Renowned International Conference is Coming to BYU
McKay School professor to host annual Sociocultural Theory Conference
This week, professionals from across the globe are gathering to BYU for the 19th Annual Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning Conference. Dr. Alex Rosborough of the McKay School of Education is hosting and organizing the event, which is being held for the first time at BYU.
As the conference has increased yearly in its reputation and influence, Rosborough expects an unprecedented number and variety of attendees this year. “We always have a lot of diversity in the academic backgrounds of those who attend,” said Rosborough. “We have participants with backgrounds in psychology, education, linguistics, foreign language, and a number of other fields. However, we are all alike in that we have the common interest in the study of sociocultural theory.”
Sociocultural theory explains how mental functioning is related to cultural, institutional, and historical contexts. Fundamental to this theory is the role of mediation: the process of observing how higher mental functions are developed through social and cultural interactions. Rosborough hopes that those attending and participating in the conference will be strengthened in their resolve to incorporate mediation into their pedagogy. “At this conference, there will be much more presented regarding the role of mediation in learning than has traditionally been taught,” said Rosborough. “We hope that those who attend this conference will internalize what they learn and share that knowledge with others. This knowledge will provide an amplification of the tools, whether they are physical or psychological, for our teachers and students all across the world.”
In this particular conference, presenters do not share the results of their finished research; instead they discuss a current project they are involved in and seek the feedback and expertise of those in attendance. The presentations are almost always non-concurrent, giving all the opportunity to listen to and participate in each of the presentations.
While the conference is expected to discuss advanced academic topics, all university faculty and students are invited and encouraged to attend one or more of the presentations. “This will be a scholastic and academic feast,” said Rosborough. “I feel that graduate students and even undergrads would benefit enormously from attending a presentation at this conference.”
The conference is being held at the Hinckley Alumni Center (3rd Floor) on October 18-20. Sessions will be held 8:30 am–5:00 pm (Thurs. & Fri.), with evening talk(s) 7:00-8:00 pm (Thurs. & Fri.) and 8:30 am-12:00 pm (Sat.).
October 18, 2012