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BERA/RCBN Master-Classes for Autumn 2004


Studying Learning in Practice: an on-line master class

Monday 18th October 2004

TLRP Research Capacity Building Network (RCBN)
in association with the Centre for Sociocultural & Activity Theory Research,
School of Education, University of Birmingham

Speakers: Professor Ritva Engeström (University of Helsinki), Professor Roger Säljö (University of Gothenburg)


On-line Access
The Centre for Sociocultural & Activity Theory Research at the School of Education, University of Birmingham has invited Professors Engeström and Säljö to lead a discussion which will take forward the analysis of the learning that is revealed in the use of language and other tools in workplace settings. This Master Class will be delivered on-line in real time between 10am and 3.30pm on 18th October 2004. The day’s programme will comprise a series of four hour-long themed sessions.

N.B. In order to ensure on-line quality, access will be offered to a limited number of sites on a first-come-first-served basis. To arrange on-line access to the day’s events, please email Ian Pearshouse at the Centre for Educational Technology and Distance Learning (CETADL), University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Address: Subject: AT Master Class

In addition, the Engeström-Säljö Master Class will be made available in DVD format. Copies will be available at £5 (including post and packing) from: Wendy Stretch, BERA, Commercial House, King Street, Southwell, Notts NG25 0EH. Tel: 01636 819 090.

The Master Class
The RCBN invites you to an on-line Master Class on the use of cultural historical and activity theory in analyses of professional learning. The event will be the opportunity to listen to the methodological issues raised by the two lead speakers and discussions of them. The topic has been selected because it is recognised that it is an area where further conceptual development is required. The two speakers bring slightly different perspectives to the arena and a small invited group of researchers will use the class to take forward thinking on how researchers can identify and collect evidence of learning in practice. There will be an opportunity to e-mail questions to the contributors for discussion in the second half of the day.

Standard theories of learning yield little explanation of how new forms of practice are created and organisations transformed. Cultural historical and activity theory’s conceptualisation of human learning takes human activity as its fundamental unit of analysis through which it seeks to understand the historically changing character of organisational work and the specific types of knowledge and learning required by these shifts. Specifically it allows us to examine what is learnt, how it is learnt and the implications of that learning for the workplace. New ways of working offer additional challenges. For example, they require attention to the complex interplay of multiple activity systems, multi-voiced dialogue and structural contradictions.

This on-line Master Class will be facilitated by Professors Anne Edwards and Harry Daniels of the Centre for Sociocultural & Activity Theory Research, School of Education, University of Birmingham.
The Programme

Full programme details will be posted in June. The provisional outline is as follows.

Title: Studying Learning in Practice: an online master class

Date: Monday 18th October 2004

Format: Real time on-line viewing


10.00 – 10.15

10.15 – 11.15

11.15 – 11.30

11.30 – 12.30

12.30 – 1.30

1.30 – 2.30

2.30 – 3.30


Introduction (Professors Anne Edwards and Harry Daniels)

Professor Yrjö Engeström – Paper: ‘Studying Learning in Practice’


Professor Roger Säljö – Paper


Master Class Discussion 1: a panel session

Master Class Discussion 2: plenary

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This page was last updated 17th May 2004