n Education as Change - Theoretical struggles in the Zo-ped of research programmes
|Article Title||Theoretical struggles in the Zo-ped of research programmes|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Journal||Education as Change|
|Publication Date||Dec 2008|
|Pages||5 - 24|
|Keyword(s)||Concept development, Cultural historical and activity theory, Theoretical learning and Zone of proximal development|
ISI Social Science
This article presents an acount of the struggle for theoretical depth in research projects. The author writes a meta-analytical narrative of how groups of researchers engage with cultural historical and activity theory (CHAT) as framework for their collaborative work on teacher learning. At this meta-level she introduces the character of Trouble (borrowed from Jerome Bruner) - the problem space of learning conceptually. In narrative episodes that mirror some of the themes in Vygotsky's oeuvre she narrates the chronologue of the researchers' theoretical learning by using the very theory under study as a lens and as a reflective device - thus depicting theoretical / conceptual learning by way of a theory of such learning. She also reflects on her own assumptions as project leader and teacher of ideas in this framework and comes to question her subject position, especially as it relates to "the zone of proximal development" of researcher learning. The data, or the fabula, or story facts, for this narrative were extracted from interviews with other project leaders in the current research programme on teacher development, discussions with authors in these projects, research reports, and minutes of meetings over a period of four and a half years. She concludes that the story reveals the pitfalls of popularised theory and the challenges of learning theory theoretically in an empiricist context that has not nurtured such learning, admitting that she, also, has delayed theoretical enrichment to favour fieldwork in much of her career.
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