Content uploaded by Hubert J M Hermans
All content in this area was uploaded by Hubert J M Hermans on Jan 15, 2018
Content may be subject to copyright.
Cultural Psychology of Education
Giuseppina Marsico, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy
Centre for Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Jaan Valsiner, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University,
Nandita Chaudhary, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
Virgínia Dazzani, UFBA-Universidade, Salvador, Brazil
Xiao-Wen Li, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
Harry Daniels, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Nicolay Veresov, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada
Yasuhiro Omi, University of Yamanashi, Victoria, Japan
This book series focuses on the development of new qualitative methodologies
for educational psychology and interdisciplinary enrichment in ideas and practices.
It publishes key ideas of methodology, different approaches to schooling, family,
relationships and social negotiations of issues of educational processes. It presents
new perspectives, such as dynamic systems theory, dialogical perspectives on the
development of the self within educational contexts, and the role of various sym-
bolic resources in educational processes. The series publishes research rooted in the
cultural psychology framework, thus combining the ﬁelds of psychology, anthropol-
ogy, sociology, education and history. Cultural psychology examines how human
experience is organized culturally, through semiotic mediation, symbolic action,
accumulation and exchange of inter-subjectively shared representations of the life-
space. By taking this approach, the series breaks through the "ontological" concep-
tualization of education in which processes of education are localized in liminality.
In this series, education is understood as goal-oriented personal movement that is at
the core of societal change in all its different forms—from kindergarten to voca-
tional school and lifelong learning. It restructures personal lives both inside school
and outside the school. The cultural psychology approach to education ﬁts the
global processes of most countries becoming multi-cultural in their social orders,
reﬂects the interdisciplinary nature of educational psychology, and informs the
applications of educational psychology in a vast variety of cultural contexts.
This book series:
•Is the ﬁrst to approach education from a cultural psychology perspective.
•Offers an up-to-date exploration of recent work in cultural psychology of
•Brings together new, novel, and innovative ideas.
•Broadens the practical usability of different trends of cultural psychology of
More information about this series at http://www.springer.com/series/13768
Frans Meijers · Hubert Hermans
The Dialogical Self Theory
A Multicultural Perspective
Meijers Onderzoek & Advies
Emeritus-Professor of Psychology
Radboud University of Nijmegen
ISSN 2364-6780 ISSN 2364-6799 (electronic)
Cultural Psychology of Education
ISBN 978-3-319-62860-8 ISBN 978-3-319-62861-5 (eBook)
Library of Congress Control Number: 2017956745
©Springer International Publishing AG 2018
This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of
the material is concerned, speciﬁcally the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recita-
tion, broadcasting, reproduction on microﬁlms or in any other physical way, and transmission or infor-
mation storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar
methodology now known or hereafter developed.
The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publica-
tion does not imply, even in the absence of a speciﬁc statement, that such names are exempt from the
relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use.
The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this
book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the
authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein
or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to
jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional afﬁliations.
Printed on acid-free paper
This Springer imprint is published by Springer Nature
The registered company is Springer International Publishing AG
The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland
The purpose of this book is to take a signiﬁcant step forward in order to go from
one-way reproductive learning to two-way dialogical learning in a society that is,
more than ever, in need of the personal construction of meaning. This step is
essential to transcend the limitations of an educational system that is still operating
in the shadow of the industrial age which favored reproduction above construc-
tion. Taking Dialogical Self Theory (DST) as their conceptual framework, the
authors in this book, working in different countries, cultures and contexts, offer a
variety of qualitative procedures and research projects that demonstrate both the
relevance and the fertility of the concept “dialogicality”in contemporary educa-
tion. With this purpose in mind, we as editors bring together 13 contributions
from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, Australia, and South-
Africa. All contributors are working in their own cultural context on the applica-
tion of DST in the ﬁeld of education.
