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ABS321 - Exploring nontensions as common sense: Learning and enacting dominant ideologies in our everyday

3.6 Tensions, extensions, and new formulations in cultural-historical activity research
11:40 AM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Midday Meal   12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
I interpret Gramsci (1999) and Haney-Lopez’s (2003) articulations of common sense through a cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) lens to theorize common sense as a learned process. In my analysis, I expand on the notion of tensions (Engeström, 2001), and draw on boundary crossing (Tuomi-Gröhn et al, 2003), and a nuanced interpretation of moment-to-moment interactions (Cole & Levitin, 2000) to introduce the notion of nontensions across activity systems to define common sense. The theoretical adaptation of nontensions turns our attention to the ways, both conceptually and empirically, CHAT can be leveraged to gain insight into how dominate ideologies are: 1) an accumulation of complementary experiences across activity systems in our personal and social histories, and 2) perpetuated through moment-to-moment interactions. The focus on nontensions does not dismiss the understanding that tensions are present in every activity system, but instead centers and makes explicit normalized, often unseen practices accrued across time and ground in power and privilege. This analysis of dominant ideologies is facilitated through the framework of activity theory and the guidance of artifacts, rules and norms and division of labor. 
To document this work empirically I document pre-service teachers’ initial common sense understandings of teaching, learning and culture privileged adult-led practices (Rogoff, 2003), and unintentionally fostered the banking model of education (Freire, 1970), and perpetuated the Othering (Deloria, 1999) of students of color. I argue, with understandings of common sense, we can (re)design tools for critical reflection in learning environments. 
University of California, Santa Cruz
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