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Yrjö Engeström’s Model

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Chapter Summary

Yrjö Engeström is probably the most influential Activity Theorist today, working from his Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research in Helsinki, where the central concerns are education, training and work organization. Engeström's comprehensive schema of nested triangles tackled a lot of the problems in Leontyev's model. He begins with the natural model of the activity of social creatures, represented with a triangle, in which an individual's relationship to their environment is mediated by their community. This chapter focuses on classic markers of Activity Theory, with the satisfaction of needs of individuals providing the motor of individual activity and development. Engeström's claim rests on the idea of the initial natural relationship of individual-community-environment 'expanding' through the intervention of mediating elements.

Keywords: activity theory; Leontyev's model; Yrjö Engeström



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