In order for 21st century education to be truly meaningful for students and tea-
chers alike, educational environments must be developed where meaning can be
constructed on the basis of concrete experiences in all life domains. This requires
a dialogue on all levels of education. Firstly, on a micro-level where students are
invited to transform information into knowledge in a constructive way –one that
is meaningful to them. Secondly, on a meso-level where transformational leader-
ship and collective learning are needed in order to create new professional identi-
ties and strong learning environments that makes co-construction possible. And
lastly, on a macro-level where public discourses should take place in which the
role of education in society in the 21st century is negotiated and the means by
which this can be realized are discussed.
Each chapter is divided into three parts: (a) a theoretical foundation (DST or a
combination of DST and another theoretical framework); (b) an exposition of a
qualitative research project or methodology as an elaboration of the proposed the-
oretical framework; and (c) several practical implications of the ﬁndings or conclu-
sions of the research project, where attention is paid to the speciﬁc cultural
context in which the project was realized.
All contributions considered, this book offers relevant theoretical insights and
practical approaches to realize more dialogical forms of education. It will require
and hopefully also inspire more self-reﬂection and creative ways to engage in new
conversations about education, both within ourselves as well as with others. We
hope indeed that it will contribute to education in a way that will shape, inspire,
and add meaning to the lives of many learners.
Preface from the Series Editor
Dialogue in Education
At the beginning of Plato’s Symposium, a short exchange between Agathon and
Socrates (175 c-d) sets the dialogical stage for the succession of speeches aimed at
exploring the power and nature of the erotic, and how it relates to issues of ethics,
epistemology, and ontology. I always found this short interchange the most mean-
ingful way to represent the dialogical bases of any educational intervention. The
scene is the following: Socrates arrives late to Agathon’s home since he was lost
in his own thoughts in the atrium. When he enters, Agathon invites Socrates to sit
next to him so that ‘I may touch you’, he says. And in doing so he hopes he can
become wise, as surely what was in Socrates’mind while he was in the portico
can be thus transmitted to Agathon.
How I wish, taking his place as he was desired, that wisdom could be infused by touch,
out of the fuller into the emptier man, as water runs through wool out of a fuller cup into
an emptier one. (Plato, 1999)
What is at stake here is the transmissive versus the dialogically constructed
idea of knowledge and education. We are in an historical phase in which educa-
tion has been downsized in favour of reproductive learning and standardized
instructional practices. Teaching and learning have indeed been standardized with
very detailed prescriptions about how teachers are expected to teach and what stu-
dents are expected to learn, which is subsequently presented to the public as
goals-oriented teaching and learning.
Agathon’s invitation to Socrates to sit next to him hoping to be ﬁlled by his
wisdom (based on the simple exposure or proximity) is a hallmark of most con-
temporary educational debates. Education, instead, is hard and painful and takes
time. It implies, ﬁrst and foremost, the deconstruction and reconstruction of pre-
vious systems of knowledge. How is this possible without dialogue? It is not. And
it requires a speciﬁc kind of dialogical interaction between people with different
roles (i.e., teachers and students), under a speciﬁc set of conditions, within a parti-
cular system of rules and expectations, but still a dialogue!
The dialogue has transformative powers and supports the developmental changes
in both the way in which we come to know the world around us and make sense of
it and the deﬁnition of our Self (Hermans et al., 2017; Marsico, 2015).
According to the authors:
The composite concept ‘dialogical self’transcends this dichotomy by bringing the exter-
nal to the internal and, in reverse, transporting the internal to the external. This allows
people to study the self as a society of ‘I-positions’and, on the other hand, to consider
society as populated, stimulated, and renewed by the selves of its individual participants.
In this way, the Theory abandons any self-society dualism and any conception that
regards the self as essentialized and encapsulated in and of itself. (Meijers & Hermans,
this volume, p. 7)
Education, then, is one of the most signiﬁcant human arenas where this process
of internalization/externalization happens. Most educational psychologists shun
internalization and talk of appropriation. But it is only through internalization that
active makers of novel knowledge are created. Societies need young people who
are creatively ahead of the standards of existing knowledge so they may create
new understandings (Marsico & Valsiner, 2017). After all, education is the way to
free oneself from the oppression of rigid forms of thinking and narrow-minded
deﬁnitions of the Self and the Other (Szulevicz et al., 2016). The learning prac-
tices should improve the capability of developing abstract and general forms of
knowledge as well as a more integrated organization of the Self. Yet tensions,
oppositions and contradictions are the rule and not the exception within the Self.
