What can Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) contribute to the solution of the problems facing higher education today? This edited volume brings together the work of an international group of scholars and researchers to address this important question. Drawing on contemporary interpretations of CHAT, the contributors take on a wide range of issues, ranging from pedagogy to administration and from teacher preparation to university outreach. An introduction presents the key principles of CHAT. Subsequent chapters address such issues as effective ways of teaching large undergraduate classes, providing support for struggling writers or for students with disabilities, opening up opportunities for students from historically underserved communities, preparing students for the professions, and building bridges between higher education and the wider community. Readers with an interest in higher education will encounter ideas in these chapters that will prompt them to rethink their role in preparing today's students for tomorrow's challenges.
Gordon Wells is Professor of Education Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz. As an educator, his particular interest is in fostering dialogic inquiry as an approach to learning and teaching at all levels, based on the work of Vygotsky and other sociocultural theorists. Anne Edwards is Professor of Education at the University of Oxford, where she co-convenes the Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research. She has written extensively on cultural historical approaches to learning in the workplace and in formal education settings.
1. Introduction Gordon Wells and Anne Edwards; 2. Goal formation and identity formation in higher education Deborah Downing and Michael Cole; 3. Using a cultural historical approach to understand educational change in introductory physics classrooms Chandra A. Turpen and Noah D. Finkelstein; 4. Taking responsibility for learning: CHAT in a large undergraduate class Gordon Wells; 5. CHAT and student writing David Russell; 6. Assessment in higher education - a CHAT perspective Anton Havnes; 7. The agency of the learner in the networked university: an expansive approach Russell Francis; 8. Supporting access to science and engineering through scientific argumentation Tamara Ball and Lisa Hunter; 9. Using CHAT to understand systems to support disabled students in higher education Jan Georgeson; 10. Internship: navigating the practices of an investment bank Natalie Lundsteen and Anne Edwards; 11. Identity change in the context of HE institutions Jorge Larremeamendy-Joerns; 12. Developing skills for collaborative, relational research in higher education: a cultural historical analysis Ioanna Kinti and Geoff Hayward; 13. Teacher education in the public university: the challenge of democratizing knowledge production Viv Ellis; 14. What does 'transformation of participation' mean in a university classroom? Exploring university pedagogy with the tools of cultural historical theory Holli Tonyan and Glen Auld; 15. Gentle partnerships: learning from the fifth dimension Honorine Norcon and Monica Nilsson.