Moscow CHAT Reading Club: a new forum for psychologists, educators, researchers and students

In October 2020, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE) launched a new scientific and educational project ReadingLive: Moscow CHAT Reading Club, which is a forum for psychologists, educators, researchers, students and all those interested in Cultural-Historical Psychology and Activity Approach. The aim of the project consists in bringing together specialists from all over the world, who work in the framework of the theory of L.S. Vygotsky and his followers. The project is also aimed at showing the diversity of ways and contexts, in which Cultural-Historical theory is nowadays applied in different spheres and settings.

The first meeting of the Reading Club took place on October, 12th and gathered around 60 participants from different countries, including Russia, USA, Great Britain, Greece and Brazil.

The opening word was delivered by Arkady Margolis, Rector of MSUPE, who emphasized the importance of cross-cultural dialogue for further development of the Cultural-Historical Theory and Activity Approach by scholars all over the world.

The presentation was made by Anna Stetsenko, PhD in Psychology, Full Professor, Head of the Department of Developmental Psychology and Professor of Urban Education (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA. Anna’s talk focused on her recent article, “Critical Challenges in Cultural-Historical Activity Theory: the Urgency of Agency” that was published in the special issue of the Journal “Cultural-Historical Psychology” timed to the Summer ISCAR Seminar 2020. In her presentation Anna addressed one of today’s major challenges, which is related to conceptualizing agency within a non-dichotomous, dialectical perspective, giving credit to the social roots of agency. Anna drew attention to the importance of considering agency as the result of “togetherness”, rather than as an individual achievement. Anna’s presentation was discussed by Eduardo Vianna, Professor of LaGuardia Community College (The Graduate Center, New York city University, USA). Eduardo emphasized the role of agency in different settings and conditions, faced by today’s people, including living under the pandemic.

The presentation was followed by an open discussion, where students, junior scholars, and well-known experts in the field of CHAT took part. Katerina Plakitsi, ISCAR President (Greece), Glykeriya Fragkiadaki, Senior Research Fellow (Monash University, Australia), Sueli Fidalgo, Professor (Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil) were among the participants of the discussion.

The discussion was moderated by Olga Rubtsova, Head of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Childhood.

The closing remarks were made by Anna Shvedovskaya, who invited the participants to use the resources of the platform

Relevant materials:

Stetsenko A.P. Critical Challenges in Cultural-Historical Activity Theory: the Urgency of Agency. Kul’turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 5–18. doi:10.17759/chp.2020160202. (In Russ., аbstrin Engl.)

The video of the first meeting is available below:

“ReadingLive” is a scientific and educational project, operated by Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Childhood and International UNESCO Chair “Cultural-Historical Psychology of Childhood” with the International Journal “Cultural-Historical Psychology” and the University project “Vygotsky’s Library”.

The project is aimed at psychologists, educators, researchers, students and all those interested in Cultural-Historical Psychology and Activity Approach. “ReadingLive” is a special setting, where people from all over the world are invited to read and discuss both classical and contemporary works, written in the framework of the Cultural-Historical Psychology and Activity Approach. Project moderators  are Olga Rubtsova  and Anna Shvedovskaya.

The project will continue its work, inviting for further dialogue and exchange of experience.

Videos of the other webinars within the Club:

02.03.2021. Scaffolding as an embodied process within student-teacher functional system.

28.01.2021. P.Y. Galperin’s Development of Human Mental Activity: implications for practice and research.

30.11.2020. From the concept of ZPD to the practice of dynamic assessment.

Facebook: MoscowCHATReadingClub

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