ACTIVITY THEORY AND ORGANIZATIONS SUB-THEME TOOK PLACE AT THE 31st EGOS COLLOQIUM IN ATHENS, GREECE
"Activity Theory and Organizations" sub-theme took place at the 31st European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium in July 2-4th, 2015 in Athens, Greece. The participants of the sub-theme were from twelve different countries from across the world. Yrjö Engeström, Anu Kajamaa and Zlatko Bodrožić were the organizers and convenors of the sub-theme. There were 33 paper presentations and two keynotes in the sub-theme. The keynotes were given by Hannele Kerosuo & Reijo Miettinen (University of Helsinki, CRADLE), entitled "From an idea to transformative experimentation: The concept of knotworking in construction industry" and by Giuseppe Scaratti, (Catholic University of Milan, Italy): "The Change Laboratory mirroring as a dialogical
process: Learning from Bakhtin". The sub-theme "Activity Theory and Organizations" will take place for the fifth time next year at the 32nd EGOS Colloquium in July 7-9, 2016 in Naples, Italy. The call for short papers will be announced soon. For more information see:
EGOS 2016, Naples:
CRADLE DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND RESEACHERS TOOK PART IN THE ANNUAL SEMINAR OF FinEd/KASVA NETWORK
This year the Annual Seminar of FinEd/KASVA Network took place in June 9-10,in an old fisherman’s village Herrankukkaro in Rymättylä. The two-day seminar was especially dedicated to questions of comparative education, comparative education research and policy studies, and on the transformations of the governance of education in Europe. CRADLE researchers Anu Kajamaa and Sami Paavola chaired two sessions on “Cultural historical activity theory”, where participants the topic of the seminar from the standpoints of cultural-historical activity theory. During the session, four current CRADLE doctoral candidates presented the following papers:
- Monic Lemos “Collaborative Agency in Educational Management: a Possibility of School and Community Transformation”
- Hongda Lin “Remaking a Policy Instrument in the Educational Field – Developing an Idea of School Transformation”
- Yuri Lapshin “School Team Agency Improvement Through Collective Concept Formation”
- Liubov Vetoshkina “Manifestations of Contradictions in Physical Actions: a Methodological Proposal”.
Also two visiting PhD student from Brazil, Adriane Cenci ( Federal University of Pelotas) and Manoela Gomes (University of São Paulo), presented their papers “The Challenge of Inclusive Education in a Brazilian School” and “Collective Learning Process To Prevent New Accidents in Airport Construction”, in the sessions.
More information on FinEd/KASVA Network, see: http://www.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/edu/yksikot/fined/Sivut/home.aspx
CRADLE AND CHANGE LABORATORY AT THE HELSINKI UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 5/2015
The Helsinki University magazine 5/2015 made a cover story on the international Change Laboratory seminar that was organized in March 2015 by the Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning CRADLE, and was led by professor Yrjö Engeström.
CHANGE THE WORLD! COVER 5/2015 | What connects South African farms, evening shift at the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Japanese earthquakes and tomato breeders in a Finnish town Närpiö. Problems of each of these have been solved in the change laboratory at the University of Helsinki.
LEARNING IN PRODUCTIVE SOCIAL MOVEMENTS PROJECT HAS A NEW WEBSITE!
Welcome to follow the work of the project Learning in Productive Social Movements, headed by Professor and Director of CRADLE Yrjö Engeström. The project is part of the Adacemy of Finland Research Programme: Future of Learning, Knowledge and SkillsTULOS 2014–2017.
Doctoral Candidate Juhana Rantavuori is currently fieldworking with the Urban Co-Operative Farm in Helsinki. Doctoral Student Kukka Ranta and Master Student Mikael Brunila have been working recently with the New York City Community Land Initiative.
DR ANU KAJAMAA VISITED MCGILL UNIVERSITY IN MONTREAL, CANADA
Dr. Anu Kajamaa is a partner in an ongoing research project on "Emerging organisational practices: Lessons from radical hospital re-structuring" led by Professor Samer Faraj and Assistant Professor Peter Nugus at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During her visit (25th-30th May) to McGill University, Desautels Faculty of Management, Kajamaa exchanged ideas with Faraj, Nugus and their colleagues and gave a presentation in their project seminar. Kajamaa was also an invited participant and a speaker in an international symposium on "Video ethnography and care coordination" held during 28th-29h of May, hosted by the Centre for Medical Education and the Department of Family Medicine, McGill University. Researchers, Canadian policy personnel and clinician-managers participated to the symposium.
