Vygotskian, Post-Vygotskian Approaches, & TAS-based Critical Theoretical Pedagogy
“Learning is not development. However, properly organized learning results in mental development and sets in motion a variety of developmental processes that would be impossible apart from learning.” — Vygotsky, Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, 1978.
“From this perspective, educational research always is, and invariably has to be, an activist endeavor too. It is based on researchers and participants working out together and committing to a common project of social transformation that contributes to creating a future viewed by researchers and participants as worthwhile and desirable. In this process, learning is utilized to provide and co-construct critical-theoretical tools necessary for researchers and participants to position themselves vis-à-vis current community practices and their histories, while at the same time developing activist commitments to how these practices can and ought to be changed.” — Vianna & Stetsenko “Research with a Transformative Activist Agenda: Creating the Future for Education through Social Change”
This chapter combines two classes led by professor and Vygotsky expert Eduardo Vianna. During these two classes, students learned about Vygotsky and post-Vygotskian approaches in educational psychology and considered the importance of TAS or Transformative Activist Stance as per the work of Anna Stetsenko and Eduardo Vianna. Lastly, students considered their new theoretical tools in relation to previous readings on indigenous pedagogies.
Where would we place the five pillars and the three approaches that Engeström reviews in his paper (teaching theoretical concepts, situated learning, and learning by expanding), based on the model on page 34 of Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education comparing Indigenous and western cultures? Are these discrete? Do we need new columns? How would you organize it? The Western and Indigenous approaches are widely opposing models. Can they be reconciled, and can the other ones be reconciled? Are the pillars and approaches in Engeström closer to the Western or Indigenous model(s)? In other words, we propose that students apply the categories on the table from page 34 of Stop Talking (e.g., basic question, foundation, concept of knowledge) to those other 4 approaches.
Theoretical Framing: “Vygotskian and Post-Vygotskian approaches: theoretical concepts as efficient (higher-order) cultural tools” | Slides
2:00–2:05 Roll, adjustments, announcements, Lost & Found reminder, Kendra Announcement
- By next class, Group 1 (and ideally all the Groups) need to submit a copy of their required readings/viewings/links for their Group class facilitation.
Who in your Group is responsible for submitting the assigned readings?
Group 1: _____________________________
Group 2: _____________________________
Group 3: _____________________________
2:05–2:10 The fallacy of IQ tests slide (“The Tyranny of Meritocracy”)
2:10–2:35 Vygotskian Foundations; (On Google Slides so you can annotate and follow along) https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1U91FsiwItanrJ5U4SdxN_ZjgDhRcWOeBZXtkmD5Exi0/edit
2:35–3:15 Video about an Afterschool Program in NJ that uses Vygotskian and Post-Vygotskian approaches
3:15–3:45 Discussion about readings, lecture, and video
3:45–4:00 Groups assemble
- Engeström, Y. (1991). “Non scolae sed vitae discimus: Toward overcoming the encapsulation of school learning.” Learning and instruction, 1(3), 243-259.
- Lave and Wegner
- Stetsenko, A., & Arievitch, I. (2002). “Teaching, learning, and development: A post-Vygotskian perspective.” Learning for life in the 21st century: Sociocultural perspectives on the future of education, 84-96.
- Arievitch, I. M., & Haenen, J. P. (2005). “Connecting sociocultural theory and educational practice: Galperin's approach.” Educational Psychologist, 40(3), 155-165.
- Stetsenko (2010). “Teaching-Learning and Development as activists projects of historical becoming: Expanding Vygotsky's approach to pedagogy.” Pedagogies: An International Journal, 5, pp. 6-16.
- Lave, Jean. (1996). “Teaching as Learning, In Practice.” Mind, Culture, and Activity, 149-164.
- Bodrova, E. & Leong. D. (1995). Chapter 2 “Acquiring Mental Tools and Higher Mental Functions.” Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education, 15-27.
