Home > musings > Finding connection points with activity theory and our own ideas

Finding connection points with activity theory and our own ideas

I went through your final analysis and reflections. As expected, cultural historical activity theory framework is more elaborated in comparison to your attempts. The main differences I gathered from your posts are the following:

– external tools (technology) for mediation. Darja admitted that “it never came to my mind that the tools we use have actually a huge impact on our lives and activities”. Mattias realised that “The role of external tools actually is very important according to activity theory, however, people in their everyday lives take it for granted”. Also Tiina claimed that
“I haven’t really focused on tools that are one part of how humans interact with the external world. But I think it is more because we are so used to the things around as and we do not pay any attention on what tools are used to complete some task”.

– focus on subject-object relationship. Tiina, referring to the activity theory says that “the mind can be only understood in the context of the subject-object relationship, human mind has a social nature”.

– although some of you presented your initial frameworks from a process point of view Marta writes that “Activity theory is more concentrated on the process of activity, its actors, tools, mediums and so on, which I didn’t consider in my framework”. Looking back at your frameworks the majority of you pointed out a temporal aspect as an essential component for understanding and describing human activities. To the contrary, activity theory doesn’t consider time as an important factor. Maarja-Triin points out this difference: “I would link Activity Theory with the two practical aspects of my framework – time schedule and choices”.

I want to mention here that every framework has some pros and cons and can’t be suitable for every purposes. The frameworks that were developed in the beginning of the course had different starting points and assumptions; and they were seen from the different perspectives. However, we have also found some similarities. Eret has outlined that some components are actually the same, but we use different vocabulary, different labels. To conclude, I agree with Mehis. He is not sure that Activity Theory is the best way to describe human activity, but it has some potentials…

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