Some 14,000 educators flocked to Philadelphia for meetings of the American Educational Research Association — among them several hundred Vygotskians — members of the Cultural Historical Research Special Interest Group (SIG), who staged some of the more innovative presentations under the auspices of the SIG’s program committee co-chaired by Institute pedagogical director Carrie Lobman and Boston College researcher Emily Duvall.
A highlight of the Cultural Historical Research business meeting chaired by Peter Smagorinsky was a video showing and lively discussion led by Lois Holzman of Fred Newman’s psychology play, Beyond the Pale. The play — which raises all sorts of philosophical conundrums — was written in 1996 for the American Psychological Association and portrays an imaginary therapy session with a troubled Ludwig Wittgenstein and Lev Vygotsky.
Lobman and Holzman, along with Emily Duvall, Natalia Gadjamaschko, Ana Christina Iddings, Jim Martinez, Ana Marjonovic Shane and Elina Shepel, led a half-day professional development session for the SIG entitled: Cultural Historical Activity Theory Methodologies in the 21st Century: The Intersections of Theory, Research, Policy, and Praxis.
Other cultural-historical offerings by Institute alumni and colleagues included:
Armando Justo (George Washington University) Summer Program: Fostering Youth Development Through Performance and Creative Imitation
Tony Perone (University of Memphis) Listening to Learners: Mexican American Adults’ Suggestions for Imaginative Play in Formal Learning Environments
Jim Martinez (NY Institute of Technology) Service Learning and Creating Zones of Proximal Development in STEM Learning
On another conference stage, All Stars Project co-founder, Institute faculty and developmentalist Lenora Fulani, Johns Hopkins sociologist Karl Alexander (whose research investigates the “summer slide” in poor communities), A.J. Franklin (Boston College), Ross Danis (Newark Education Trust), and four All Stars young people, were featured presenters at an invited presidential session chaired by All Stars V.P. Bonny Gildin and entitled, Innovations in Addressing the Education and Poverty Crisis: The Importance of Researching ‘Outside of School.’