The workshops are pre-conference activities that take place the day before ISCAR Conference opens.
The workshops will take place on August 25, in the morning and afternoon shifts and have independent registration from the main Conference. If you want to participate, you must register by selecting the workshop at "Register and Pay"

All workshos will happen at the same time in different locations! Thus, participants can only register for and participate in one of the workshops:




CHACDOC 2020: Crisis in children’s development

The workshop is designed as a space for theoretical dialogue and development of concepts and empirical material.




The purpose of this section is to create a forum for researchers who are interested in developmental psychology and childhood, with a special focus on using activity theory and the cultural-historical research approach as a way to unite these two opposing approaches to the study of children. Developmental psychology has often been characterised historically as the study of ‘the general child’, with a focus on developing a model that can be used to evaluate individual children and their changing relation to society as they grow up. Childhood studies have focused on the study of children anchored in historical time and settings; such approaches are more commonly found within anthropological and sociological traditions, especially those that focus on situated and localised practice with children. Cultural-historical approaches seek to unite the general principles in relation to historical time and place.


The aim of CHACDOC WORKSHOP is to promote theoretical and empirical discussions on children’s development. In line with the theme of the Congress, CHACDOC 2020 workshop will focus on the concept of crisis in relation to children’s development.


9.00 Welcome Mariane Hedegaard
9.05 Children in the zone of concern Mariane Hedegaard
9.30 Discussion  
10.00 Coffee break  

The dialectical-materialist nature of the concept of crisis in cultural-historical psychology and some implications for pedagogical pratice

Juliana Campregher Pasqualini
10.45 Discussion  
11.15 Why crisis is necessary in a theory of child development? Seth Chaiklin
11.45 Discussion  
12.15 Lunch  

Studying PlayWorlds as a contradiction between reality and imagination: How dramatic and emotionally charged play acts as a source of children’s development

Marilyn Fleer
2.00 Discussion  
2.30 Poster and coffees  
3.15 Poster presentations
4 questions – What is aim of your research? What is the method/concepts used? What is the result? What impact can/do the results have?

Discussants: Mariane Hedegaard, Seth Chaiklin and Marilyn Fleer
Posters presenters will display their posters and the discussants will ask the4 key questions. A general discussion will be held at the conclusion of the presentation.
4.30 Close Marilyn Fleer
Juliana C. Pasqualini

mariane Mariane Hedegaard

marilyn Marilyn Fleer

seth Seth Chaiklin

For those wishing to present a poster, you will need to register your interest by sending to Mariane Hedegaard and Marilyn Fleer an abstract of 250 words of your poster, before March 30th, 2020.

Contact details:



Children in the zone of concern

Mariane Hedegaard

In the presentation I will discuss a) how children’s social situation of development may be evaluated in early childhood education and care and b) how concern about children’s developmental situation may be characterised as the caretakers’ zone of concern. Evaluating children’s development is connected with a concern for children’s future therefore it is important to see both the child in its everyday life and his/her relations to future institutional demands. From a cultural-historical perspective one has to evaluate children’s development in cultural and historical connections, in local activities but also in relations that goes beyond the local. What one can expect of a three-year-old or a five-year-old has developed over time in a society, and is not necessarily consistent between different countries. In Denmark, we expect, for example, not the same bodily activities in harsh natural habitats that children in Greenland and Norway encounter. Expectations for children today go beyond national conditions. Learning areas have started to be an object of government concern. In Greenland in 2012 the government decided that all 3- and 5-year old children should be screened because there was general concern about their developmental situations. This led to the construction of a screening material directed toward both children’s health and general development. As a consultant I was involved in this task to construct a tool that would evaluate children’s social situation of development  not only as children’s competences, but as competences that that were the caregivers concern to develop. This may be possible by constructing  evaluation questions that can be turned around and also function as guidelines for developing the educational practice. How this is done will be illustrated with case of  three- and five-year old children that are in zones of caregivers concern.


The dialectical-materialist nature of the concept of crisis in cultural-historical psychology and some implications for pedagogical pratice

Juliana C. Pasqualini

While traditional psychological theories consider crisis as a sign that something is not going as expected, cultural-historical psychology states that the concept of developmental crisis is essential for the apprehension of age periods’ internal logic. In this presentation we will argue that this assertion is based on a dialectical-materialist approach to human development, highlighting the logical categories of contradiction and aufheben as underling Vygotskian theorization regarding the transition to new age periods. We will claim the necessity of grasping the dialectical and materialist nature of the concept of crisis in cultural-historical formulations and explore some of its implications for pedagogical practice, focusing on the transition from infancy to pre-school age to illustrate general principals for pedagogical action in critical periods.


Why crisis is necessary in a theory of child development?

