Informations and abstract
Keywords: Cognitive Interaction, Situated Knowledge, Activity Systems, Modern/Postmodern, Learning in School
This article takes its initial impulse from a recent statement by Jean Lave, who makes a sharp distinction, within the sociocultural approach, between Vygotskians and activity theorists. The intent is to verify through texts by Vygotsky, Leont'ev, Wertsch, and Lave, the diversity of position, and to understand how differently the Vygotskian tradition on the one hand, and Activity Theory (or the situative perspective) on the other, can contribute to the reform of teaching and learning in school. The Vygotskian approach focuses on cognitive teacher-students or peer interactions as conditions for internalization and individual cognitive development. Activity theory highlights the essential function of participation structures in the activity system of the classroom. Positions can converge, but while Vygotsky's conception of conceptual development is aligned with the idea of school as a place where decontextualized knowledge is acquired, the theory of situated knowledge raises an epistemological problem. This problem cannot be ignored, but needs some solutions in practice, such as acknowledging from both sides the necessity of 'passage' from functional to formal use of concepts and the reverse.