Volume 18 · Number 2 · Pages 237–239
Bernstein, Vygotsky and the Field of Promoted Action: Some Insights from Motor Learning

Raúl Sánchez-García

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Open peer commentary on the article “Coordination Dynamics of Semiotic Mediation: A Functional Dynamic Systems Perspective on Mathematics Teaching/Learning” by Anna Shvarts & Dor Abrahamson. Abstract: I aim to strengthen the connection between Bernstein and Vygotsky, the key theoretical pillars in the target article on semiotic mediation during mathematics teaching/learning interactions. The concept of the field of promoted action (FPA) as understood through a constraints-led approach is crucial to foster such connection. FPA heavily relies on Bernstein’s characterization of (motor) problem solving in the learning process and relates to Vygotsky’s notion of the zone of proximal development. The use of FPA provides a more parsimonious account of semiotic mediation. Instead of an active functional system comprising student-teacher intercorporeal interactions on the one hand and a passive functional system comprising body-artifacts interactions on the other, FPA comprises an integrated functional dynamic system. In this integrated system, agency is distributed across human and non-human elements, among which semiotic mediation takes place.


Sánchez-García R. (2023) Bernstein, Vygotsky and the field of promoted action: Some insights from motor learning. Constructivist Foundations 18(2): 237–239. https://constructivist.info/18/2/237

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