- Gal’perin, P. I. (1969). “Study of the Intellectual Development of the child.” Soviet Psychology, 2, pp. 26-44.
- Arievitch, I. M. (2003). “A potential for an integrated view of development and learning: Galperin's contribution to sociocultural psychology.” Mind, Culture, and Activity, 10(4), 278-288.
Two useful additional readings for the course:
- Risam, Roopika. “Academic Generosity, Academic Insurgency.” (on change within the academy and being critical of “critical university studies” if it does not acknowledge that there was no “Golden Age” for higher ed and that, right now, amid all the problems, Scholars of Color are transforming institutions).
- Interview on “decolonization” with philosopher and activist Achille Mbembe (Another critique of the critique --this takes a critical look at “decolonization” theory and pushes back at theories that again make the colonizer central).
Check In Slip for Class Facilitation Groups
Presentation Date: ____________________________________________________________
Topic/ Keywords: ____________________________________________________________
Assigned Readings, Viewings: ____________________________________________________________
Responsibilities for each Group:
Posting PDF or URLs for Assignment (reading/viewing/listening) for the class ____________________________________________________________
Class Presentation: Format (include one pedagogy exercise) ____________________________________________________________
Participatory Exercise: ____________________________________________
Recapping for HASTAC.org: ________________________________________
Posting (before the next class) to HASTAC.org by ____________________________________________________________
TAS-based critical-theoretical pedagogy
2:00-2:20 Roll, adjustments, announcements, Lost & Found reminder, Kendra Announcement, conference memo.
By this Thursday’s class, designate one person from your Group who is responsible for posting the assignment to the Google Doc syllabus and getting Tati any pdf’s, urls, etc. Choose someone you can count on, who can make something work in a pinch, who can organize your group and Get S*** Done! [BTW: This is an essential skill you can include on resumes.]
- Group One Poster: ______________________
- Group Two Poster: ______________________
- Group Three Poster: _____________________
- [By now, each Group should have held at least one session outside of class to discuss your Group presentation--email thread, Zoom, or actual meeting.]
2:20-2:30 Very quick TPS warm up: Three students plus Cathy were absent last week and did not see the video. Those who were here can fill us in and relate the video to the readings from last week and this week. (10min total)
Think: Make sure each pair includes someone who saw the video! Write on a card two or three ways the approach in the video fits into the paradigm of Western and indigenous pedagogies discussed previously? Does it fit? What’s in? What’s out? 90 seconds.
Pair: Choose a partner to represent your ideas to the class. (Ideally, you should be thinking about which one of you both saw the video and has spoken up the least in class and can use this as an opportunity to represent you. NB: Participation is also about extroverts sometimes using their skills to find ways to support others in their participation too. This is true leadership.)
Share: Quick go around and discuss.
2:30-3:30 Readings: Discussion leader Eduardo Vianna
3:30-3:45 Groups fill out the forms and present to the class (at 3:45). Please sign and hand in these Agenda sheets
- Vianna, E. & Stetsenko, A. (2019). “Turning Resistance into Passion for Knowledge with the Tools of Agency: Teaching-Learning about Theories of Evolution for social justice among foster youth.” Perspectiva, 37 (3).
- Vianna, E. & Stetsenko, A. (2017). “Expanding Student Agency in the Introductory Psychology Course: Transformative Activist Stance and Critical-Theoretical Pedagogy.” In Obeid, R., Schwartz, A., Shane Simpson, C. & Brooks, P. (Eds.), How We Teach Now: The GSTA Guide to Student-Centered Teaching.
- Vianna, E. & Stetsenko, S. (2011) “Connecting learning and identity: application in adolescent development in a child welfare program.” Human Development, 54, 313–338.
- Vianna, E. (2009). Collaborative transformations in foster care: Teaching-learning as a developmental tool in a residential program. Saarbrucken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller. Chapter 5, pp. XX