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Chapter 10 Epilogue
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

In drawing her writing to a close the author outlines avenues in CHAT research she finds promising, but did not have adequate time for, before providing a short summary of key findings which emerge from her extended CHAT based study. She then details the polysemic nature of action, nature of theory and nature of dialectic at play, in arguments she presents throughout her writing. She finally forwards practitioner-as-artist-and-scientist as analytical construct, one that can be deployed and provide insight as units of different grain size – the individual teacher, everyday schooling and the societal practice of education at large.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 5 Practitioner Research
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

The centrality of practitioners taking action in CHAT research is shed light in this chapter by examining multiple genres which could inform such attempts. The author begins with perspectives of narrative research she herself finds useful in grasping educational realities. Having different geographical roots in which they originated and flourished, a short overview of action research and teacher research are then examined. Two areas focusing on the teacher as practitioner are then examined in terms of life history research and a collective of attempts which the author terms person-centric. The coda introduces insightful notions relevant to practitioner action, forwarded by the linguistic philosopher Bakhtin.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 3 Doctoral Research
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

This chapter provides a ring side view of the authors doctoral work in line with theoretical-practical perspectives of CHAT. Adopting such an approach allows her to discuss concepts like the zpd, mediated action, mediated agency besides the analytical notion of activity in an empirical manner. Of no less value is her discussion on the centrality of practice and practitioner intervention in relation to classroom instruction and the ability of the two teachers in her study, to realise cooperative learning by students in small groups and an explicit collaborative classroom practice established with them. The strange sounding CHAT premise of ascending from the abstract to the concrete is finally engaged with.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 7 Critical Perspectives
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

The work of critical theorists is examined in this chapter via arguments of Freire in relation to the importance of critical consciousness for teachers as well as their students. Two writings follow which alert the reader to what it may mean to be a teacher who works in line with critical perspectives, followed by the author drawing attention to the hidden curriculum that may underpin the kind of work that teachers set for students in schools catering to various socio-economic strata in society. Two perspectives that outline what it may mean to carry out educational research in an unjust world, namely research as praxis and research as bricolage are then examined. These place local realities and not a priori methods as key to grasping and changing them. The coda deals with principles underpinning dialectical inquiry, whose exercise is demanded of practitioners working in line with CHAT and critical perspectives.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 4 Wider CHAT Research
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

Engagement with penetrating research conducted by other CHAT scholars in this chapter, helps the author hold up a mirror to commonly held views in relation to thinking, learning, teaching and schooling. This includes her drawing attention to Bronfenbrenner’s ecologies in terms of which education is structured in everyday reality, Lave’s situated learning with respect to learning mathematics in classrooms, Scribner’s functional approach to human thinking in the everyday and Moll’s underscoring the construction of a relevant zpd for bilingual children in poorer neighbourhoods, for them to avail of existing funds of knowledge. A Vygotskian take on schooling is next viewed via Tharp and Gallimore’s notion of teaching so as to rouse students’ minds to life. The loss of meaning students feel with regards to schooling even as its centrality in their lives is not denied by them, is finally examined with del Rio and Alvarez’s notion of meaningful practical activity.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 9 Taking Transformative Action
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

Dwelling on the CHAT construct of formative interventions, the author provides empirical overview of four instructional interventions she lead with two teachers at respective grade four and grade eight mathematics classrooms. In doing so she portrays four kinds of relationships she realised in extended collaboration with them, whose conduct and outcomes dealt with ongoing instructional as well as curricular aims of either. Deploying the metaphor of forests and trees, she then discusses the vital issue faced by teachers of having to teach a cohort of students, yet be responsible for each child therein. The coda triangulates her own efforts with those of two other CHAT scholars, whom she also draws upon.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 8 Curriculum Studies
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

Insightful CHAT compatible frameworks in curriculum studies, are examined in this chapter beginning with the writings of Stenhouse in relation to the teacher as artist being a researcher and Schwab’s call for practitioner deliberation in the practical. Eisner’s arguments in relation to multiple ways in which the arts could inform cognition and curriculum, transform human consciousness and underpin education besides educational research, are followed by arguments by Shulman another of Schwab’s descendants in relation to teaching cases and portfolios. Those of Biesta in line with John Dewey follow, which ask that practitioners take intelligent action. The coda draws attention to the kind of risks associated with schooling as pointed out by Bruner, Olson and Biesta.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 2 Classroom Teaching
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

The author’s experiences of growing up and teaching in India form the core of this chapter. Besides early philosophical influences that nurture her personal and professional development, the author sheds light on the value of being mentored besides the rollercoaster ride that classroom teaching could be. The strengths of the contemporary notion of personal practical knowledge is brought to bear, as also Vygotsky’s early views on teaching in schools. Attention is finally brought to the argument that besides children, schools are for teachers too.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 6 Pedagogical Perspectives
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

Perspectives which help shed light on pedagogical efforts made by practitioners are examined in this chapter. In keeping with dilemmas which the author herself encounters the first three are sociological in outlook, enabling practitioners to draw on perspectives that afford a wide angled view. These include lessons from international comparative tests besides the role of parent teacher meetings. This is followed by examining the importance of lives lead by students in the material culture found locally by them, besides the manner in which socio-institutional discourses underpin the pedagogical efforts of practitioners. CHAT models are introduced which help categorise the nature of pedagogy practitioners come to use, followed by the notion of leading activity which directs attention to those instructional activities most likely to further the development of students at various stages in their lives. A coda finally draws attention to pedagogical thoughtfulness and the very tone of teaching in line with phenomenological perspectives.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action
Chapter 1 Introducing This Book
Author: Sharada Gade

Abstract

This introductory chapter outlines constructs which allow the author to make a personal and historical case of arts-and-science-in-the-making in her book. These include the taking of human action, the conduct of educational research besides cultivating humanity in line with tenets of liberal education. Key Vygotskian ideas which premise cultural historical activity theory and/or CHAT perspectives that view education as an active project of becoming human are then outlined. Distinctive ways in which the arts contribute to the author’s approach are next dealt with, allowing for mathematics education to be viewed as a human activity in line with a humanistic philosophy of mathematics.

In: Imagining Education: Taking CHAT Based Transformative Action