University of Tennessee Knoxville
*Please note that the instructor reserves the right to modify the syllabus during the semester and participants will be notified through this website and BlackBoard Announcements
Meeting Time Monday 5:45PM- 8:35PM Location TBA
This course is intended for doctoral students and advanced master's students who are interested in Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and Qualitative Research. In this course participants will examine works of Russian psychologists during the 1920s such as Vygotsky and Leontiev, and also works of contemporary CHAT scholars from Russia, Scandinavia, and North America. Participants will gain a theoretical and methodological understanding of how to approach human development and learning as a complex activity intricately tied to the sociocultural context. Participants will engage in qualitative data analysis of complex human activity through Activity Systems Analysis. Finally, participants will prepare a research proposal of a topic of interest from a CHAT perspective.
By engaging in course activities, participants will:
Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research http://epc.utk.edu/graduate-certificates/
Graduate Catalog: catalog.utk.edu/index.php?catoid=7/ (Listing of academic programs, courses, and policies)
Hilltopics: dos.utk.edu/hilltopics (Campus and academic policies, procedures and standards of conduct)
Student Success Center studentsuccess.utk.edu (Academic support resources)
Instructor Generated Resources
10 Habits of Being a Successful Graduate Student and Beyond
How do I know when an article is peer Reviewed?
Peer Reviewed Article Matrix
Resources for Searching Journal Articles
Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/
UTK Library http://www.lib.utk.edu/
Resources to Monitor and Available Through UT Library
Centers and Organizations Monitor
Oxford Center for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/research/osat/
CRADLE: Center for Activity, Development and Learning http://www.helsinki.fi/cradle/index.htm
International Society of Cultural and Activity Research http://www.iscar.org/
LCSD: Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition http://lchc.ucsd.edu/
CHAT: Center for Activity Theory http://www.chat.kansai-u.ac.jp/english/index.html
XMCA Discussion Forum http://lchc.ucsd.edu/mca/
CHAT Book Review and Presentation 300 points |View Guide and Rubric| |Recommended Books|
Post on Blackboard Discussion
You have to prepare a book review that represents your understanding of CHAT. You must obtain approval from the instructor on which book to review based on your interest. The purpose of this project is for you to engage in an in-depth reading of a theory-based primary source literature and reflect on what you have learned in this class. Additionally, you will lead class discussion related to the book you read and this will provide you with experience facilitating discussions in a doctoral course. Your book review should not exceed 2500 words double-spaced using 1-inch margins 12-point Times New Roman font excluding title page and references following APA style guide 6th edition. If you exceed the required word count your work will not be read past that point. On the title page please include the exact word count of your document excluding the title page and reference.
Qualitative Activity Systems Analysis 300 points |View Guide and Checklist|
Share on Evernote
We will engage in a qualitative activity systems analysis of a common topic as a class. We will all engage in data collection, analysis, and writing findings. You will share your work to class with Evernote, so you need to open a free account at https://evernote.com/.
CHAT Research Proposal and Presentation 200 points |View Guide and Rubric|
Submit on Blackboard Assignments
You will develop a research proposal that presents a literature review and discuss a topic of your interest related to your field of study within the context of CHAT. You will build a convincing argument for conducting a study on the topic with CHAT. In your discussions you need to articulate the theoretical/practical value of your study, the importance of your topic to your field, your research questions, your methods, and what new knowledge your work will contribute to your field and CHAT. This paper is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of your topic of interest, your understanding of CHAT, and evaluate how CHAT framework can help you answer research questions that otherwise may be difficult. Your proposal should not exceed 2500 words double-spaced using 1-inch margins 12-point Times New Roman font excluding title page and references following APA style guide 6th edition. If you exceed the required word count your work will not be read past that point. On the title page please include the exact word count of your document excluding the title page and reference.
You have to present your proposal to the
class. For the presentation prepare a 2 page summary of your project. You need to be able to express the essence of what you wrote in your paper in full sentences in this summary. You do not need to prepare an electronic presentation unless you choose that it is necessary. Each participant will provide the 2 page summary to the class prior to the presentation date. The participants will come to class on the day of the presentation having read summaries, and be prepared to provide constructive feedback.
