Action oriented approach

Небольшое лирическое отступление: мои заметки на английском по ряду причин, однако в последнее время заметил что на английском записи получаются гораздо глубже.

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Historical reference and some thoughts about foreign and domestic views

  • Action-oriented approach transforms certain types of actions and requires project management competences1.
    • The first time it has been introduced to the public by William Kilpatrick4 and his student John Dewey5.
    • But from the perspective of Russian pedagogical school, it’s incomplete. Their system is only one element of a more complex system of teaching, that has been perfected by generations of Russian didacts and teachers.
      • Leo Vygotsky.
      • Mirza Mahmutov.
      • Denis Davidov.
      • Petr Galperin.
      • etc.
  • If we look at the whole system, we can see that action-oriented approach is tightly connected with communication and thinking.
    • These two points have been explored in great details by Vigotsky in “Thinking and speech” and Galperin in his theory of oriented basis of action.
    • Incidentally, it touches the problem of communication in the classroom. [[проблема общения на уроке]]
      • Action and communication are separate, though they have multiple interconnected elements, where one leads to another. This connection is often the source of miscommunication. We have to pay attention not to the premises but to the link between them. Not to agents of communication and action, but to the relation they have to each other.

[!NOTE] CERF comment on the topic
In an ‘action-oriented approach,’ which translates the CEFR descriptive scheme into practice, some collaborative tasks in the language classroom are therefore essential. 1

Who is an agent of action

  • An agent of action oriented approach changes reality.
    • He doesn’t see objects, only implemented action towards objects.
    • I act, thus I accumulate experience.
  • Wherever an agent of empirical approach explores reality.
    • He sees only objects and for him, they are data3.

The methodological basis of any skill is practice

  • Practice makes effort effortless. Patience and time.
    • We lack patience in pursuing goals, and it happens when action doesn’t have meaning beyond itself. It is equally applicable to teaching, mentoring, bringing up children.
    • [[Methodological basis of any skill is practice#^290e5b]]

The primary qualities of action

  • According to Galperin, his system has several attributes to the action.
    • Fullness of all stages.
      • It is essential to present all the stages to the student.
      • For student to follow all the steps of the process before implementing it. The teacher must control environment and results on every stage.
      • If it happens, then the student’s action takes place in objective necessity.
    • Prioritization between meaningful and useless actions.
      • Every action has many aspects, some of them important, most redundant to keep in one’s mind while implementing. The redundancies should be sheared from the attention of the student.
      • In order to achieve this we have to systematically change material. Change tends to get rid of all unimportant elements.
      • Taleb also mentioned this in his work, that through the process of constant trimming we can reach the essence of things. [[Antifragile book 6#^70f4b3]]
    • Understanding of time and effort required.
    • Level of acquisition.
  • And some secondary qualities.
    • Rationality.
      • When an agent orients his actions towards objective relationship, between things and circumstances inside which an action takes place. Deciding which action to take and which has the biggest impact is not an easy task.
    • Consciousness.
      • An ability to verbally explain an action. Reason and purpose behind it, and also I think to have a clear vision of every step necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
    • Criticality – reflection.
      • It’s correlation of accepted criteria and objective reality, not just application, but constant evaluation of criteria themselves.
      • Understanding why I’ve chosen them, are they the only possible, or there are other things that might be done? Are they decisive?
      • Criticality of action is a critical view on action, and matching criteria with reality in according to which they have been selected.
    • The level of acquisition.
      • Can practiced action be done mentally or only symbolically with extrinsic help?
        • And if the answer to the previous question is yes, then with what speed and accuracy?
      • Keep in mind that the action must be done fast enough and with required level of accuracy, but also we should keep a student in a specific form of action. Exercises must keep students on their toes.
        • To achieve this, we have to change a form, provide a higher level application.
      • Because without that, there is a risk that a student can lose flexibility.
      • Every action is fluid and flexible, it’s not constant, it is always in transition state and stays in unfinished form all the time.
      • Criteria to gauge the level of acquisition
        • Wholeness and uninterrupted of action.
        • Requires pace and rhythm of action.

Two elements of any action oriented approach

  • The image of an environment.
  • An action that we implement in the context of the image.
    • Actions are ideal actions within the context of the image.
    • Because images tend to change under the effort and with time or stressed, the first step is to train ideal action under ideal conditions (usually our image in the head).
    • This is why it is crucial to establish an action in the premises of the classroom and not at home.
      • English classes: that’s why I have to train student the correct pronunciation inside the classroom and not give them any HW where a space for mistake is big.
        • Only filling the gaps exercises are appropriate.
      • Often than not, teachers tend to pass the buck on the shoulders of the student, in a form of home assignment.
      • I am strongly against it, they have to work with me in the classroom.
      • Because only there they can acquire the skill with a given quality and in controlled environment.

An automatization of a specific action

  • If we have a goal to perform a specific task in an ideal manner, it doesn’t guarantee that we can achieve it with the expected result.
    • Especially in a diverse group, in which peers are with equally different abilities.
    • And even if we succeeded with one group, the similar result with the next group is not a done deal. No one knows how everything will unfold. It actually could be solved by planting “sleeping agent” from previous groups.
    • It’s impossible to understand why different people under similar conditions get different result.
    • Even if we follow the script of detailed explanation.
      • Explain an action.
        • It’s also an element of conscious action. When you can explain what you do, and why you do it with certain precision.
      • Give time to learn and practice.
      • Assess the result.
    • To avoid variability of results, we have to describe the quality of an action, or the quality of a product of the action.
      • Incidentally, this is a good point why the goal in [[Intermediate Objectives map#^a63232]] must be described as an outcome of an activity.
        • The human needs not only what to do, when to do and how to do, but it’s crucial to provide a perspective of his action.
        • It is the last part of oriented basis of action(OBA), when we transfer action to operational thinking pattern.
      • To accomplish this, we have to break this task into three subsystems.

Three subsystems of action oriented approach or OBA

  • Number 1.
    • Includes conditions that allow to consider action as action of a specific agent.
    • It sets up an oriented basis for any given action.
  • Number 2.
    • Provides acquisition of needed qualities.
    • Any given action could be performed with different merits, different parameters: speed, interdependencies between conditions, etc.
    • This system allows the agent the acquisition of necessary qualities of action.
  • Number 3.
    • Guarantees transition of initial extrinsic material action into ideal form and making it in the course a new psychological process.




1. Common European Framework of References for Languages: learning, teaching assessment // 2018.
2. Пассов Е. Основы коммуникативной методики. Обучение иноязычному общению / Е. Пассов, Москва: Русский язык, 1989. 276 c.
3. Щедровицкий Г. Огруправленческое мышление: идеология, методология, технология / Г. Щедровицкий, Москва: Студия Артемия Лебедева, 2018. 464 c.
4. Wiki page:
5. Wiki page:

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