From: Judy Diamondstone (
Date: Sun Mar 21 2004 - 09:11:14 PST

Hi everyone.
Here are a couple of draft questions to get the conversation going between
yrjo and carol lee, distilled from our discussion a while back. Their
conversation will be moderated by jay lemke. Please comment; i'll
incorporate additions/revisions send these off officially to all three. No
credits are inserted here for particular suggestions; let me know if that's
not okay.

Cultural Historical SIG business meeting:

“Implications of CHAT for the future of education” : A conversation between
Yrjo Engestrom, University of Helsinki and the Laboratory of Comparative
Human Cognition, and Carol Lee, Northwestern University, moderated by Jay
Lemke, University of Michigan.

The Cultural Historical SIG online community discussed questions that they
would like to see addressed in a conversation between Yrjo Engestrom and
Carol Lee.

Two questions have been formulated out of that discussion, one addressing
school practices, the other, theoretical tensions.


 In the diverse classroom, tensions inevitably arise between respecting
diversity with its roots in the cultural development of the child in
diverse, non-school contexts, and the activity of schooling, when thought of

the mediator of the child's development toward participation in wider-scale
shared cultural contexts.

For instance, tensions may arise between the responses of Mexican immigrant
high school students to the content of a history lesson (economic incidents
during industrialization) and the teacher's moral economic situatedness
(Middle class, White male).

As another example, teachers prepared through schools of education to frame
their teaching in culturally sensitive ways may find the resources for doing
this in the contemporary public school context, with high stakes tests and
other curricular mandates, to be inadequate. In other words, teachers may
face a conflict between their conscious pedagogical aims and implicit
cultural resources available for realizing those aims.



We assume that theories make a difference in how we conceptualize and act on
educational problems. What are the implications of different CHAT-informed
theories for understanding questions of “difference” in complex
sociocultural systems? Specifically, please address the differences between
Engestrom’s “expansive learning” theory and Lee’s “Cultural modeling
framework” and discuss how these theories might and might not be compatible;
under what conditions they, respectively and/or together, are relevant to
21st century educational issues.

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