The 23th CHAT Seminar
＜Date & Time＞
13:30-17:00 Monday, January 19, 2009
Conference Room, Center for Human Activity Theory (CHAT)
IBUNKAN 2F, Senriyama Campus, Kansai University
13:30 - 15:00 Presentation
Dr. Roger Barnard (Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato, New Zealand)
"Applying Activity Theory to facilitate international academic collaboration"
15:00 - 17:00 Commentary & Discussion
led by Professor Fred Anderson, Faculty of Letters, Kansai University
＜Abstract for Presentation＞
This presentation is set within the context of the increasing trend,
and need, in the 21st century for international collaboration among
universities. To be effective, such collaboration needs to be based on
mutual understanding of the ways in which the respective institutions engage
in their administration, research and teaching. It is suggested that
Activity Theory can provide a useful framework for analysing academic
communities of practice and hence to facilitate mutually beneficial
The presentation will begin by briefly reviewing the basic constructs
of Activity Theory (AT) with reference to the original model proposed by
Leont'ev in the 1930s. Attention will then be turned to the expanded AT
model proposed by Engeström (1987), and how this can serve to analyse the
complex relationships between core activities and the underlying community
rules and division of labour within an organisation such as a university.
The strengths and major limitations of this 'second generation' of AT will
be considered before a tentative 'third generation' AT model is proposed
which can illuminate the ways in which two culturally-diverse activity
systems can be aligned to facilitate effective academic collaboration
between international partners.
It is hoped that the presentation will conclude with a plenary
discussion of specific issues that can be analysed using the third
generation AT model.
Roger Barnard obtained his PhD from Southampton University and is a senior
lecturer at the University of Waikato, where he has taught Applied
Linguistics since 1995. Previously, he worked in England, Europe and the
Middle East as Language Teacher, Director of English Language Institutes,
Teacher Educator, and English Language Adviser to Ministries of Education.
He frequently visits Asian countries, and has been Visiting Professor at
Tsuda College, Tokyo and Hanoi National University, Vietnam. He publishes
frequently, especially in the areas of second language teacher education and
classroom interaction. His most recent book, co-edited with Maria
Torres-Guzman of Teachers College Columbia University, was Creating
classroom communities of learning: International case studies and
perspectives, published in 2008 by Multilingual Matters.