Seth Chaiklin

The purpose of this conceptual presentation is to explain the meaning of crisis as a theoretical concept within a cultural-historical theory of child development, rather than an everyday term. The starting point is to explain the idea of age periods, which provides an important link between material conditions and psychological development. Crisis appears in the transition from one age period to another, reflecting contradictions or inadequacies between psychological development in relation to cultural demands and conditions. The transition from one age period to another can be understood as an example of dialectical transformation – where some psychological capabilities are dropped, new capabilities are developed, and some existing capabilities may get a new role in the overall psychological configuration. Crisis appears especially during these transformations. Main points to communicate in conclusion are: (a) crisis refers to the consequences of a psychological transformation from one age period to another, (b) crisis arises necessarily from misalignment among a person’s psychological capabilities and intentions in relation to material conditions, and (c) despite the everyday meaning of the word crisis, the visible manifestations of a developmental crisis do not have to be dramatic or disruptive. Implications of this theoretical conception for theories of pedagogical and parental practices are introduced.


Studying PlayWorlds as a contradiction between reality and imagination: How dramatic and emotionally charged play acts as a source of children’s development

Marilyn Fleer

In play there is always a relationship between the fiction of the play plot and actions of the players who draw on the rules and roles in society (Vygotsky, 1966). Play is therefore constantly in motion as a contradiction between reality and imagination. In this session, the outcomes of a study that examined the contradiction between reality and imagination through undertaking an educational Experiment (Hedegaard, 2008) are presented. The study determined if and how, STEM PlayWorlds (modified playworld originally developed by Lindqvist, 1995) created developmental conditions for preschool children.  In following children and their teachers from two preschools who participated in the educational experiment of The adventures of Alice in Wonderland PlayWorld (story by Carroll, L. (2009), it was found that the PlayWorld created unique psychological conditions. The children were emotionally engaged and living through paradoxical situations they encountered. Some contradictions were resolved through a form of magical metamorphosis (drink me potion and then shrinking) and others were discussed morally (I would think before I act and go down the rabbit hole). It seemed that play created an emotional tension through the contradiction between children’s reality (don’t fit inside a rabbit hole) and the imaginary situation of the PlayWorld (shrinking to fit). A form of affective imagination (Zaporozhets, 2003) in play created motivating conditions for resolving these contradictions. The outcomes of this study show the significance of affective imagination in children’s play. Affective imagination helps explain how emotions in imaginary play, act as the motivating glue between thinking, will and imagination, which together are an important source of cultural development for three and four-year old children. This finding aligns with the Cinderella phenomenon, where emotions appear as the Cinderella to the other two stepsisters, thinking and will (cited in Zaporozhets, 2003), and speaks directly to what Hedegaard (2010) noted as missing in research into play - emotions.


Sociocultural approaches to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education – STEM

The aims of the ISCAR special section in STEM education are to:

  • Facilitate communication between people interested in STEM Education;
  • Develop understanding of scientific concepts within a sociocultural framework;
  • Support professional development of educators and researchers;
  • Cooperate with academics, researchers, teachers and professionals worldwide, who have contributed to a review of research in the area of STEM Education;
  • Communicate with each other to exchange ideas and methods about the development of scientific skills, understandings and competences;
  • Create a forum to enrich science education policies with a strong sociocultural perspective.
  • Create groups within the ISCAR community to offer symposia and workshops at conferences ensuring a sustainable co-operation.
  • Develop an individual/collective identity among members of the ISCAR community interested in STEM Education.

Formal/informal STEM

We hope to make STEM Education a way of human development in order to act for peace, sustainable development and public understanding. Relevant studies may cover a wide range of topics and situations: both inside educational institutions (from the early childhood till university, including in- service training for actors of education), and in all societal “informal” settings where learning, culture and social interactions occur (for example museums, science centres, environmental parks, families, kindergarten).


9.00 Welcome Katerina Plakitsi and Sylvie Barma
9.15 STEM Education, Humanities and Social Sciences: A new framework Katerina Plakitsi, Eleni Kolokouri, Athina-Christina Kornelaki
9.45 Discussion  
10.15 Coffee break  
10.30 Disruptive pedadogy to foster co-creativity in STEM complex problem solving. Sylvie Barma and Margarida Romero
11.00 Discussion  
11.15 An analysis of expansive learning in math teachers engaged in a professional development program Anne Lessard and Katerine Fortin
11.45 Discussion  
12.00 STEM: reflections on roots and branches.  Cristiano Mattos and Juliano Camillo
12.30 Discussion  
12.45 Lunch  
2.00 Commentaries Yrjö Engeström and Annalisa Sannino
2.30 Discussion  
3.00 Poster and coffees  
3.30 Poster presentations on Expanding STEM (open shared problem)
4 questions – What is aim of your research? What is the method/concepts used? What is the result? What impact can/do the results have?

Discussants: Katerina Plakitsi, Sylvie Barma, Fernanda Liberali, Adolfo Tanzi, Manolis Dafermos, Christiano Mattos
Posters presenters will display their posters and the discussants will ask the 4 key questions. A general discussion will be held at the conclusion of the presentation.
5.00-5.30 Close  
plakitsi Katerina Plakitsi
kolokouri Eleni Kolokouri
kornelaki Athina-Christina Kornelaki
barma Sylvie Barma
romero Margarida Romero
lessard Anne Lessard
mattos Cristiano Mattos
camillo Juliano Camillo
engestrom Yrjö Engeström
sannino Annalisa Sannino
Fernanda Liberali, Adolfo Tanzi, Manolis Dafermos Manolis Dafermos, Adolfo Tanzi and Fernanda Liberali

For those wishing to present a poster, you will need to register your interest by sending to Katerina Plakitsi and Sylvie Barma an abstract of 250 words of your poster.

