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Re: CHAT and virtual communities...

Seems like we need to do some reading, Sasha. For starters lets see if
we can get
a review. 

I am among those who get very uncomfortable about ideas like turning a theory
into a methodological tool. Paraphrasing LSV, each new theory implies a new
methodology (note,  methodOLOGY, not method). The triad theory, data, and
methodology ought in principle to be aspects of a single process of inquiry.

An issue raised by a lot of the uses of Yrjo's ideas that I find very troubling
is the frequent slippage between the use of his expanded triangle to represent
actions and activities as if it made no difference. As if goal=motive. etc. 

Which reminds me of an earlier comment by Judy that was part of a
discussion that
occurred while I was away about Yrjo's representation of activity
being used like
a syllogism. It is not, of course. And when so used it is being abused. 

Anyone who wonders how one gets from a triangle to that expanded triangle really
needds to go back and read the chapter from *Learning by Expanding*
(available from
your local internet interlocutor) where he provides the rationale for
that expansion....
which is not unrelated to the issue of theories and methodologies,
etc. In particular,
it helps make clear the relationship between the methodOLOGY of the
work lab in Helsinki and the method of dual stimulation.

So much to read! Which rreminds me, have you voted for your favorite MCA article
for discussion recently?

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004 17:17:16 -0500, Barab, Sasha A. <sbarab@indiana.edu> wrote:
> Okay, I should probably speak up here. I think Kirk Sluder's and Susan
> Herring's chapters are interesting for examining chat. These chapters
> are clear in explicating particular methods that are not richly steeped
> in theoretical commitments, although I would argue that methods are
> rarely if ever a theoretical. In contrast, in my chapter and some
> others, instead of using a particular method for analysis, I adopt two
> theoretical frameworks as different lenses for characterizing
> participation (the notion of dualities, as well as Activity Theory). I
> find this not without challenges, for translating a theoretical
> framework into a methodological process is a goofy process. I wonder how
> Yrjo felt as he watched people translate Activity Theory (conceptualized
> as the triangle) into a methodological tool. I for one have benefited
> from such a translation but is it reasonable? Not sure. Anyway, I think
> that in answering Mike's initial question, analyzing chat in communities
> involves both using "research methodologies" as well as "theoretical
> frameworks." Not sure if this was useful but thought I would enter the
> conversation.
> Sasha
> Sasha A. Barab, Associate Professor
> Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems Technology & Cognitive Science
> Indiana University
> School of Education                    ph: (812) 856-8462
> Room 4066, 201 N. Rose Ave.     fax: (812) 856-8333
> Bloomington, IN  47405               mail:          sbarab@indiana.edu
>                                                  homepage:
> http://inkido.indiana.edu/barab/
> It takes courage to face the world with compassionate attention, to
> be candid about the injustices we understand, and to probe those we
> do not. We try, stumble, and try again. Consciousness is a daily walk.
> (Claudia Horwitz, 2002)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: del Valle, Rodrigo Tomas
> Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2004 4:15 PM
> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: CHAT and virtual communities...
> Hi,
> In the midst of these two interesting discussions on math education and
> electoral maps I just want to "amend" my post on CHAT and virtual
> communities... Jim Rogers just helped me to realize that when Mike asked
> about chat approaches to virtual communities he was not referring to the
> online tool but to CHAT as in Cultural Historical Activity Theory...   I
> wasn't familiar with the acronym... I guess that's part of my legitimate
> peripheral participation  :-)  on this list...  To be honest I was
> surprised to see a question so focused on a tech tool on this list...
> Any way, there are a couple of chapters on Sasha's edited book that use
> activity theory, especially based on Engestrom to examine virtual
> communities. I assume this is close enough to CHAT...
> Chapter 3 -->.  Sasha Barab, James MaKinster (Hobart & William Smith
> Colleges), & Rebecca Scheckler (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
> University). Designing System Dualities: Building Online Community.
> Chapter 5 --> Mark Schlager and Judi Fusco (SRI International). Online
> Teacher Communities: Technology Snake-Oil or Powerful Catalysts for
> Professional Development?
> Chapter 8 --> Jim Hewitt (University of Toronto). An Exploration of
> Community in a Knowledge Forum Classroom: An Activity System Analysis.
> Chapter 14 --> James Gray and Deborah Tatar (SRI International).
> Sociocultural Analysis Of Online Professional Development: A Case Study
> Of Personal, Interpersonal, And Community Aspects.
> Rodrigo
> ====================
> Rodrigo del Valle - rdelvall@indiana.edu
> IST Doctoral Student
> Center for Research on Learning and Technology
> LTTS Staff http://ltts.indiana.edu
> School of Education
> Indiana University
> www.iub.edu
> ====================