From change to development: Expanding the concept of intervention

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    The ongoing societal transformation triggered by the information and communication technologies revolution challenges many established forms of activity and tightens interconnections between activities. This historical transformation is a challenge for cultural-historical activity theory and highlights the importance of inter-activity connections. In this article, we claim that the key ideas of the theory that were first developed in the context of experimental psychology and education, namely the zone of proximal development, theoretical-genetic thinking, and formative intervention, should be extended and used in the analysis of developmental processes taking place “in the wild”, focusing on how developmental challenges arise within one activity system and how potential tools are provided by another. In this context, supporting development calls for a chain of developmental interventions within an evolving inter-activity relationship. As an example, we analyze the co-development of the competence of an in-house developer and the work-development activity in a Finnish road-building company.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTheory & Psychology
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)629-655
    Number of pages27
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fields of Science

    • 520 Other social sciences
    • cultural-historical activity theory
    • # double stimulation
    • formative intervention
    • theoretical thinking
    • zone of proximal development
    • 516 Educational sciences

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