The fourth lecture analyzes the potentials of conducting formative interventions in collective activity systems to enhance the formation of future-oriented and practically effective theoretical concepts. The methodology of formative interventions in introduced as a way to support and rigorously analyze change efforts aimed at collective concept formation (Engeström, 2011). The lecture builds on data from Change Laboratory interventions in three schools, one in Finland (Engeström, Engeström & Suntio, 2002), another one in Botswana (Virkkunen & al., 2012), and the third one in Russia. The three cases represent bottom-up local efforts at school change in different cultural contexts.
In each intervention, the participating teachers created a new concept and model for the zone of proximal development of their school. The lecture analyzes the contradictions, expressions of transformative agency, and epistemic learning actions involved in the formation of the new concept in these three cases.