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ABS036 - Cross-national explorations of sociocultural research on learning with new technologies

3.3 Interventionist methodologies: bridging theory and practice
3:50 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
There is much concern for humanity’s contemporary cultural and historical circumstances and in particular the linkages between our scientific practices and our respective political and economic positions. This paper explores the dialogue among international interventionists (Botswana and Finland) whose work is rooted in the traditions of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), Developmental Work Research (DWR) and Change Laboratory (CL) technique. The foreseeable future of these research traditions using experiences from collaborative research conducted by universities of Botswana and Helsinki is the focus. This collaborative study used CL ethnography and new trends in cultural-historical activity research as theoretical and methodological tools to investigate the transformative role of technology in schools. Tensions, extensions, and new formulations in cultural-historical activity research rendered boundary crossing within zones of possibilities in the diffusion of new technologies and new ways of organizing work activities at three pilot schools.

Discussions are in the form of questions, issues, findings, interpretations and lessons learned in understanding the domain of transformative applications of new technologies in diffusion of educational innovations. Rather than highlighting the roots and traditions of cultural-historical activity research, the paper seeks to continue discussion of foundational works that contributed to understanding human practices, their development, agency and potential across the lifespan of the Botswana expansive School Transformation Project (BeST). Of central concern to the paper is the transformative potential of digital tools and resources in knowledge building, working and living in 21st Century societies and how such hybridization could be achieved.

University of Botswana