International guests included: Henk Nies (Netherlands), Matthew Cooke (UK), Katherine Carroll (US), Anu Kajamaa (Finland) and David Greenfield (Australia). The symposium contributed to development of innovative methods to understand and resolve challenges of care coordination in contemporary health systems.
HANNA TOIVIAINEN IN EUCOSH PROJECT "TRAIN-THE-TRAINERS" IN SUZHOU, CHINA
"Following one theoretical and one practical module of a “train the trainers” programme for OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) trainers working in the Chinese non-coal mining sector, the EUCOSH project brought 24 safety trainers together in Suzhou from the 13th to the 24th of April, 2015. The trainers completed the third and final module of the programme, supported by international training expert Hanna Toiviainen and national experts in training and subject matter specialists in OSH.
For the first five days, the participants presented on their experiences implementing new learner-centred training approaches with revised content in their own teaching during the practical module of the programme. Each day also involved discussions between participants on how to prepare curricula for revised courses, and how to incorporate less didactic and prescriptive training into a Chinese context.
During the second week of the course, participants attended advanced training activities to further develop their understanding of EU best practices in both pedagogy and OSH."
See more: Photographs from the training session
Hanna will take part also in another “Train the Trainers” course of the EUCOSH later this summer. The course takes place in 27.7.-7.8.2015.
KUKKA RANTA DEBATED ON ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI
Kukka Ranta, doctoral student at the Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning CRADLE, debated on academic research and activism on Tuesday, May 19, at the University in the Society, Researcher as an activist Seminar, organized by the Research Center AGORA for the Study of Social Justice & Equality in Education and the Free University of Finland.
Kukka Ranta presented the project Learning in Productive Social Movements,headed by Director of CRADLE, Professor Yrjö Engeström. Ranta talked about her role as a researcher and activist working with different social movements relating to housing and land rights in the global north and global south, soon after returning from New York where she realized the first fieldwork period in collaboration with the New York City Community Land Initiative coalition.
The project is funded by the Adacemy of Finland and is part of the Research Programme: Future of Learning, Knowledge and Skills TULOS 2014–2017.
CRADLE RESEARCH SEMINAR ON TWO BRAZILIAN CHANGE LABORATORIES ON JUNE 4
Dear colleagues, on Thursday, June 4, from 10:00 to 12:45, in the library room 334 of Athena building (3rd floor), there will be a CRADLE research seminar on two Change Laboratory interventions in Brazil. Here are the abstracts of the two presentations:
An intervention to improve the process of inclusive education in a Brazilian School by Adriane Cenci, Federal University of Pelotas
The inclusion of special needs students in Brazil, which has been intensified from 2008 on, when a new Policy was implemented, has questioned the efficacy of Brazilian educational system regarding the universal right to education. The objective of the research was to analyze the process of inclusion implementation in order to improve it by intervening in a group composed by eleven 6th grade teachers, a special education teacher, a pedagogical coordinator and an educational counselor of a public school in Southern Brazil. The intervention has been based on the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, and was inspired by Change Laboratory methodology. Such methodology is based on the idea of expansive learning, which proposes the collective creation of new learning to deal with the contradictions faced in an activity system. Inclusive education has been a challenge to this school and its teachers: most of them were dealing with it for the first time. Ten group sessions were carried out from March to December 2014. The first findings reveal the multiple ways inclusion was understood by the subjects: a) as a possibility of learning; b) as a farce (students with special needs are in regular schools, but without the adequate support to engage in the learning process); c) and as a process full of contradictions (most of them related to evaluation, to the working conditions they have at school, and to student diversity). The group believed that, by simply attending regular school, a student could be considered included. During the sessions, this belief was challenged and there was an attempt to focus on student learning. The changes in this respect have been small. However, it is important to show, from teachers’ perspective, the daily problems they face to manage a diverse group of students.
