Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Thesis: Developing English teachers as transformative agents
Research supervisor: Dr. Fernanda Coelho Liberali

Based on the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (VYGOTSKY, LEONTIEV and ENGESTRÖM), on the whole, this postdoctoral project understands that the characteristics of human actions are focused on the external physical aspects with consequences in the internal and psychological features, particularly, consciousness development, by means of social activities. Therefore, the 7th ISCAR Summer University will be a magnificent opportunity to deepen my studies on theory and practice of research in the field of development and education with a focus on the cultural-historical psychology and activity approach (L.S. VYGOTSKY, A.N. LEONT’EV, A.R. LURIYA). I already studied some of the ideas of L.S.Vygotsky when I took my master and doctoral degrees years ago, but as his concepts are limitless and intriguing, theoretical and methodological basis of this scientific approach again and again remains insufficient.
More specifically, my postdoctoral research project aims to investigate the complexity of the development of the activity of assisting student-teachers to become reflective English teachers of a private college in São Paulo as transformative agents of social changes, but not merely experts on linguistic features. This proposal was conceived because of the increasing need and urgency to develop critical reflective English teachers as agents of changes. In general, in Brazil, it is well known that English teachers undergraduation courses have serious weaknesses that undermine the development of a critical reflective thinking and attitudes with regard to teaching as social transformative activities. They tend to have only a technical linguistic input that structure academic “training” of these future teachers in the mere application of theories, methods and linguistic technical tools.
This study believes that, given the real situation of life, disorderly, chaotic, uncertain of human relations, “life that is lived” (MARX; ENGELS), which is complex (MORIN), the activity of developing reflective English teachers as transformative agents will certainly have different characteristics and structures of the initially idealized object. In other words, it is a study that aims to create the basis to discuss the details of the realized object, not only the idealized, that is the real picture of life, full of imbalances in situations of chaos, uncertainty and doubt, but with the omnipresence of creativity and innovation of human action that creates opportunities for a new order, a new object.
Due to the cultural artifacts mainly, these new objects derived from the chaos of the social activities are the main concerning research problem that I’m struggling with. On this account, the 7th ISCAR Summer University will be an insightful and unique opportunity to deal with that once I’ll broaden my knowledge and improve my research skills by means of sharing ideas with my colleagues related to different research projects in the same field of the activity approach, as well as by participating in fruitful discussions, and getting valuable feed-back to my research from the so renowned leading international experts in the field of theoretical and practical application of cultural-historical psychology and activity approach.
Besides that, attending the 7th ISCAR Summer University will be a chance to enhance my knowledge on the methodological foundations of the cultural-historical theory and activity approach in the research of various aspects of education and development in order to a priori solve the pedagogical problem when it comes to talking about developing critical reflective English teachers as transformative agents of changes. Above all, it will be an awesome experience to my personal learning and development.