The Asia-Pacific region of ISCAR is for members from countries from South Asia, East Asia, and Australasia.

The region coordinator is Nick Hopwood from the University of Technology Sydney.


At ISCAR 2017 Congress members said they wanted:

– regional events between the main Congress meetings: we are planning a regional poster conference event with f2f and online participation possible

– support and mentoring to research students and early career researchers: we plan to support emerging researchers in the Poster Conference and next ISCAR Congress; we have also been sharing members’ past research proposals with ECRs applying for funding.

Whether you are an existing ISCAR member with ideas or suggestions of what you want from the regional group, or interested in joining ISCAR, you can contact Nick on

Event for 2022
AARE/ISCAR Cultural Historical & Activity Theories Winter School
Monday 20th to Friday 24th June 2022

The Winter School is an opportunity for research students and researchers using Cultural-historical & Activity theories facilitated by senior researchers in the fields to spend time delving into theory and research over five days. The Winter School will be a residential retreat at the Warrnambool campus of Deakin University, an idyllic rural setting on the banks of the Hopkins River, and a pleasant train journey from Melbourne. It will be entirely face to face. The Winter School is supported by the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), and ISCAR members are warmly invited.

We will bring together scholars with an emphasis on building deeper understandings of theory, relationships between researchers and advancing the research of doctoral students and early career researchers. We plan a variety of sessions including extended workshops, small group discussions, deep reading sessions, international presentation from the field on how theory is being applied, one- to-one consultations, and working on research methodology and analysis and writing.
The school will be led by internationally recognised scholars such as Nikolai Veresov, Joce Nuttal, David Kellogg, Andy Blunden and John Cripps Clark.

It is anticipated, based on summer schools over the last three years, that participants will have the opportunity to significantly advance their research through a time of intense thinking, listening, reading and writing in collaboration with other researchers and senior academics.

Please fill in the registration form: and we will send you the program.



Announcing the ISCAR Asia-Pacific pan-regional event – 27 August 2019 – participate online from wherever you are!

Members from our region requested interactive events without having to travel long distances. This will be a free event, with opportunities to participate from anywhere across our region, provided you have an internet connection. The event is open to all ISCAR members, and only to ISCAR members. This is an open and inclusive event, without peer review, so everyone who wishes to participate can join in. If you are not yet an ISCAR member, simply join ISCAR when you register!

How will it work?

  1. Members confirm their participation using this simple online registration process:
  2. All participants submit one digital poster in pdf format by Sunday 21st July – see below for more details. Posters received after the deadline will not be included.
  3. These will be put together into an Asia-Pacific ISCAR Research Poster Compendium, which will be sent out to all participants shortly after the deadline.
  4. Participants will arrange local meetings to discuss the posters before the main event. These could be face to face, or via remote technologies.
  5. A regional forum will be held on 27 August 2019 where the outcomes of each local discussion will inform a wider discussion. This will be from 1300-1700 AEST (UTC+10). This is to hold the event within daytime hours across the region as far as possible. Example times are listed below:
    1. UTC   0300-0700
    2. India (UTC+5.5) 0830-1230
    3. Singapore (UTC+8) 1100-1500
    4. New Zealand (UTC+12) 1300-1900
    5. Australia 1300-1700 for NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT, TAS; varies for SA, NT, WA

People are encouraged to join the main event on 27 August in groups: this will make the technology and the interaction much smoother – connecting to groups rather than everyone individually is much better.

More about the posters…

Posters should tell a story about your research, whether it is completed or in progress. It is helpful to think of them as a visual abstract, using a combination of graphics and text to communicate key messages. They can be hand-drawn or made using PowerPoint, PhotoShop or other software. They should:

  1. Be easily readable when printed in black and white on A4 paper (so this will limit the amount of text; suggested minimum font size 11)
  2. Clearly pose up to 3 questions that you would like your colleagues to consider and provide feedback on
  3. State the author(s) and their institutions.

Email Nick Hopwood if you need information about how to join the event.


Asia-Pacific members’ publications

All members of our region are encouraged to share their recent publications on this page (just email Nick with relevant details). Details of completed Masters and Doctoral theses are also welcome!

Kim Anh Dang
Exploring contextual factors shaping teacher collaborative learning in a paired-placement
Teaching and Teacher Education, 2017, (67)

This paper examines contextual factors shaping teacher learning in a paired-placement teaching practicum in Vietnam. The study draws on third generation activity theory and Vygotsky’s concepts of mediation and genetic method to conceptualise ‘context’ and how context shapes learning. Multi-layered forces were found to shape the pre-service teachers’ learning to teach in their paired-placement. These forces include the teachers’ prior experience, the shift to unconventional teaching, the teacher education programmatic features, and other sociocultural aspects. Beyond reporting the contextual factors influencing teacher learning, the study offers a novel approach to conceptualising and contextualising teacher learning in such collaborative settings.

