Cultural- Historical perspectives on teacher education development

A book that I am reading now is Cultural- Historical perspectives on teacher education development. What I can say after reading the preface and a couple of chapters is that Cultural-historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development is an outstanding contribution in the understanding of  teacher education. This text does not only deal with different  issues about teacher education, but it also offers an approach to examine the educational context.

The preface is illuminating since it provides with a theoretical discussion about sociocultural theory and its different  emphases making distintions between sociocultural theory, cultural historical theory and Cultural historical Activity.



Social practices are situated and that people learn by engaging in these practices, working with the resources that are stretched over’ (lave 1988 in Ellis, Edwards,2010) specific settings fro practice , settings that are in dialectical relationship with the cultural arena which certain forms of identity are motivating. There is an interest in the relationship between human consciousness and practical activity. Cultural historical theory proposes that physical and psychological meditational tools are used to build cultures. Too use has a strongly historical dimension in that the tools have been imbued with meaning by past use and because new meanings can be embedded in them through present activity under evolving cultural conditions. Cultural tools have therefore a shaping function in terms of human activity but also can be reshaped and cultures retooled. Interest in social and semiotic mediation but shifts the emphasis from individual to collective subjects.

Leontev distinguished between the individual; s ubject’s operation, the individual or group’s goal oreiented actions and the level of collective activity given meaning by a shared object motive.

CHAT may be distinguished by the general Cultural historical line, by both its collective perspective and its emphasis on action or intervention in order to develop practice and the sites of practice. A major contributions to CHAT by Engestrom –triangular representation of the activity system

This volume is divided into three sections. Part one is titled “The social situation of teacher development” and comprises six chapters. These chapters examine the social situations of teacher education from three points: teachers as learners, the school as a learning setting, and through pedagogical discourses. This section also includes two chapters which explore teacher education as a product of societal expectations.

Part two of this text is devoted to offer a cultural historical methodological perspective. Four chapters address methodology and demonstrate how a cultural -historical perspective is productive in understanding the complexities of teacher learning. Section three presents studies of CHAT informed teacher education programs from very different locations: China, Luxembourg and the USA.

About Malba Barahona

Educational researcher, language educator. PhD from Australian National University. Passionate bushwalker and mountain lover. I procrastinate reading fiction, hiking, doing yoga, riding, having a beer and more recently decolonizing my existence. I write in English and Spanish in different blogs especially with the purpose of encouraging my students to write.

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