Education is about a tension between the person and the imagined-person, ﬁlled
with the inherent ambivalence of educational ideology. In every educational con-
text, there are several kinds of tensions at stake: a polyphony between the adults’
imaginations (e.g., teacher, parents) and the learner’s imaginations (Tateo, 2015)
Yet the tension is a dialogical condition –in other words, any dialogical condition
is characterized by a structural tension that allows both dynamic stability and
dynamic development (Marsico & Tateo, 2017). Tension, then, is not something
to overcome (as long as it is within acceptable parameters), but it is a constitutive
element of psychological life itself and the basis of any educational process allowing
both development and integrity of the self-system.
Meijers and Hermans’volume “The Dialogical Self Theory in Education: a
multicultural perspective”nicely shows how any educational process inevitably
deals with the ambivalences and complexities of our contemporary and future
existence as human beings.
viii Preface from the Series Editor
Hermans, H.J.M., Konopka, A., Oosterwegel, A., & Zomer, P. (2017). Fields of tension in a bound-
ary crossing world: towards a democratic organization of the self. Integrative Psychological and
Behavioural Science, 51(4). doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-017-9398-2.
Marsico, G., (Ed.). (2015). Jerome S. Bruner beyond 100: cultivating possibilities.InCultural
psychology of education (Vol. 2). Cham: Springer.
Marsico, G., & Tateo, L. (2017). Borders, tensegrity and development in dialogue. Integrative
Psychological and Behavioural Sciences,51(4). doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-017-9398-2.
Marsico, G., & Valsiner, J. (2017). Beyond the mind: cultural dynamics of the psyche. Charlotte:
Information Age Publishing.
Plato. (1999). The symposium (trans: Gill, C.). London: Penguin Books.
Szulevicz, T., May Eckerdal, R., Marsico, G., & Valsiner, J. (2016). When disruptive behaviour
meets outcome-based education. Psihologija, 49(4), 447–468. doi:https://doi.org/10.2298/
Tateo, L. (2015). Let’s frankly play: ambivalence, dilemmas and imagination. In G. Marsico (Ed.),
Jerome S. Bruner beyond 100: cultivating possibilities (pp. 55–64). New York: Springer.
ixPreface from the Series Editor
Dialogical Self Theory in Education: An Introduction............... 1
Frans Meijers and Hubert Hermans
Being, Doing, and Becoming: Fostering Possibilities for Agentive
Dialogue .................................................. 19
Jennifer Clifton and Bob Fecho
Dialogue, Inquiry, Changing Roles, and the Dialogical Self .......... 35
Trevor Thomas Stewart
Engaging Children in Dialogic Classroom Talk: Does It Contribute
to a Dialogical Self? ......................................... 49
Chiel van der Veen, Marjolein Dobber and Bert van Oers
The Experience of the Other and the Premise of the Care for Self.
Intercultural Education as Umwendung .......................... 65
Writing the Self for Reconciliation and Global Citizenship: The Inner
Dialogue and Creative Voices for Cultural Healing ................. 81
Reinekke Lengelle, Charity Jardine and Charlene Bonnar
Dialogue for Bridging Student Teachers’Personal and Professional
Identity ................................................... 97
Äli Leijen, Katrin Kullasepp and Aivi Toompalu
Teacher Identity as a Dialogical Construction ..................... 111
Afrikaner and Coloured School-Going Adolescents Negotiating Ethnic
Identities in a Post-Colonial South African Educational Context:
A Dialogical Self Interpretation ................................ 129
Dialogical Selves and Intersectional Masculinities: Image-and-Interview
Research with South African Adolescents ........................ 143
Dialogical Self and Struggling Reader Identity .................... 157
Use of My Career Chapter to Engage Students in
Reﬂexive Dialogue........................................... 173
Michael Healy, Peter McIlveen and Sara Hammer
A Dialogical Approach for Learning Communities Between Positioning
and Reformulation .......................................... 189
Susanna Annese and Marta Traetta
Index ..................................................... 211