The Center endeavors to establish new “hybrid” approaches that combine a broad range of activities for human development in the field of human sciences, and particularly in research fields targeting human learning and education. At present, there are a total of 24 individuals participating in this international joint research project: seven full-time researchers from Kansai University; four visiting research professors; 10 visiting research fellows; two postdoctoral fellows; and one research coordinator.
The goal of CHAT’s international joint research project is to create a “human activity theory” by promoting the development of innovative, collaborative learning and education systems, both in theory and in practice, aimed at the creation of a new culture of human activity in our increasingly complex and diverse modern society. To achieve this goal, CHAT will create historically new forms of human activity through the active intervention and support of innovative collaborative learning by practitioners in the fields of human activity, representing a cross-section of society that includes schools, sciences, arts, and cultures, diverse types of work and organizations, and communities; in other words, through the development of comprehensive education systems.
Activity theory is a theoretical framework intended to re-design human activity based on inquiries into new concepts and models for human activity, and is a methodology for intervention to promote and support innovative collaborative learning by practitioners. Using this activity theory as a strong common framework, CHAT has formed close, systematic ties for collaborative research with three of the world’s leading centers in the fields of research in human education, learning, and development. These ties represent a “core-to-core” collaboration among three bases of advanced research: the Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research, University of Helsinki, Finland, led by Professor Yrjö Engeström; the Center for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research, University of Bath, UK, headed up by Professor Harry Daniels; and the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, University of California, San Diego, USA, led by Professor Michael Cole.