Understanding Practice

Author: Seth Chaiklin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521558518
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Brings together the many different perspectives that have been applied to examining social context.

Perspectives on Activity Theory

Author: Yrjö Engeström
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521437301
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Activity theory is an interdisciplinary approach to human sciences that originates in the cultural-historical psychology school, initiated by Vygotsky, Leont'ev, and Luria. It takes the object-oriented, artifact-mediated collective activity system as its unit of analysis, thus bridging the gulf between the individual subject and the societal structure. This 1999 volume includes 26 chapters on activity theory by authors from ten countries. In Part I of the book, central theoretical issues are discussed from different points of view. Some topics addressed in this part are epistemology, methodology, and the relationship between biological and cultural factors. Part II is devoted to the acquisition and development of language. This part includes a chapter that analyzes writing activity in Japanese classrooms, and a case study of literacy skills of a man with cerebral palsy. Part III contains chapters on play, learning, and education, and Part IV addresses the meaning of technology and the development of work activities. The final part covers issues of therapy and addiction.

Communities of Practice

Author: Etienne Wenger
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521663632
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Learning is becoming an urgent topic. Nations worry about the learning of their citizens, companies about the learning of their workers, schools about the learning of their students. But it is not always easy to think about how to foster learning in innovative ways. This book presents a framework for doing that, with a social theory of learning that is ground-breaking yet accessible, with profound implications not only for research, but also for all those who have to foster learning as part of their responsibilites at work, at home, at school.

Beyond Communities of Practice

Author: David Barton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521544924
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The concept of 'communities of practice' (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1998) has become an influential one in education, management, and social sciences in recent years. This book consists of a series of studies by linguists and educational researchers, examining and developing aspects of the concept which have remained relatively unexplored. Framings provided by theories of language-in-use, literacy practices, and discourse extend the concept, bringing to light issues around conflict, power, and the significance of the broader social context which have been overlooked. Chapters assess the relationship between communities of practice and other theories including literacy studies, critical language studies, the ethnography of communication, socio-cultural activity theory, and sociological theories of risk. Domains of empirical research reported include schools, police stations, adult basic education, higher education, and multilingual settings. The book highlights the need to incorporate thinking around language-in-use, power and conflict, and social context into communities of practice.

Vygotsky s Educational Theory in Cultural Context

Author: Alex Kozulin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139440411
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This 2003 book comprehensively covers all major topics of Vygotskian educational theory and its classroom applications. Particular attention is paid to the Vygotskian idea of child development as a consequence rather than premise of learning experiences. Such a reversal allows for new interpretations of the relationships between cognitive development and education at different junctions of the human life span. It also opens new perspectives on atypical development, learning disabilities, and assessment of children's learning potential. Classroom applications of Vygotskian theory are discussed in the book. Teacher training and the changing role of a teacher in a sociocultural classroom is discussed in addition to the issues of teaching and learning activities and peer interactions. Relevant research findings from the US, Western Europe, and Russia are brought together to clarify the possible new applications of Vygotskian ideas in different disciplinary areas.

Embodied Interaction

Author: Charles Goodwin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521895634
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Leading international scholars provide a coherent framework for analyzing body movement and talk in the production of meaning.

Distributed Cognitions

Author: Gavriel Salomon
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521574235
Format: PDF, Docs
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Traditionally, human cognition has been seen and studied as existing solely 'inside' a person's head, with relative disregard for the social, physical, and artifactual surroundings in which cognition takes place. This book is a bold attempt to re-examine the nature of cognitions and to propose that a clearer understanding of human cognition would be achieved if it were conceptualized and studied as distributed among individuals, that knowledge is socially constructed through collaborative efforts toward shared objectives within cultural surroundings and that information is processed between individuals and the tools and artifacts provided by culture. The authors use illustrations from daily life and educational activities and suggest implications for education.

Sociocultural Psychology

Author: Laura M. W. Martin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521462785
Format: PDF, Kindle
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These essays by leading theorists and researchers in sociocultural, cognitive, developmental and educational psychology honour the memory of Sylvia Scribner, whose work is recognized by each of the authors as seminal to their own thinking. The themes include the relationship between history and culture, the importance of context to thinking, the place of literacy in human activity and thought, and cognition in school and in the workplace. The volume presents applications of activity theory to fundamental issues in human behaviour at work, in school, and in problem solving situations, and it analyses historical-societal processes in science and culture. Scribner's conviction that science holds a responsibility to human welfare and understanding is carried on in these chapters. Sociocultural Psychology is crucial reading for researchers and graduate students in sociocultural, cognitive, developmental and educational psychology.

How Humans Learn to Think Mathematically

Author: David Tall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107035708
Format: PDF, ePub
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How Humans Learn to Think Mathematically describes the development of mathematical thinking from the young child to the sophisticated adult. Professor David Tall reveals the reasons why mathematical concepts that make sense in one context may become problematic in another. For example, a child's experience of whole number arithmetic successively affects subsequent understanding of fractions, negative numbers, algebra, and the introduction of definitions and proof. Tall's explanations for these developments are accessible to a general audience while encouraging specialists to relate their areas of expertise to the full range of mathematical thinking. The book offers a comprehensive framework for understanding mathematical growth, from practical beginnings through theoretical developments, to the continuing evolution of mathematical thinking at the highest level.

Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas

Author: Geoffrey B. Saxe
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139560239
Format: PDF, Docs
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Drawing upon field studies conducted in 1978, 1980 and 2001 with the Oksapmin, a remote Papua New Guinea group, Geoffrey B. Saxe traces the emergence of new forms of numerical representations and ideas in the social history of the community. In traditional life, the Oksapmin used a counting system that makes use of twenty-seven parts of the body; there is no evidence that the group used arithmetic in prehistory. As practices of economic exchange and schooling have shifted, children and adults unwittingly reproduced and altered the system in order to solve new kinds of numerical and arithmetical problems, a process that has led to new forms of collective representations in the community. While Dr Saxe's focus is on the Oksapmin, the insights and general framework he provides are useful for understanding shifting representational forms and emerging cognitive functions in any human community.