Jessica Casanova

Jessica Casanova

Vygotsky’s theories explicitly and implicitly underpin foundations within educational settings. A brief outline of his concepts is part of the basic training. Nevertheless, an in-depth research is seldom possible during undergraduate education.

To complete my master’s degree1 I confronted the idea of the Zone of Proximal Development and a psychomotor concept called „psychomotorische Entwicklingsförderung“ (psychomotor development support based on psychomotor approaches). At that time, I struggled with the reconstruction of his conceptualisation and understanding of zone of proximal development and it became a passionate inquiry field of inquiry to me: wanting to discover practical implications and applications of this concept in educational contexts.

After (re)-discovering Cultural Historical Activity Theory and Change Laboratory I wanted to apply this method by adding the „body lense“ to the concept and approach in research projects involving children from a participative perspective to tackle issues and challenges met in school settings. Thus, my first research interest was doing a „change laboratory“ with all actors, including the children or by having children as active research partners. As a psychomotor therapist, I consider the intertwinement of psyche, motricity and soma. Body is considered as a ground of self, but also as an „instrument“. „Body“ should give me some clues to offer children more opportunities to participate plainly in the research processes. Once again, I noticed that I wanted a more fundamental understanding of Vygotsky’s ideas and methods with a focus on body.

Furthermore, the possible findings could be potentially valuable to multiple disciplines by being confronted to other approaches involving “body” (concepts of Bourdieu, Foucault, Moll,
Gutierrez, Engeström…).

In being offered the opportunity to attend the SU programme, I could gain deeper insight into theories and methodological aspects. With the help of exchanges and advices of leading researchers and participants I would be able to narrow down my research questions and find possible hints to start my PhD journey.

Certainly, my enthusiasm, my critical thinking and creative skills would contribute to interesting exchanges.

Presentation “Exploring possible understandings of the body in selected works of L. S. Vygotsky”

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