CRADLE – University of Helsinki
Research supervisors: Dr Reijo Miettnen, Dr Yrjo Engestrom
A basic problem I am struggling in my research is as follows.
As a participant engaged in educational change, one of basic questionsI naturallywant to ask in my thesis is the possibility of subject movement in the process of institutional change. Neo-institutional theory has recognized couple ofmechanisms to change, such as logics competition, might be created by institutionalcontradiction. But some branches in this approach also neglect the positionof human’s imagination embedded in their choices to resolve collective predicaments; statements following it depict human only has rather limited choice and easy to be disciplined. In contrast to that, some theorists turn focus onto human’s subjectivity and their situation. Pragmatist John Dewey has proposed reflection by makingdifference betweenprimary and secondary experience to indicate human’s capability to change, though he doesn’t deal that in collective level. With similar concerning on problem-resolving, Vygotsky suggests doublestimulate, which seems promising to understand and re-design the learning process in individualand collectiveas well. One example of double stimulate in institutional collectiveis charitable organizations. Some of themprovidea problem situationsuch as faminelikewise, to those people who live in developed countries. Simultaneouslythey also providesigns/tools to help people resolve the psychological conflicts. Here is a picture I took in Helsinki Airportin a countrywhich is far from deficiency. This posterlikely displays the double stimulation,including problem situation (the picture of Africa) andthe tool/sign as well (the green donation ball); it also reveals the new image after conflict-solving, namely “Travel with light pockets and mind”. In this situation, people who are not African are able to expand their moral consciousness by taking deficiency as their responsibility and are able to be empowered by putting little amountof money in the green ball at the sametime. Anew subjectthereafter be embodiedor realized in this interaction situation. This kind of mechanisms designed for calling humanto become kind of agency seems a popular skill in modern societies, especially in the context that people have to deal with bunch of complicate collective problems within democratic political system. This situationseems also happen in Taiwan. In the doctoral study, by the case of educational reformin Taiwan, I want to understand the logics and the ways of subject changing, and my position in the society as well.
Why I want to deal with this in the frame of the Summer University ?
By the Cultural-Historical approach and looking into activity, it seems thatI shouldfind the trajectory of objects and mediations to figure out the subject movementin educational change process. In current stage, I have collected data from multi-levels in educational change, including interview policy makers, policy designers, school administrators, teacher, parents and students. I also videotaped couples of workshops designed to facility teacher professional learning community. I’m supposed to dig out and trace back the evolutionof objects from those data. However, I need to study deeper on this approach to designa suitable analysis framework. International ISCAR Summer University provides a platformfor me to deeply discuss this kind of questions with other colleagues. Therefore I expect not only to learn from and contribute to other colleagues in small group organized in the Summer University, but also get feasible feedback to refine my questions and solve them more logically within individual consultations. Especially the problem-oriented workshops, which focus on methodology and data analysis, would be very helpful to help me to developviable plan on assortment of my research questions, methods and data collected from multi-level. I wish I would have chance to do that by participating in 4thISCAR Summer University.