ACTIVITY LEARNING THEORY

Activity Theory highlights that human activity is mediated by tools in a broad sense. Tools can be classified as external (hammer, computer, car) and internal (plans, cognitive maps). Tools are produced and transformed as the activity takes place, and their use creates social knowledge. The use of tools affects both the external behavior and the internal cognitive functioning of the individuals. Tools can facilitate or limit the limit or enable the mediation of social interaction, and they can affect the social structure as well as the behavior of the actors, meaning those who use the tools.

In the social world, every object has cultural and/or social significance. As the activity theory rests in Vygotsky’s concept of mediation, which embodied learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts(tools), it grounded the basis for Engeström’s version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). Engeström focused on the wider context of the individual’s interactions within the social world through artifacts when explaining human thought processes, and particularly, he concentrated on the settings where activities were taking place. Engeström’s version of Activity was grounded on Vygotsky’s concept of mediation, which included learning through interaction with artifacts and alongside others.

As for the application of this theory in education settings, it can be said that educators ought to develop consciousness about the fact that in the educational setting every tool has a cultural and social meaning. The objects used in the classroom setting such as the whiteboard, technological tools, the setting of the classroom, even the lightning and noise influence and mediate the interaction between students and the teacher. Teachers should bear in mind that this educational context together with specific activities will shape the learning of the students, so they should plan activities that will challenge students in an incremental fashion, which will foster collective knowledge via the construction of meaning processes. They should also bear in mind that the tools being used and the lesson design should be regulated wisely, in a way that can promote the most effective learning practices, as the tools can either limit or enable social interaction.

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Muhammed Özgür YAŞAR

Merhaba, ben Muhammed Özgür YAŞAR. Dil sınavlarına yönelik yayınlanmış 14 adet kitabım bulunmaktadır. YDS, YÖKDİL ve YDT, YKS-DİL'e yönelik Online Canlı ve Yüz Yüze dersler vermekteyim. Özel ders için iletişim: [email protected] 

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