ELRC PhD scholar's experience in Moscow, Russia

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A PhD Scholar and Rhodes University staff member, Mr Charles Chikunda, attended the 3rd International ISCAR Summer University (SU) in Moscow, Russia between July 2nd to 7th, 2012. This is an annual event that brings together 24 PhD students from different regions of the world, disciplines, socio-cultural contexts and age groups. Moscow State University of Psychology and Education host the participants. The theme of the 3rd SU was moving with and beyond Vygotsky. The aim was to have an in-depth and intensive investigation of basic socio-cultural-historical concepts and works. It also aimed to provide a space for scholars to discuss the connection between theory and the various methodologies as well as to reflect on emerging practical problems that concern education, psychotherapy, social policy, social work, urban planning, new information and communication technologies etc. Furthermore, there was realisation that in recent years there is a growing interest in socio-cultural-historical approaches, however, it is observed that more and more scholars refer to single ideas of Vygotsky in their research, and that there is less and less understanding of the broader theoretical, epistemological and methodological frame of Vygotsky’s work. It is also quite evident that most scholars refer only to Vygotsky and not to the broader socio-cultural-historical research tradition (that could include many authors such as Bakhtin, Leont’ev, Lisina, Luria, Rubinstein, Bozhovich, Gutkina, Venger, Gal’perin, El’konin, Davydov, Zinchenko – to refer only to the Russian ones). What is more: diverse methodologies (genetic-experimental research, ethnography, qualitative data analysis etc.) are used in the different contexts and disciplines; however, only little discussion takes place on the limits, the possibilities, and eventually, the complementarities of those methodologies.

Following the tradition of the previous summer universities, highly respected professors of socio-cultural-historical approaches were present including Maria Cecilia Camargo Magalhaes (Brazil); Arcady Margolis (First Vice-Rector of the Moscow State University of Psychology and Education); Harry Daniels (UK) and many more from Italy, Greece, Germany, Lithuania, Finland and Spain.

Further Information: The webpage http://iscarschool.ru/ provides detailed information and videotapes from the previous summer universities. You will also find here all updated information about the 3rd ISCAR Summer University in Moscow.