Formative intervention to prevent accidents in airport building process: A historical analysis by Manoela Lopes, University of São Paulo
A building collapse occurred during the construction of a new terminal airport in Brazil. The collapse is one of the worst safety scenarios in civil construction. These accidents analyses are traditionally based on methods which are restricted to the immediate causes and they are not capable of detecting the underlying causes of accidents. Based on this, the Change Laboratory method was conducted to help actors to learn and reformulate the activity system of construction to prevent new accidents in the future. This presentation will focus on the preliminary historical analysis of this construction site.
EVERYBODY IS VERY WELCOME TO COME AND DISCUSS THESE TWO HIGHLY INTERESTING FORMATIVE INTERVENTIONS!
POST-DOCTORAL SCHOLARSHIP POSITION
Title: Change Laboratory as a methodology for intervention on working accidents prevention
- Scholarship lead-time: 24th months
- Field of knowledge: Worker Health, Public Health
- FAPESP number of process: 12/04721-1
- Project title: Work accident: from social technical analysis toward social construction of changes
- Area of study: Worker Health, Public Health, Ergonomic Work Analysis
- Principal Investigator: Prof. Rodolfo Andrade de Gouveia Vilela
- Institution: School of Public Health – São Paulo University – USP (Brazil)
- Application lead-time: 2015, May 18
- Published in: 2015, April 10
Work-related accidents are the most important harms to workers’ health in Brazil. Official data show a true epidemic with major costs in human, social and financial terms to companies and government. Working accidents are complex, multi-causal phenomena, determined by causes in the sphere of work’s organization and processes; this statement goes against the paradigm of behavioral safety, that assign them to workers’ mistakes, in an approach that hinders their prevention. The scholarship aims to assist in the construction testing and deployment methodology of organization diagnosis linked to the change of priority hazardous situations objectives. The objective of the Scholarship project is to test, evaluate, develop and disseminate methodology of Change Laboratory as a tool to surveillance and prevent accidents and diseases at Brazilian reality. The strategy encompasses the diagnostics steps involving understanding, at work, the determinants of the risks of accidents and others hazards, using a combination of methods of in-depth study of the accidents and diseases resulting from the work process as, among others, the Model for Analysis and Accident Prevention- MAPA, the Ergonomic Analysis of Activity and Collective Work Analysis, that will serve as basis for formative interventions and creating solutions with Change Laboratory (CL) method. As a result it is expected the construction of knowledge and development of innovative technologies the enable the diagnosis of the relationships - work and accident risk – associated with the social construction of effective change and redesign of pathogenic and dangerous work situations.
- PhD on research lines: Worker Health, Public Health or Ergonomic (will take priority).
- Candidates who already an estimate of his doctoral thesis defense date are welcome to sign up. Please send the short letter and curriculum vitae via e-mail.
Contact: Prof. Rodolfo Andrade de Gouveia Vilela
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Subject: PD Prevenção de Acidente de Trabalho
- Futher information on research group activities:
PROFESSOR SYLVIE BARMA GIVES A SEMINAR IN CRADLE ON MARCH 31 AT 13:30
Professor Sylvie Barma from Laval University, Canada (and Visiting Professor in our Faculty of Behavioural Sciences) will give a seminar "The 'rationality island' teaching task: A promising avenue for the engagement of students in theoretical generalization" on Tuesday, March 31, at 13:30 in the library room of CRADLE (Athena building, 3rd floor).
Our presentation will focus on the results of a two-year formative intervention (2010-2012) conducted in Quebec with two science teachers and 256 students where the object activity aimed at promoting student's autonomy in debating the socio-scientific issue of climate change. We will discuss the relevance of viewing science education as a means for the development of a person's capacity, in a socio-technical society, to build for him/herself a field of autonomy, communication and negotiation with his/her environment. As a science education researcher working with CHAT, we will also discuss implications of the theoretical framework when reflecting on the nature of scientific knowledge production whether in the scientist's lab or in the students' classrooms.
