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Developmental Work Research (DWR) is a methodology for simultaneous research and innovation in workplace settings, developed by Finnish researcher Yryö Engeström. This interventionist approach builds on the principles of cultural-historical activity theory, articulated by developmental psychologists L.S. Vygotsky and A.N. Le'ontev. The article describes the use of DWR with the staff of one Melbourne early childhood centre to argue for the potential of DWR as a professional development methodology. A specific example is provided to show how a group of educators resolved a contradiction within their collective system of activity, related to implicit cultural rules about communication with parents. The article concludes by arguing that DWR has considerable potential for reconceptualising practice in early childhood settings, whilst cautioning that some practices are easier to reconceptualise than others.

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