The Group as a Source of Development: Rethinking Professional Development in a Collaborative Perspective

Fabiana Marques Barbosa Nasciutti, Nikolay Veresov, Ana Maria Falcao de Egao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Since the later decades of the 20th century, Brazilian psychologists have been questioning a theoretical and interventional model in educational contexts, which consider psychological phenomena apart from their cultural contexts, in order to develop an approach based on a contextualized viewpoint. Despite progress having been made in educational psychology, as a result of this critical paradigm, this area still has problems to overcome: Psychologists are becoming increasingly separate from schools, and it is now common to find psychologists who are professionally unprepared to perform in this context and furthermore, school principals do not always understand the role of psychologists in educational settings. However, educational demands exist in psychologists’ daily work in a range of contexts, indicating the relevance of this field and the urgency to improve psychologists' qualifications. Considering that Brazilian professional development programs for educators and psychologists are usually restricted to technical learning, often ignoring professionals’ real needs and claims, this research aimed to develop a special type of professional development program looking at the group as a source of development, in order to rethink professional development process from within a collaborative perspective. Research data was generated from a professional development program offered for psychologists and professionals who work within educational settings. This programme involved collaborative group work and was organized and conducted in such a way as to create conditions for change. Concepts of cultural-historical theory – social situation of development, crisis and perezhivanie – were used as analytic tools for data analysis. Analysis indicated the importance of the group as a source of development through dialogue and the co-construction of new ideas and possibilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-108
Number of pages23
JournalOutlines. Critical practice studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Professional development
  • cultural-historical theory
  • drama
  • Crisis

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