In the light of our results, the teaching/learning task, namely the 'rationality island' introduced in the activity system of the science students, was a promising tool for the fostering of theoretical generalization. A rationality island is a metaphor used to represent how students elaborate an island of informed opinion in an ocean of ignorance in response to a broad question. Students worked in teams and their representation of climate change evolved over the weeks. Their productions document diversity in the way they selected scientific criteria and concepts to form their opinion. In the light of CHAT, our results document the importance of considering the nature of knowledge production in science education as a dialectical praxis where theory and practice are intertwined.
DR. ANU KAJAMAA APPOINTED DOCENT
The Chancellor of University of Helsinki has appointed CRADLE's Dr. Anu Kajamaa Docent of learning and organizational change in the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences.
In Finland, the academic title of docent ('dosentti') may be awarded for life to a person who has comprehensive knowledge of his or her own field, a capacity for independent research demonstrated through publications and other merits, and good teaching and supervision skills.
See Anu Kajamaa's research profile at:
Her doctoral dissertation (published in 2011) is available at:
INTERNATIONAL COURSE ON THE CHANGE LABORATORY METHOD FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TEAMS, 2-6. 2015, HELSINKI, FINLAND
CRADLE research center organized an international course on the Change Laboratory method for research and development teams at the Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki. This new kind of intensive course was offered to teams that already had a preliminary agreement on and plan for a Change Laboratory intervention in a work organization. Ten teams including 30 participants were accepted to the course. The participants were Professors, PhDs and Doctoral Students from 5 continents, and 8 countries representing 11 nationalities. The instructors of the course were course leader, Professor Emeritus Jaakko Virkkunen, Professor Yrjö Engeström, Postdoctoral Researcher, course coordinator Anu Kajamaa, Academy Research Fellow Annalisa Sannino and Researcher PhD. Hannele Kerosuo.
The course contained lectures on the Change Laboratory method, application exercises in teams and group discussions with the team’s dedicated tutor and social events. Each team planned a Change Laboratory intervention during the course and will carry it out during the next months in its research site. The topics of the forthcoming interventions are rather diverse: Developing rain water harvesting and conservation as part of sustainable agriculture (South Africa), School development, special education and teacher education development (Sweden, Canada, USA, Taiwan and Finland), Occupational and primary health care development (Sweden and Brazil), Community support on disseminating knowledge on earthquake-disaster (Japan) and the implementation of a digital building information management system
(BIM) and Lean Construction in a construction project (Canada).
The course included lectures on topics: Change Laboratory as an application of the basic principles of formative interventions, How to define the object, stakeholders and participants of a Change Laboratory, Planning a Change Laboratory as an expansive learning process, Planning tasks of questioning, Planning and carrying out Change Laboratory sessions, Historical analysis and the modeling of contradictions, Planning tasks of actual-empirical analysis, Constructing a new model for the activity, Experimentation, implementation and follow-up and Analysis of a completed Change Laboratory intervention. The course was evaluated by the participants as excellent (5/5 points).
HELI KAATRAKOSKI (CRADLE) AND JOHANNA LAHIKAINEN (HULib) GAVE A TALK IN A SEMINAR: "EMBEDDED LIBRARIANSHIP"
PhD Student Heli Kaatrakoski from CRADLE and Chief Information Specialist Johanna Lahikainen from the Helsinki University Library gave a talk on 16th of March 2015 in a seminar "Embedded Librarianship" which was organised by The Finnish Research Library Association. The title of the talk was Solmutyöskentelyä tutkijoiden kanssa - Knotworking with researchers.
CRADLE RESEARCH SEMINAR WITH SIMANGELE MAYISELA TOMORROW
Dear colleagues, tomorrow, Wednesday March 11, from 13:30 to 15:00, we will have a CRADLE research seminar in the 3rd floor library room of Athena building.
The speaker will be Simangele Mayisela from University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her topic is Corporal punishment: The cultural-historical practices of teachers in a South African primary school.
Here you find an abstract for Simangele's talk.
EVERYBODY IS VERY WELCOME!
