Intervention Research in a Public Elementary School: A Critical-Collaborative Teacher Education Project on Reading and Writing
This Teacher Education Project is an intervention research aimed at creating new school roles for educating students as readers and writers as well as citizens. The methodological framework was based on Vygotsky’s discussions of method as praxis (Vygotsky, 1921-23/1997, 1930/1999, 1931/1997, 1926- 30/1996), as well as on both the Marxist practical–materialistic–revolutionary activity and Engeström’s (2008, 2009) extensions of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). The work at school was motivated by students’ limited awareness of reading and writing. The goal was to involve the school as a community in understanding and transforming the ways in which reading and writing were addressed in classrooms. The methodology used for organizing and carrying out the project was devised so as to allow for three activity systems that partially interact with their objects – that is, reading and writing as tools for teaching-learning in different areas in order to constitute students as citizens. However, for this paper, we will focus solely on the Teacher Education Activity System, which we termed Teacher Support Team. Three episodes are discussed in this paper: Two video sessions with the Teacher Support Team, the first of which took place in 2010, and the second in 2011; and a classroom reading class session that was videotaped in 2011 as part of the Teacher Support Team work. The theoretical and practical work developed was targeted at creating a mutual Zone of Proximal Development that supported teachers, coordinators, and the principal, through the appropriation of reading and writing as processes. The results show that the organization of the project as interrelated activity systems enhanced the entire school’s prospects of appropriating the reading and writing teaching-learning processes, by focusing on the same object, in the diverse systems that framed the project.
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