Reenergising professional creativity from a CHAT perspective: seeing knowledge and history in practice

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This article offers a critical examination of aspects of a practice- and theory-developing intervention in the teacher education setting in England designed as a variation of Developmental Work Research. A positive case is argued for the distinctiveness of such cultural-historical activity theory [CHAT-] informed interventions and some points of contrast are drawn with the British tradition of educational action research. In describing the practice-developing intervention, the twin focus on seeing knowledge and history in human activity systems is advanced as two dimensions of CHAT's distinctive approach, with the goal of stimulating and studying the emergence of professional creativity. Creativity under this interpretation is defined as the perception and analysis of opportunities for learning within the social situation of development and the production of new conceptual tools and approaches to the social organisation of work. Professional creativity is advanced as a much needed capacity among teachers in industrial workplaces influenced by the techniques of New Public Management. Common ground between CHAT and action research approaches is seen in their optimistic and modernist commitments to progress, and CHAT-framed interventions, like action research approaches, are presented as part of an evolving intellectual project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalMind, Culture, and Activity: An International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

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