Re: [xmca] activity theory 3rd generation

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sat Nov 17 2007 - 08:02:45 PST

Mark-- May I suggest that you google "Third generation activity theory."
If there are articles you cannot
access there, email me and I will seek to obtain from our library. Sounds
like you have a very interesting
project going.

On Nov 16, 2007 11:53 PM, Mark de Boer <> wrote:

> If I may ask for help once again...
> I have a general idea of the various theories I would like to use in
> the generation of my paper yet I am wondering if I may ask the group
> for some help on the clarification of a few problems.
> What I am proposing is based on the third generation model of the
> activity theory as outlined in Daniels, 2001 p. 92 (Vygotsky and
> Pedagogy).
> Over the past year, a group of 6 teachers/students in an MA programme
> have collaborated on-line using Skype.
> Ultimately the motive in taking the MA course is to become better
> educators, yet doing the studying alone for the course (it is distance
> ed) is extremely difficult and for the most part not as effective as
> it could be if there were 'study groups'. I am proposing a model for
> Collaborative Reflective Teaching, using the activity theory as my
> support.
> In creating our Skype study group, we have created (I think) an
> activity system based on the workings of the Second Generation
> Activity model.
> In the first activity system (activity system 1) is the collaborative
> teacher Skype group. The subject of the model in each case is the
> individual teacher/MA student working in a community (with other
> teachers/MA students). In one sense the outcome is the understanding
> of the various concepts in the course material. The rules I have
> defined as the various parameters under which we have decided as a
> group to maintain the integrity of the group, the division of labour
> divided up in terms of responsibilities of each member (making the
> schedule, preparing the readings, determining the course of the
> meeting). The mediating artifacts in this case I have shown to be
> computers (Skype), as well as the texts.
> I am confused though as to what my object is supposed to be.
> In the second activity system (activity system 2) I have shown that
> the teachers, going away from the group to their respective
> classrooms, have prepared lessons or action research parameters to
> take the theory from the skype group (activity system 1) and implement
> them into the classroom. In this case, the subject, still being the
> teacher in the classroom (community) and all the rules and division of
> labor associated with the classroom - mediated by the prepared lesson.
> Again, the outcome or is this case how the lesson evolves or what
> theory can be taken from the practical (theory to practice and back to
> theory).
> The role of these two systems, teacher's learning in their zpd's
> (Wells, 1999) in their ultimate goal to become better educators, yet
> the actions which happen in each activity system form an area (object
> 3??) where reflective teaching can take place.
> Daniels cites that Cole and Engestrom represent cognition as the
> 'emergent new state of the subject's knowledge' resulting from the
> 'analysis and synthesis of (at least) two sources of information in
> real time', and the two being the object already held by the subject
> and the object as represented through the medium (Cole and Engestrom
> 1993, p. 7).
> In the 3rd generation diagram shown on p 92 of Daniels, what are the
> objects? What am I missing here? Am I even correct in my assumption
> that there are indeed two activity systems occuring here, both driven
> by different motives in each case separately, (to understand course
> material in system 1, and to put theory to practice in system 2 to
> derive more theory to take back to system 1). Through collaboration,
> this results in an effective teacher training programme derived from
> the crossover of the two activity systems driven by the motive to
> become a better educator. Is this correct?
> Mark
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Received on Sat Nov 17 08:05 PST 2007

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