The Wits School of Education in conjunction with the Graduate Center recently hosted their Key Word/Key Thinkers programme focusing on the work of Lev Vygotsky. I was fortunate to attend these proceedings and record two of the speakers’ talks Viz. Jill Bradbury on Signs and Subjectivity and Rashad Bagus on Vygotsky on the Zone of Proximal Development using an Olympus Universal Recording device .This relatively unobtrusive device (which I suspect was a welcome relief to the lecturers as it captured their talk without hindering them in the least)provided extremely good sound quality. I recorded the talks , then converted it to MP# using Audacity and was able to easily upload on the KEWL system and embed into my blog as shown below.
Apart from being sufficiently humbled by both Prof Ian Moll’s challenging presentation, which looked at Vygotsky’s work through a cultural historical theoretical lens paradigm, as well as the complex discourse that emerged post the speakers presentations (prompting me to use Google Scholar and immerse myself in the plethora of scholastic works on Vygotsky) , I was further encouraged to pursue my imminent research proposal through a Vygotskian lens focusing on the subject of Facebook as a cultural artefact which influences the formation of identity and so assists in learning, This was inspired by Dr. Jill Bradbury’s presentation on Signs and Subjectivity in which she touched on concepts such as Audience and Relationality, the Temporal Self, Development of the Self through the Narrative etc.
Dr. Rashad Bagus talk on the Zone of Proximal Development included a discussion of the Russian words such as obuchenie and lichnost and the difficulty in translating these words rendering a misinterpretation of Vygotsky’s work by many Western scholars. Bagus’s concluding talk colluded with that of his colleagues’ earlier ones in sounding the death knell to my leisurely weekends as I realized the enormity and complexity of the task that lay ahead .