TWO PHD DISSERTATIONS FROM CRADLE`S DOCTORAL PROGRAM
Dear colleagues, the following two new PhD dissertations originating from CRADLE's doctoral program have been formally submitted and will be defended this year:
- Tanja Rokkanen's dissertation "Työterveyshuollon ja työpaikan yhteistyö työpaikan tarpeiden arvioinnissa” ("Collaboration between workplace health and the workplace in the assessment of the needs of the work community"; in Finnish) will be defended on May 22 in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Tampere. Tanja's supervisor has been Docent Kirsti Launis. The official opponent of Tanja's thesis will be Professor Emerita Paula Liukkonen from University of Stockholm, Sweden.
- Satu-Mari Jansson's dissertation "Teatteri ja draama työn oppimismuotoina" ("Theatre and drama as forms of learning in organisational contexts"; in Finnish) has been submitted for evaluation in the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences at University of Helsinki. Satu-Mari's supervisors have been Professor Yrjö Engeström, Professor Emeritus Jaakko Virkkunen and Docent Hanna Toiviainen. The official pre-examiners of the thesis are Professor Arja Ropo from University of Tampere and Academy Research Fellow Teija Löytönen from Aalto University.
These will be the 34th and 35th doctoral dissertations from our program. Congratulations to Tanja and Satu-Mari!
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: RWL 2015, SYMPOSIUM ON ACTIVITY THEORY, LEARNING AND WORK
This is a Call for abstracts for the “Activity theory, learning and work” symposium, to be held at the 9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning in Singapore, 9‒12 December 2015.
Deadline for submission: Thursday, March 5, 2015
The first double symposium on “Activity theory, learning and work” was held at the previous RWL conference, which took place in Stirling, UK, in 2013. It consisted of five invited paper presentations. It was praised by the audience, and truly merits continuation.
This time, the contributions will be gathered through an open call for abstracts. We invite interesting short paper proposals regarding research that applies and further develops cultural-historical activity theory in studies on learning and work in different cultural contexts. The papers should also be in line with the general theme of the conference: “Work and Learning in the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century”. The socio-cultural and cultural-historical approaches to studying these issues are already mentioned as a sub-theme of the conference.
If you are interested in presenting your paper at the symposium, kindly send your abstract of 300 words to Marika Schaupp (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 5, 2015.
If we receive many high quality proposals, we will propose a double symposium or a series of symposia for the conference. We will notify the writers of the selected abstracts by March 20. The deadline for submissions for the conference is March 31.
For further information about the RWL conference please see:
If you have any questions please contact: email@example.com
Yrjö Engeström, Peter Sawchuk & Marika Schaupp
PROFESSOR UESAKA AND DR. GOTO GIVE A SEMINAR IN CRADLE ON FEB. 12
Professor Yuri Uesaka (University of Tokyo) and Dr. Ikuko Goto (Ochanomizu University) will give a seminar in the CRADLE (library room 334 of the 3rd floor in the Athena building) from 13:00 to 14:30 on Thursday, February 12. The topic of the seminar is emergent collaboration between students who want to become teachers, practitioners who hope to enhance the quality of the education for pre-service teachers, and researchers who try to implement research findings in real educational settings.
The titles of the talks are:
Ikuko Goto: Development of Internship Program for Pre-service Teachers: Focusing on "Emergent Collaboration"
Yuri Uesaka: What Do Researchers Gain by Participating in "Emergent Collaboration"?
Everyone is very welcome!
TEKESIN SIVUILLA ANU KAJAMAAN HAASTATTELU
Tekesin verkkosivuilla Tulokset ja vaikutukset on CRADLE:n tutkijatohtori Anu Kajamaan haastattelu julkisen terveydenhuollon johtamis- ja kehittämishaasteista otsakkeella "Helsingin yliopisto: Terveydenhoito kaipaa tiimihenkeä ja hierarkian purkua".
- Special issue on Transformative Agency and Double Stimulation in the journal Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, guest edited by Annalisa Sannino.
- Kajamaa, A. (2014) Collaborative Work Development as a Resource for Innovation and Quality Improvement in Health Care: An Example from a Hospital Surgery
- Engeström, Y.; Sannino, A.; Virkkunen, J. (2014) On the methodological demands of formative interventions, Mind, Culture, and Activity
- Miettinen, R.; Paavola S. (2014) Beyond the BIM utopia: Approaches to the development and implementation of building information modeling, Automation in Construction.