chapter  1
12 Pages

Introduction

ByWOLFF-MICHAEL ROTH AND KADRIYE ERCIKAN

A fundamental presupposition in cultural-historical activity theoryan increasingly used framework for understanding complex practical activities, interventions, and technologies in schools and other workplaces (e.g., Roth & Lee, 2007)—is that one cannot understand some social situation or product of labor without taking into account the history of the culture that gave rise to the phenomenon. This book, too, can be understood only within the particulars of some fortunate events that brought us, the two editors, together in quite unpredictable ways. From this coming together emerged a series of collaborative efforts in which we, normally concerned with teaching quantitative and qualitative methods, respectively, began to think about educational research more broadly and transcending the traditional boundaries around doing inferential statistics and designing (quasi-) experiments and doing various forms of naturalistic inquiry.