Ann-Therese Arstorp

Ann-Therese Arstorp

University of Aarhus

Thesis: Digital technological artefacts mediating transformation and continuity in the teaching practice of the Danish Teacher Education

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Research supervisor: Prof. Cathrine Hasse

The most basic problem that I am struggling with in my present state of research is the use of Vygotskys concept of mediation. I wish to use mediation to understand the interaction between technology, teacher and object (Leont’ev) in the activities that go on within the activity setting (Hedegaard) in the teaching practice. When transforming Vygotskys concept of mediation into a concept related to transformation and continuity of activities and practices the reference to Vygotsky might be problematic, and therefore I am struggling with what possibilities and problems this use of Vygotsky might introduce to my study. Wertsch, Cole and others have already made this transformation but they have also been critiqued for it (e.g. Miller). In my own study it seems like I am not quite at a place where my use of the concept is firmly positioned and solidly developed. And this is the main reason why this summer university is a very important and crucial part of developing my research and my conceptual thinking.

I am developing a model to help visualize my analytical framework and to guide the analytical work. It shows the contextually situated teaching practice (the circles) and the mediation (‘triangle’ in the middle) that goes on through the teacher’s use of technology in relation to the object of activity (Leont’ev, Engeström). The development of this model therefore ties closely into the above mentioned issues with the concept of mediation. Mediation is a very central part of the model as well as of my study. I would honor the opportunity to discuss and develop my understanding of the concept of mediation and its potential development with the highly respected professors of the ISCAR community at the Summer University.

Activity setting