Liang Li, Gloria Quinones and Avis Ridgway
Noisy neighbours: a construction of collective knowledge in toddlers’ shared play space
Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 2016, 41(4).

Evidence from a larger project Studying babies and toddlers: Cultural worlds and transitory relationships in Australian long day care settings is gathered. We argue that toddlers co-construct collective knowledge through expressive play activities with peers and educators. We analyse how educators enter play, taking the toddlers’ perspective to develop collective knowledge. We investigate how toddlers creatively produce knowledge through educators’ awareness of their play spaces, aiming to find the different ways they affectively participate in processes of producing knowledge. Vygotsky’s cultural–historical concepts of the social situation of development and play form the research foundation. Using visual narrative methodology and reflective dialogue to explore toddlers’ everyday play activity, one play episode of an educator entering shared collective play with toddlers is analysed. We find educators’ involvement and peer interaction significant for learning and social production of collective knowledge in toddlers’ play spaces. Responding to toddlers’ active expressions by entering play develops collective knowledge.

Nick Hopwood and Anne Edwards
How common knowledge is constructed and why it matters in collaboration between professionals and clients.
International Journal for Educational Research, 2017, 83, doi: 10.1016/j.ijer.2017.02.007

A short video abstract for this paper is available here.

Professionals are increasingly called upon to work with clients. We employ cultural-historical concepts to reveal how professionals and clients accomplish joint work on problems in services for families with young children. Professional–client interactions in day stay and home visiting services are considered, first focusing on how matters of concern are worked into departures of significance (employing ‘D-analysis’), then conceptualising joint professional–parent work in terms of common knowledge and the object of activity. The importance of motives and their alignment is revealed. We show the value of D-analysis in elucidating how common knowledge can be constructed and why this process may be problematic. Finally, we reflect on the fluid and situated nature of this kind of collaborative work.

Regional networks and members’ projects

New International Research Network: Ideas for the Basic Education of the Future

Since February 2018, the Centre of Excellence “Ideas for the Basic Education of the Future “ on Innovative Learning, Teaching Environments and Practices, based at East China Normal University in Shanghai, has started its activities.

The Centre, in the perspective of the cultural psychology of education, aims at exploring future trends in basic education worldwide, at identifying the most innovative ideas, at valorizing the unconventional developmental practices and studying how to implement them on the long-term.

In the global context, there are no ready-made and universal solutions for the process of education. However, it has been implicitly assumed that some cultural or geographical areas, corresponding to the wealthy nations, are more developed in teaching/learning practices. There is a general ongoing movement of reforms in education, as for instance in China, Italy, Nordic Countries and Brazil, trying to reform the school system either at the level of primary or secondary education. There is also a huge debate about the relationship between the “school for all”-principle and the neo-liberist and job market-oriented approaches to education. This debate has been discussed in several of the major journals in the Education. Yet, education is an open system in constant development, accordingly, the question of “what’s next” remains crucial. IBEF acknowledges that innovation can spring anywhere and requires to be adequately recognized cultivated. Therefore, in cultural psychology perspective the education of the future must be regarded global in its vision yet local in its solutions. The Center of Excellence is aiming to overcome the current dichotomic debate between either an education centered on the popular appeals to creativity, spontaneity, local culture and play or to an education centered on evidence-based, standardized and performative teaching/learning/assessment cycles.

The Centre is promoting research, exchange and reflection upon the most innovative and meaningful local experience in teaching/learning. In particular, the current projects focus on:

  1. Preschools and schooling in different cultures;
  2. Teachers development and training;
  3. Children’s culture in everyday life;
  4. Preschool academic and play environments;
  5. Children and teacher pedagogical interactions;
  6. Parenting cultures;
  7. Borders in school
  8. The role of the body in education
  9. The role of imagination in education

IBEF has been founded by an initial group of research groups with a common interest in education:

The activities promoted by the Centre include different intertwined theoretical topics, issues and educational practices, such as:

  • Establishing a fruitful scientific dialogue between China and other countries about Cultural Psychology of Education;
  • Field studies in the schools of excellence and definition of best practices and model building;
  • Co-design, scaffolding to implementation and evaluation of innovative activities with the associated partners;
  • Organization of scientific events for the exchange of experiences and best practices;
  • Networking, international mobility of students and researchers.

The International Centre of Excellence “Ideas for the Basic Education of the Future” on Innovative Learning, Teaching Environments and Practices, is coordinated by an international scientific board:

The Center’s network is open and constantly looking for new partnerships both academic and non-academic. For further inquiries or scientific collaboration, please visit

or contact:

Professor He Min,

Professor Pina Marsico,

Professor Luca Tateo,