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Research on pedagogical activity: contributions from the theory of activity

The purpose of this article is to present some of the contributions from the psychological theory of activity (Vigotski, Leontiev, Luria, Davidov amongst others) to research on teaching activity. The focus of these authors, especially Leontiev and Davidov, is the study of human activity as the central unit of the concrete individual's life, and its link with consciousness. According to the authors, in a class society, human consciousness becomes fragmented and disintegrates; social significance and personal meanings, structural components of consciousness, are not just coincidences but become contradictory. Based on these reflections, we asked what would be the consequences of the rupture between meanings and senses in pedagogical activity and what would be the possibilities of coincidence between these two dimensions of human consciousness in pedagogical work. To answer these questions, we sought, first of all, to delimit the meaning of the teacher's pedagogical activity, focusing on the propositions of historical cultural psychology and critical historical pedagogy. This was a necessary condition in order to be able to research the personal meaning of the teacher's pedagogical activity, or what motivates teaching activity. We then briefly analysed the implications of the rupture between the significance and personal meaning of pedagogical activity. Finally, we pointed to some possibilities for resistance to this rupture at the theoretical level.

theory of activity; personal meaning; pedagogical activity


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