Assignments and Total Possible Points
Assignment of Final Grade
An essential feature of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a commitment to maintaining an atmosphere of intellectual integrity and academic honesty. As a student of the university, I pledge that I will neither knowingly give nor receive any inappropriate assistance in academic work, thus affirming my own personal commitment to honor and integrity.
You are expected to complete your own work. You cannot re-submit work here that was done for previous classes.
Students shall not plagiarize. Plagiarism is using the intellectual property or product of someone else without giving proper credit. The undocumented use of someone else’s words or ideas in any medium of communication (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge) is a serious offense subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course and/or dismissal from the university. Some examples of plagiarism are
Extreme caution should be exercised by students involved in collaborative research to avoid questions of plagiarism. If in doubt, students should check with the major professor and the Dean of the Graduate School about the project. Plagiarism will be investigated when suspected and prosecuted if established.For this class, plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment and a meeting with your academic adviser.
Academic writing conventions and abilities
All assignments must conform to the style and reference notation format outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The APA manual is an essential tool for graduate school academic writing. Please study it carefully and refer to it often. If you are unsure about particular APA formatting and citation rules, refer to the manual.
The ability to write in an appropriate academic manner is critical to successful graduate study. If you find that you need assistance with your writing, please visit the university’s free Writing Center housed in the English department: http://web.utk.edu/~english/writing/writing.shtml. They do not proofread or edit your work, but they can help with idea development and organization – key elements of successful academic writing.
Resources and Responsibilities
It is assumed that this course will "cost" you extra resources in time and expense. Any new skill such as computer use or graphics design should be considered time-consuming and most work will be done outside of the regular class period. It is further assumed that those who enter the course have a wide range of experience and expertise in the field. Ownership of a microcomputer is not required; however, access to one is a necessity. We will be using both Macs and PCs in this course.
Students are expected to be on time, attend all classes, and participate in class discussions, small group activities, exercises, and projects. You may not receive class participation credit for missed classes and are responsible for missed information. However, emergencies can occur at any time and the instructor reserves the right, based on the individual situation, to accommodate a student with any emergency. A student missing class must complete all assignments to the satisfaction of the instructor before credit will be issued. Absences are not considered excused for job interviews, vacations, regular doctor's appointments, or general lack of planning. Students are granted one "free" absence, regardless of the situation. However multiple absences and excessive tardiness are considered unacceptable for success in this course and can be cause for a final grade reduction. Attendance will be taken every class session, and every unexcused absence after the "free" absence will cost you a 10 point deduction from your final grade.
Tardiness is disruptive and rude to your instructor and your fellow students and reflects badly on you - it can speak about your attitude and work ethic. Students arriving late to class should wait until the instructor, fellow student, or guest speaker is finished talking and should take a seat close to the door. Excessive tardiness = 20 minutes late more than two times.
While your instructor, your peer, or guest lecturer is conducting a presentation you are expected to pay complete attention to what they are presenting. It is not only rude, but also distracting to the presenter and other students in class when you are working on the computer, personal portable devices, cell phones, or behaving in any manner that is disruptive to them. If you are engaging in activities such as surfing the web, writing a paper, reading/writing email, working on class assignments, answering your cell phone, Skyping or any other disruptive activities in class you will be asked to leave for the day. If your disrespectful and disruptive behaviors continue, you will lose points from course participation, which will affect negatively on your final grade for this course. Make sure that your cell phone and/or beeper are turned off or set on manner mode. Please inform the instructor before class session begins if your are experiencing circumstances that warrant your cell phone/beeper to be turned on, such as extreme weather conditions that may put your family members in danger.
*Please note that readings must be completed by the date they appear in the schedule.
*All Assignments are due 11:59pm the day it is due, unless they are designated as items to bring to class.
Last Updated August 21, 2015