Cultural Historical Research SIG 30
Cultural Historical Research SIG 30
SIG Purpose


Cultural Historical Research_LH

The Cultural-Historical Research Special Interest Group (SIG #30) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is a diverse grouping of researchers who approach learning, development and social change from a cultural-historical, socio-cultural and/or activity theoretic perspective. Common themes of research and conversation draw on Vygotsky, Luria, Leont’ev, Bakhtin, Mead (and others).

Drawing on these perspectives, members also engage with frameworks that are inclusive to, but not limited to critical, feminist, digital studies, and arts-based approaches to explore sociocultural, educational, pedagogical, and sociopolitical questions at the intersection of theory and practice. 


Co-Chairs: Patricia Martínez-Álvarez, Teachers College, Columbia University & Monica Lemos, University of Helsinki 

Co-Program Chairs: Antti Rajala, University of Oulu & Megan Elaine Lynch, University of North Florida  

Secretary/Treasurer: Minhye Sun, California State University - Dominguez Hills & Kalonji Nzinga, University of Colorado Boulder 

Website/Communications Chair: Eddie Rivero, Stanford University

Please see our Officer Profiles Below! 

Follow Us on Social Media!
AERA 2023

Click the link below to read the call for submissions to the 2023 AERA Annual Meeting, from Program Co-Chairs Patricia Martínez-Álvarez and Monica Lemos.

Read More

Co-Chairs of SIG-30

Patricia Martínez-Álvarez
Associate Professor of Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Teachers College, Columbia University

Patricia Martínez-Álvarez, PhD, is an associate professor in the program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Employing cultural historical and critical disability theories, Dr. Martínez-Álvarez's research exposes the educational inequities that bilingual children with a disability experience in schools and prepares teachers for enacting inclusive education in bilingual programs. Dr. Martínez-Álvarez is an Early Career AERA awardee from the Bilingual Education Research SIG and the current co-chair of the AERA Cultural-Historical research SIG. She serves as an Associate Editor for the Teachers College Record and is an editorial board member for the Bilingual Research Journal. She has published extensively and has authored the book Teacher Education for Inclusive Bilingual Contexts. Visit Patricia’s Faculty Page

Selected Publications 

Martínez-Álvarez, P. (2022). Teacher education for inclusive bilingual contexts: Collective reflection to support emergent bilinguals with and without disabilities. In Routledge Research in Teacher Education book series. New York, NY: Routledge.

Martínez-Álvarez, P. (2020). Essential constructs in the preparation of inclusive bilingual education teachers: mediation, agency, and collectivity. Bilingual Research Journal, 43(3), 304–322.

Monica Lemos
Cognition, Learning, Instruction & Communication
Escola Castanheiras/University of Helsinki

Monica lemos, PhD, has recently defended the PhD expanding educational activities beyond school walls, which comprised a formative intervention in creative chain of activities and the study of a secondary students' social movement to improve educational management in São Paulo.  Dr. lemos research experience comprises her participation in the language and activities in educational contexts (lace) research group since the beginning of the 2000's, group in which she has been taking part as a researcher in different projects. In addition, she also contributes to the research group at (working accidents), who is involved in formative interventions to prevent working accidents and improve workers wellbeing using the framework of the change laboratory. Dr. Lemos contributes to the Mind Culture and Activity- An International Journal and Cultural Praxis collective and she is the current co-chair of the AERA Cultural-historical Research SIG.

Dr. Lemos works as a Pedagogical Coordinator in São Paulo, Brazil. linkedin 

Selected publications 

Lemos, M. & Cunha Júnior, F. (2018) Facebook in Brazilian schools: Mobilizing to fight back, Mind, Culture, and Activity, 25:1, 53-67,doi: 10.1080/10749039.2017.1379823

Lemos, M. & Liberali, F. (2019) The creative chain of activities towards educational management transformation. International Journal of Educational Management. vol. 33 no. 7, 2019 pp. 1718-1732 Emerald Publishing Limited 0951-354x doi 10.1108/ijem-08-2017-0219


Co-Program Chairs




Antti Rajala
Senior Researcher at the Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology 
University of Easter Finland

Antti Rajala, Ph.D is a Senior Researcher at the Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology, University of Eastern Finland. Rajala's research interests include dialogic pedagogy, global education, as well as learning, agency, and activism in education. Currently, he leads the project Pedagogy of concrete utopias: Promoting youth climate activism in formal education (2020-2023, funded by the Academy of Finland and Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation). Rajala serves as Co-Editor in Mind Culture and Activity; Associate Editor in Frontline Learning Research; and Co-Editor in Outlines: Critical Practice Studies.

Selected Publications 

Rajala, A., Kumpulainen, K., Lipponen L., Rainio, A., & Hilppö, J. (2016). Dealing with the contradiction of agency and control during dialogic teaching. Learning, Culture, & Social Interaction, 10, 17-26.

