[xmca] Re: question for reflective teaching and collaboration in the activity theory.

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Mon Nov 19 2007 - 10:50:08 PST

Thanks Harry. Your invocation of Subject ...... subjects below seems
relevant to worries about agency in Paul's message sent just afterward as
well as how outcomes might become subjects in messages a couple of days ago.

Plenty to read!!

On Nov 19, 2007 2:09 AM, Harry Daniels <h.r.j.daniels@bath.ac.uk> wrote:

> Dear Mark
> I have attached our latest thoughts on some of the matters you raise.
> My current view is that the 'triangles' serve a most useful problem
> solving purpose but do not capture the complexity of what is going on.
> 1. Subject -- we need to develop a much more sophisticated analysis of the
> ways in which subjects are positioned in activities -- particularly in
> complex activity networks.
> 2. I think networks of activuity can be analysed in terms of 'leading
> activities' see second attached
> 3. the latest paper on our study of collaboration across professional
> boundariesis the third attachment (PDF)
> and the fourth is a related study of learning across schools.
> If this is of any use and you want to take up a discussion on this -- I
> would be delighted if you came back to me
> Best
> Harry
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Mike Cole [mailto:lchcmike@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* 17 November 2007 17:20
> *To:* Harry Daniels
> *Subject:* Fwd: question for reflective teaching and collaboration in the
> activity theory.
> Harry. This seems like the kind of query from a young scholar that would
> be important to respond to, and you are the cited guru!
> I hope all is well.
> mike
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Mark de Boer <mark.yomogi@gmail.com>
> Date: Nov 15, 2007 11:03 PM
> Subject: question for reflective teaching and collaboration in the
> activity theory.
> To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> Cc: lchcmike@gmail.com
> Dr. Cole, my mail is down, so if this doesn't make it to the list
> could you please forward it?
> 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
> it 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 Mon Nov 19 10:51 PST 2007

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