinuity and new information added.
> Later some of the students also put information into the poster that
> begins to link the different topics together.
> At one point though the group leader decides that instead of listing
> topics and having a free-for-all, each student randomly
> adding information, he assigns the topics Student A gets topic a, etc,
> and then there is a discontinuity and new information.
> The poster that they have been sharing is somewhat abandoned (although
> some information is pulled) and each student begins to
> work on their own topic as a completely separate file, uploading it to
> the forum as changes are made.
> Thank you everyone for your replies. If it is at all possible, would
> someone be willing to skype about this? I promise not to
> take up much of your time. My skype handle is yomogi-cello. I would be
> very grateful for any help or advice after you have read this post.
> Warm regards,
> Mark


It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch