Weaving the texture of school change

  • Yrjö Engeström

The five papers of this special issue all present detailed analyses of change efforts in specific educational settings. Their shared strength is in their detailed ethnographic and discourse-analytic examinations of local dynamics of change, innovation, and resistance. They all draw on the theoretical framework and vocabulary of cultural–historical activity theory.

In this commentary, I will discuss four themes taken up or provoked by the five papers: the multiple mechanisms of school change; why change fails; the relationship between local and systemwide change; and the potential of activity theory as a resource for studies of school change.

Multiple mechanisms of change

School change is too often understood as a singular process, and researchers too often seek to uncover an assumed singular explanation for school change. The papers of this issue demonstrate that there are multiple mechanisms in school change and researchers might do well to consider them as complementary.



Activity Theory Organizational Learning Change Effort Transitional Action Metacognitive Monitoring 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work ResearchUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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