About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6629-6636
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2555

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

ACTIVITY THEORY AS A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING SETTINGS

J.F. Matos

Instituto de Educação Universidade de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
Digital technologies are currently pervasive in education and training. Simultaneously, fast-speeded workplace transformation is requiring fast learners and knowledge and skills acquisition is becoming more and more a responsibility of the individual. Learning is ubiquitous and non-linear, the Internet being a primary source of information although putting an excess of information at one’s disposal. Educational researchers face a huge challenge: to understand and model the way the learner appropriates knowledge and develops competencies in new and largely unknown contexts. This suggests the need of conceptual frameworks that help to understand learning in new and complex settings where people act according to specific (and new) motives and where the variety of artefacts and rules in use (both explicit and implicit) tend to overshadow the key elements that constitute learning.

Activity theory and, in particular, the conceptual framework of expansive learning (Engeström, 2016) constitutes a tool for the analysis of the practices in educational contexts that is proving to be rather relevant and appropriate.

I claim that in educational communities, the current framework for learning is still largely founded on the metaphor of acquisition: pupils are supposed to acquire knowledge and competences and show that they comply with specific targets. But in parallel many teachers and researchers in education discuss new ways of addressing teaching and learning from a prospective stance aiming to design the future of education. It is responsibility of educators and researchers to design innovative forms of education and training that contribute to overcome the acquisition metaphor. This calls for an evidence-based modelling of teachers’ practices and assumes that teacher educators understand learning in the new settings that pupils currently inhabit. It is not enough to call for participation and collaboration or to call for intensive use of digital technologies. It is crucial to provide more research-based evidence of what works and how and why it works.
Expansive learning framework was used in the analysis of an educational setting where technologies play an apparent role: a course in an initial teacher training program of Informatics where the student-teacher creates a learning scenario and implements it for 5 weeks in a real secondary school classroom with the support of the teacher and supervisor. Data was collected through video-recording of teacher and students’ actions during 5 lessons.

This article focuses on:
(i) the rationale that supports Activity Theory and Expansive Learning as a relevant conceptual framework for research in using technology enhanced learning strategies in initial teacher training.
(ii) on the application of the framework to an empirical setting showing the crucial role of the structure (learning scenario) that guides planning for the complexity of the situations the teacher faces in the classroom, the benefits of anticipating the risks involved in assuming the agency of pupils as crucial for learning, and the mediation processes favoured by powerful technologic artifacts.

References:
[1] Engeström, Y. (2016). Studies in Expansive Learning: Learning What Is Not Yet There. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
@InProceedings{MATOS2018ACT,
author = {Matos, J.F.},
title = {ACTIVITY THEORY AS A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING SETTINGS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.2555},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.2555},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6629-6636}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.F. Matos
TI - ACTIVITY THEORY AS A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING SETTINGS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.2555
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 6629
EP - 6636
ER -
J.F. Matos (2018) ACTIVITY THEORY AS A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF TECHNOLOGY ENHANCED LEARNING SETTINGS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 6629-6636.
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