Ge Wei

Peking University, China. Joint PhD student, University of Helsinki

Thesis: The Dynamics of Teachers’ Practical Knowledge

Research supervisor: Prof. Xiangming Chen & Prof. Yrjö Engeström

As a Ph.D. candidate at Graduate School of Education at Peking University, my research has focused on the dynamics of teachers’ practical knowledge from the socio-cultural perspective. Under the support of Chinese national scholarship of oversea study program, I am studying at CRADLE, University of Helsinki, and supervised by Prof. Yrjö Engeström now.

Since 2008, I have devoted myself in educational research field for seven years. In this period, I have served for three research centers as assistant researcher. Besides, I have participated in three national academic projects, published one book and ten CSSCI (Chinese Social Science Citation Index) journal articles, and presented my research papers in English at a number of international conferences. Last year, I won a research grant from Hong Kong Yuen Yuen Academic Funds (No. JY14003) to study the Chinese primary teachers’ practical knowledge, which is closely related with my doctoral research.

In order to finish my Ph.D. thesis, I decided to employ Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as my theoretical framework. It is so lucky for me that I get the instruction from Prof. Engeström. After one-semester study at CRADLE, I have learned theoretical basics concerning cultural-historical psychology, especially on L.S.Vygotsky, A.N.Leontyev, and V.V.Davydov. In addition, I have read focused on activity theory and Change Laboratory, which would be employed in my PhD research as well.

Recently, Prof. Engeström recommended me to participate in the 6th ISCAR Summer University in Moscow. With the passion of academic research, I prepared the documents for application at the first time. I have done field study in two Chinese primary school for three years, which leads to amounts of one-hand data. And I have finished the draft analyses of my data collected in China from the socio-cultural activity theoretical perspective. Now, I am cooperating with two primary schools in Helsinki. Under the supervision of Prof. Engeström, an inter-cultural comparative study about the dynamics of teacher’s practical knowledge is hopefully completed in the end of next June.

It is my dream to get the original inspiration from Russia, the hometown of cultural-historical activity theory. I really hope to share my research with the friends who have the same orientations with me in this summer school. There is no doubt that the 6th ISCAR Summer University will bring me a wonderful academic experience.

All in all, I believe that I bring the good academic quality, practical expertise, and international perspective to the 6th ISCAR Summer University. Besides, I hope to build more cooperation between Peking University and Un Moscow State University of Psychology and Education during my visiting.

Presentation “The Dynamics of Teachers’ Practical Knowledge: from the cultural-historical activity theoretical perspective”

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