ISCAR is an international organisation and this is the page for the UK and Ireland regional group.

Each region has a coordinator who becomes their representative member on the executive committee of ISCAR. The current coordinator is Malcolm Reed who is also the President of ISCAR.

Due to people moving universities and because we have spent a year moving our website provider and migrating membership and contact information, the UK&I regional has not been particularly active for a couple of years. However, we are now re-making contacts in readiness for the next international congress at Laval University, Quebec City, Canada, from 28 August to 1 September 2017.

The value of being an ISCAR member for a three year period is that you will support the activity of this intellectually powerful organisation dedicated to exploring cultural-historical perspectives in education and social activity. You will also receive a reduction in your subscription fee for the forthcoming congress. As an organisation we are particularly dedicated to supporting doctoral researchers, newly appointed academics and our colleagues who need socio-economic support to attend congress.

Please get involved: ISCAR congress is always a wonderful, friendly and inspiring event!

Report of UK&I regional group meeting at the University of Oxford Department of Education held on June 20-21st 2017 (in collaboration with friends and colleagues in the Netherlands).

The 2016 meeting of the UK&I group was held in the University of Oxford and was very generously organised by Kasper Munk. Ian Thompson, also of Oxford, made sure that lunch was held in the beautiful surroundings of Lady Margaret Hall and that those attending were treated to fine lunches at very little cost. Malcolm Reed and Martijn van Schaik (ISCAR Hon. Secretary) made sure that there were a large amount of excellent journal and monograph papers available on Dropbox before the meeting. These papers helped seminar delegates to focus on the seminar themes of agency and identity, particularly as applied in a school (primary and secondary setting) setting, though the discussions often extended beyond this.

Malcom began the substantive part of the meeting with a session on “How do we understand ‘agency’?-How are you using agency in your research? What are the issues of agency to explore?” After some focussing remarks from Malcolm the thirty-nine people attending, some from as far away as Brazil, broke into small groups and discussed these issues before putting them onto A3 maps which were then the focus of further discussions.

That afternoon a number of those attending put up posters about their own current research and the delegates moved between these posters discussing the agentive and identity aspects of each. Then Harry Daniels of Oxford University and editor of the online journal “Learning, Culture and Social Interaction” gave a realistic and very useful account of how best to approaching publication of CHAT and related research.

At the end of day one Kasper Munk arranged a very pleasant meal in the nearby branch of Pierre Victoire’s where there was even more detailed research discussion!

Day two began with a very detailed and inspiring presentation from Harry Daniels on “Agents, agencies and institutions: Bernstein and Vygotsky” and Harry drew on the work of his former PhD supervisor Basil Bernstein and his own work in this field. This was followed by another very good presentation by Ian Thompson and Malcolm Reed on “Ontological issues of agency: escaping dualist assumptions”.

The two days ended with a discussion on how best to structure the next meeting and how that might best help delegates to the 2017 ISCAR congress in Quebec. All in all it was a great two days, which was reflected in the many positive comments of those attending.

Report by: Joe MacDonagh