For my Masters thesis, titled "Espoused Cultural Models in use at Flying Moose Lodge: A study of the discourse/practice of past directors," I examined evidence of sociocultural learning through tool use.
The thesis evolved from this:
Research Question: In my study I explore how dominant cultural models at FML (those of past and current owner/directors) have changed. Specifically, I ask: What cultural models are revealed in the discourse and practice of the directors of Flying Moose Lodge? To determine this I utilize triangulation of, and within, multiple data sources to maintain consistency (Stake, 1995). The data that has already been generated exists in three forms: A Bad Case of Moosepox (henceforth Moosepox) (Price, 1987), a hefty book of stories of FML's history; silent 16mm film footage of the camp, seven hours encompassing1921-1973, filmed and edited by camp directors to market their vision of the camp. Additionally, my own ten years of direct experience helping to run the camp as an assistant director, along with informal interviews, emails, and conversations of two of its directors, family, friends, and camp alumni contribute data.
Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework for this study is based primarily on the tenets of Cultural-Historical-Activity-Theory (CHAT), which maintains that Discourse and Practice reveal values. CHAT builds on work in educational theory and psychology research done throughout the twentieth century relating thinking, activity or experience, and community (Dewey, 1910; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Leont'ev, 1978; Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1988). CHAT suggests an ultimately circular process of influence and posits that what we believe and value is revealed in our activity -- what we do; and conversely what we do is influenced by the beliefs of the community of which we are a part.
Research Description: Drawing from Communities of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and cultural models (Gee, 1996; Holland, 1998; Holland & Quinn, 1987), I will explore personal identity and community membership, revealed through the camp's larger Discourse (Gee, 1996). In essence, I believe that past and current owners and directors of FML express their identity and cultural models through their stories of FML.
My master's research path, after I decided on the topic