Rajala, A.. Cantell, H., Haapamäki, K., Saariaho, A., Sorri, M., & Taimela I. (in press). Engaging with the political in learning: Possible futures, learning, and agency in the nthropocene. in P.Patrick (ed.), Applying learning theories in research outside the classroom: how people learn science in informal environments. Springer. 

Megan E. Lynch
Postdoctoral Fellow & Urban Education Scholars Coordinator
University of North Florida

Megan E. Lynch is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Florida in the College of Education and Human Services, where She collaborates with clinical faculty and professional development school (pds) partners to engage in (critical) practitioner inquiry. She is the Coordinator for the College’s Urban Education Scholars Program. Dr. Lynch earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, emphasis in supervision, from The Pennsylvania State University. Megan’s research draws on sociocultural and critical theories to better understand and shape the development of socially just pedagogy and political activism alongside preservice and in-service teachers and P-12 students within school-university partnerships. She prioritizes a Freireian praxis approach situated within the concrete, practical educational realities of co-research participants and co-researchers and their socio-political environment. Megan has publications in the Journal of Educational Supervision, Science and Children, and The Pennsylvania Teacher Educator. She is the lead associate editor for the journal School-University Partnerships.

Selected publications

Lynch, M. E., Bose, F. N., & Lee, M. (in press). Teacher candidates working with digital technologies to support multilingual students in asset-based ways. The Pennsylvania Teacher Educator.

Lynch, M. E. (2021). Supervision to deepen student teachers’ understanding of social justice: The role of responsive mediation. Journal of Educational Supervision, 4(2). p. 80-100.

Secretary and Treasurer

Minhye Son
Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Minhye Son, EdD, is an assistant professor in the Teacher Education Division at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Grounded in sociocultural theories and critical frameworks, her scholarly interests focus on the intersections of language and power in the areas of teacher education and bilingual/multicultural education. At CSUDH, she has the privilege of serving future teachers to support their practice in developing critical and humanizing pedagogy informed by anti-racist and decolonizing approaches with an asset and strength-based lens. Her work can be found in Teaching and Teacher Education and Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. Dr. Son received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, and she is a proud Korean-English bilingual, transnational/transcultural mother-scholar, carrying multiple cultural-historical identities.

Selected Publications 

Kwon, J., Son, M., & Jeon, S. (2022). Building a network of cultural capital: Korean immigrant parents of children with disability in a transnational online affinity space. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. DOI: 10.1080/15595692.2022.2055543

Martínez-Álvarez, P., & Son, M. (In Press). Breaking down barriers: Hearing from children to learn to teach inclusively in bilingual education. In Waitoller, F. R., & Thorius, K. K. (Ed.), Sustaining Disabled Youth: Centering Disability in Asset Pedagogies. Teachers College Press.

Kalonji Nzinga
Learning Sciences & Human Development 
University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Kalonji Nzinga is a cultural psychologist exploring how millennials and post-millennials develop their ethical worldviews. Using methods of validated psychological instruments, clinical interviews, and ethnographic observation he studies how young people come to understand moral concepts like authenticity, loyalty and justice as they grow up.  His research illuminates the polycultural process where young people encounter moral discourses from various traditions; in the form of sacred texts and traditional myths, but also in episodes of Law & Order, rap verses, and the comment threads of Twitter posts.  From these interactions with ideology, young people craft their own hybridized ethical perspectives.  His research has informed the design of various learning environments, multimedia arts exhibitions, and is published in the Journal of Cognition & Culture and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Click this link for Dr. Nzinga's extended academic bio.

Selected Publications 
Kalonji Nzinga (2020). Exploring Fanon’s psychopolitical project as a theory of learning, Mind, Culture, and Activity, DOI: 10.1080/10749039.2020.1716804

Nzinga, K.L.K., & Medin, D.L. (2018). The Moral Priorities of Rap Listeners. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 312-342.

Website/Communications Chair



Eddie Rivero
Postdoctoral Researcher
Learning Policy Institute

Eddie Rivero, Ph.D., is a learning scientist whose dissertation research examined youth of color’s play as a critical site of inquiry for understanding how digital technologies and play can be leveraged to design for relational equity. His research interests focus on the ingenuity, agency, and relationships that racially minoritized youth develop in school, after-school programs, and digital learning environments. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, Eddie continued to pursue his research interests on the role of positive relationships in the learning and development of young people through his examination of the Relationship-Centered School campaign in California. His educational background in the learning sciences and policy research employ methods that are rooted in strong commitments to co-design equitable learning environments with students, teachers, and community organizations.

Selected Publications 
Rivero, E., & Gutiérrez, K. D. (2019). “You know what’s glitching?”: Emergent digital literacies in video game play. In The Routledge handbook of digital literacies in early childhood (pp. 158-168). Routledge. 

Rivero, E., & Gutiérrez, K. (2022). Children Learning by Observing and Pitching In to community endeavours in online gaming communities (Los niños Aprenden por medio de Observar y Acomedirse a las actividades de la comunidad en los juegos en línea). Journal for the Study of Education and Development, 1-10.