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ABS098 - Dialectical thinking about language and academic activity: learning and development in developmental teaching

1.1 Social, cultural, linguistic and educational mediation
11:40 AM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Midday Meal   12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
V. V. Davydov´s pedagogical approach based on cultural-historical activity principles (Leontiev, 1981; Vygotsky, 1987, 1978) is known as developmental teaching (Chaiklin, 2002; Davydov, 1988a, b, c, d). It aims to promote development (motive formation and dialectical thinking) through six learning actions: problem situation question, modeling, modification of models, problem-solving, monitoring and evaluation.  Despite the recognition of its potentiality to education and appeal to transformation (Hedegaard & Chaiklin, 2005; Lompscher, 1999; Stetsenko, 2010),  Davydov´s approach has neither been extensively implemented in schools nor investigated by scholars in the cultural-historical tradition. The studies reported are few and restricted to some subject matters like math (Davydov, 1990), sciences (Lomspcher, 1999), language (Aidarova, 1982; Markova, 1979) and interdisciplinary studies (Hedegaard, 2002). To fill this gap, this study aims to discuss to what extent postgraduate students developed dialectical thinking about language and scientific activity (Engeström, 1987) in a 50-hour academic writing course. Students’ models and their solutions to language problems were analysed. The analysis shows that the postgraduate students could more easily conceive the new concept taught (scientific activity) dialectically than the already well-known concept language. They conceived language mainly empirically, as a tool for result (Vygotsky, 1978) and without questioning the reasons for its rules. These findings suggest that the empirical based teaching of language prevent students from fully appreciating its potential for agency and transformation, as Vygotsky’s work argued for. A strong connection was noticed between students’ commitment to the course and model drawing and their development of dialectical thinking.
University of São Paulo
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