Contact details:


The havenless world is a daily stage of terrible misfortunes which only aggravate social problems and human miseries. Resisting and expanding (SPINOZA, 2009) is central to face them and go on as human beings. In order to persevere in the odyssey of human existence, freedom is another paramount Spinozian concept when he says that "if men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil" (SPINOZA, 1985). To Freire, as ‘the naming of the world, which an action of creation and recreation, is not possible if it not infused with love’ (1972, p. 62), education can be a remedy for social inequality, poverty, racism, religion intolerance, loathe of all kinds, amongst other social injustices, once it is a love activity. When permeated by affection and love, education can provide opportunities for the development of practices of freedom and humanization (FREIRE, 1987). Hannah Arendt (1972) corroborates with this view, based on the conception of amor mundi, which has to do with the admiration and love for past human activities. For the philosopher, such work should be “preserved” for the generations to come. Therefore, she argues that teachers have to inspire students for the love of the world so as to spread freedom. Based on the Declaration of Human Rights, Wyatt & Reitov (2019) discuss that the right to freedom of expression is a universal right. Along with that, Nazzal (2018) asservates that art is a form of expressing freedom. Within the theoretical and philosophical concepts of the Brazilian Digitmed project (LIBERALI, 2019) and inspired by Shaheed’s quote (2013) that “artistic expression connects us all, transcending borders and barriers”, this workshop proposes performative activities of love and freedom, heartened by pieces of art, as an attempt to spark participants to reflect upon new possibilities to overcome social injustices.


Objective: to make participants reflect upon the role of Art as a tool and inspiration to foster social changes when it comes to talking about social injustices, lack of freedom and love.

Target audience: teachers, pre-service students, educators.

Pre-discussion: participants are invited to discuss how pieces of art are related/deal with social issues. Videos/Photos/Reports/Articles of social injustices could be shown to make participants reflect upon how Art tackles such issues.

1) Situated practice – participants are presented with some of the drawbacks and social injustices the world goes through nowadays: feminicide, infanticide, slavery, LGBT adoption rights, abortion, poverty, racism, social inequality, youth suicide, domestic violence/mayhem, genocide, child abuse, gender identity, land occupation, devaluation, physical assault, intimidation, immigration, bullying etc. They could be videos, photos made into a puzzle, testimonials, pieces of news, documentaries, plays etc.

2) In groups, inspired by the triggers above, participants talk to each other about samples of social injustice they really live/know in their own communities.

3) Overt instruction – participants read texts by NGOs, in particular, foundations, museums and other institutions, as well as scholars, about Art actions that have been made (if any) towards social injustices around the world.

4) In groups, participants choose one (or more) of the social injustice they’ve been through in the workshop so as to discuss possible actions to deal with it. Inspired by pieces of art that will be available in the workshop, they are supposed to come up with performatory practices to tackle the drawbacks raised. The ideal thing is that each group deals with (a) different example(s) of social injustice(s).

5) Play – participants perform their ideas based on the actions discussed above. The performances, inspired by the pieces of art they’ll be exposed to, should address possibilities of dealing with social injustices.

6) Wrap up – participants discuss how they felt, particularly, when putting themselves in those victims’ shoes, how creative, imaginative and inventive the pieces of Art inspired them to overcome the issues, how the grouping helped them think of possible actions, the controversial points raised, how they crossed borders, how flexible and fluid the proposals were, what they might really take to their lives/careers/communities in order to foster seeds of changes somehow.

photo Francisco Estefogo (Cultura Inglesa Taubaté/UNITAU)

photo Maria Cristina Meaney (PUCSP/LAEL)

photo Maria Feliciana da Silva Amaral (PUCSP/LAEL)


Workshop Leaders: Lois Holzman, Dan Friedman, Carrie Lobman

Vygotsky’s search for method as “prerequisite and product, the tool and the result of the study” is the inspiration for social therapeutics, the tool-and-result methodology developed by Newman and Holzman. Social therapeutics is a 40+ year-old methodology for reinitiating the development of persons and communities through activating their capacity to play, perform, philosophize, and in that process, create new ways to be, see, and relate. It is also social activism that takes the activity of ongoing social-emotional- cultural-intellectual development to be necessary for world-changing. In other words, to paraphrase Marx, the changing of the world and of ourselves is one and the same task.

This workshop will experientially immerse participants into ensemble- and environment- creating activities in which they can experience the dialectic of practicing method and the simultaneity of tool and result. Three facilitators will lead participants in specific exercises that synthesize play, performance and philosophizing as effective ways to reconstruct-deconstruct assumptions about what it is to be human. These exercises are the hallmark of transdisciplinary performatory, improvisational pedagogy, as being developed globally across the life span of educational settings, from K-12 to universities and community-based schools. Participants will experience and gain tools in the practicality, power and fun of building ensembles that support the dialectic learning/development.

photo Lois Holzman

photo Carrie Lobman

photo Dan Friedman