Anna Stetsenko and Eduardo Vianna

Convention Center
Room 205 A

Organizers: Anna Stetsenko et Eduardo Vianna


This pre-conference workshop offers opportunities to critically examine how theory and research can push the boundaries to centrally integrate transformative agendas premised on ideals of equality and social justice. Taking on and expanding upon Vygotsky’s passionate commitment to equality, the directions to be examined are focused on inserting activism into the key considerations about human development and education at the intersection of theory, methodology, research, and practice. This opens up the space for dialogue and collaboration among cultural-historical, sociocultural, and activity scholarship on the one hand, and critical approaches in ethnography, pedagogy, work studies, and Critical Race Theory, on the other. The notions of objectivity, validity, warrants for knowledge, and researchers’ standpoints, as these can be premised on non-neutral ideals of equality and justice, will be explored. The overarching goal is to discuss how to move forward in conducting research that takes on an active role in the world in turmoil and crisis where neutrality is not an option.

The presenters are international scholars whose research spans various disciplines and places transformative agendas of equality and justice at the forefront. The workshop will provide a solid background and supporting materials in an interactive forum. 

The workshop is from 9-5:

9:00 to 9:10 Introduction

9:10 to 9:50 Maisha Winn, To Practice Justice: Education Research in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

9:50 to 10:30 Anna Stetsenko, Theory and Research as Social Practice of Realizing Equality: Implications from a Transformative Activist Stance.

10: 30 to 10:50 Coffee break (on your own)

10:50 to 11:30 Eduardo Vianna, Expanding Equity among Historically Underrepresented Students through Critical-Theoretical Teaching-Learning.

11:30 to 12:00 Discussion


1:00 to 1:40 Ines Langemeyer, Transformative Practice - Transformative Research - From Marx and Gramsci to Vygotsky, Leontiev, Holzkamp, and Contemporary Directions.

1:40 to 2:20 Peter Sawchuk, The Role of a Mind-in-Political-Economy Approach to Understanding Social Justice in Activity.

2:20 to 2:40 Coffee break

2:40 to 4:45 Panel Featuring Activist Work in Diverse Communities and with Diverse Populations.

Dušana Podlucka, Dis/ability as Diversity: Promoting Social Justice Agendas for Learners with Diverse Needs.

Naja Hougaard, Negotiating Researcher Positionality in a Critical Study on the Teaching-Learning about the Danish Participation in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Azwihangwisi Edward Muthivhi, Educational Stances in Facing the Legacies of the Colonial and Apartheid Practices: The Context of South Africa.

Fernanda Liberali, Transforming Urban Education in São Paulo: Insights into Collaborative School Projects.

Michalis Kontopodis, Transforming Countryside Education in Brazil: Exploring the Landless Workers Movement.

4:45 to 5:00 Summary and Discussion.


  1. Maisha T. Winn, Chancellor's Leadership Professor
    Co-Director, Transformative Justice in Education (TJE)
    School of Education, University of California, Davis
  2. Anna Stetsenko, Professor, PhD Programs in Human Development and in Urban Education, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
  3. Eduardo Vianna, Professor, LaGuardia Community College, the City University of New York.
  4. Ines Langemeyer, Senior Researcher, Institute for Work Pedagogy and General Pedagogy, Karlsruhe, Germany.
  5. Peter Sawchuk, Professor, Department of Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada.
  6. Dušana Podlucka, Assistant Professor, LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.
  7. Naja Hougaard, Assistant Professor, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.
  8. Azwihangwisi Edward Muthivhi, Senior Lecturer [Psychology and Education], School of Education, University of Cape Town.
  9. Fernanda Liberali, Professor, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil.
  10. Michalis Kontopodis, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Critical Psychology & Education and Director MSc Psychology and Education, Sheffield University, UK.

Background for the workshop are the following publications, among others:

Paris, D., & Winn, M. T. (2013). Humanizing research: Decolonizing qualitative inquiry with youth and communities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Stetsenko, A. (2016). The transformative mind: Expanding Vygotsky’s approach to development and education. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Vianna, E., & Stetsenko, A. (2014). Research with a transformative activist agenda: Creating the future through education for social change. In J. Vadeboncoeur (ed.), Learning In and Across Contexts: Reimagining Education. National Society for the Studies of Education Yearbook, Volume 113, Issue 2, pp. 575–602.

Langemeyer, I. (2011). Science and social practice: Activity research and activity theory as socio-critical approaches. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 18(2), 148-160.

Sawchuk, Peter H. (2013). Contested Learning in Welfare Work: A Study in Mind, Political Economy and the Labour Process. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Fernanda C. Liberali; Sueli S. Fidalgo. (Org.). Ação Cidadã: por uma formação crítico-inclusiva. Taboão da Serra, SP: UNIER, 2006, v. 1.

Kontopodis, M., Maria Cecília Magalhães and Maria José Coracini (2016) (ed. with Magalhaes & Coracini). Facing Poverty and Marginalisation: Fifty Years of Critical Research in Brazil. Peter Lang.


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