Cultural Historical and Activity Theory

We welcome researchers from all fields of education and social science who are interested in using and advancing our understanding of human activity using the powerful theoretical tools derived from Vygotsky and the community of scholars that have arisen from this tradition. We are united by our use of the theories and methodologies of Cultural-Historical Theory, Activity Theory, and Socioculutural Theory. We have members who work in social justice, STEM education, emotion, early childhood education, teacher education, organisational studies, motivation and learning, gender studies, workplace change and transformation, practice theory, philosophy, assessment and technology. The Cultural Historical and Activity Theory (CHAT) SIG has a strong working relationship with the International Society for Cultural-historical Activity Research (ISCAR).


Strengthen and deepen research and scholarship in Cultural-Historical & Activity Theory (CHAT) Research, through

  • improving communication across the globe between scholars and researchers both face-to-face and online;
  • facilitating collaboration between Australian, New Zealand and Asia Pacific scholars both in research, conference presentation and publishing;
  • developing a culture of theoretical and empirical research in Vygotsky and his legacy and cultural historical theories;
  • increasing the formal and informal membership of the SIG and continue to nurture the growth of a CHAT research community;
  • improving quality and quantity of CHAT research papers, symposia and publications in the Asia Pacific region; and
  • providing support and mentorship for HDR students and early career researchers.

Research interests:

Research interests are diverse including investigations of :

  • educational practice,
  • child development,
  • language,
  • use of technology,
  • teaching and learning,
  • philosophy.  

Members in the CHAT SIG are bound together by our use of a theory and practice which has developed out of the work of Vygotsky and his colleagues. Our stance is that learning is a social activity and needs to be understood as a relationship between thought and feeling and human activity mediated by tools, signs and community. It is shaped by our individual and collective history and cultural experience. We study how we intentionally transform our natural and social reality.

Summer and Winter Schools

For the past four years the CHAT SIG has run Summer School is an opportunity for Doctoral and Early Career Researchers who are interested in Cultural-historical & Activity theories and research methodologies, facilitated by senior researchers in the fields, to spend sustained time delving into theory and research.

We 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 in 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.

Reading group

For the past twenty years the SIG has run a monthly online reading group where recent papers are discussed with the researchers who wrote them. The papers are by established scholars and emerging researchers with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. If you would like to be part of the discussion email: