Annalisa Sannino


    Research areas

  • 516 Educational sciences - cultural-historical activity theory, formative interventions , discourse, double stimulation, agency

Description of research and teaching

Annalisa Sannino's research and teaching are primarily focused on understanding transformative agency as a dialectical process of mastering historical contradictions and related conflicts of motives. She has written on the relations between discourse and activity, on the interventionist nature of cultural-historical activity theory, and key epistemological principles characterizing formative interventions within this theoretical framework. More specifically, in her recent work she has developed foundations for an intervention methodology based on the principle of double stimulation and on the principle of ascending from the abstract to the concrete. Her work demonstrates how transformative agency can be discursively identified, supported and enhanced within communities, educational and work activities. 

Beside her numerous refereed journal articles, she is the leading editor of the volume Learning and Expanding with Activity Theory (co-edited with Harry Daniels and Kris Gutierrez) by Cambridge University Press and Learning and Collective Creativity (co-edited with Viv Ellis) by Routledge.

Education information

She completed her PhD in Psychology in 2000 at the University of Nancy in France. 


Curriculum Vitae

Annalisa Sannino works at the Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE) in the Faculty of Education at University of Helsinki, Finland. Currently on leave from her position as University Lecturer in Educational Sciences, she holds an Academy Research Fellowship (2012-2017) with a project focused on “The Emergence of Agency: Foundations for Educational Change from Below.” She holds Visiting Professor positions at University West, Sweden (2016-2017) and at Rhodes University, South Africa (2016-2019).

Significant past experiences include a post-doctoral Fulbright Fellowship in the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition and the Department of Communication at the University of California San Diego in 2002-2003. Also, from 2001 to 2008 she worked as researcher in psychology with a tenured full-time position in the Department of Education at the University of Salerno in Italy.

Latest publications

  1. Co-generation of societally impactful knowledge in Change Laboratories

    Sannino, A. & Engeström, Y. H. M. Feb 2017 In : Management Learning. 48, 1, p. 80-96 17 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

  2. On the power of the object: History-making through skilled performance in wooden boat building

    Vetoshkina, L., Engeström, Y. H. M. & Sannino, A. 2017 Skillful performance: Enacting expertise, competence and capabilities in organizations. Sandberg, J., Rouleau, L., Langley, A. & Tsoukas, H. (eds.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, p. 73-102 30 p. (Perspectives on Process Organization Studies)

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyA3 Contribution to book/other compilations (refereed)

  3. Double Stimulation in the Waiting Experiment with Collectives: Testing a Vygotskian Model of the Emergence of Volitional Action

    Sannino, A. 2016 In : Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science. 50, 1, p. 142-173 32 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

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Latest activities

  1. External evaluator of the doctoral thesis by Ian KnottCraig at Rhodes University, South Africa

    Sannino, A. (Participant)

    Activity: OtherTypes for other activities - Other

  2. Reviewer of proposals for the EARLI 2017 conference

    Sannino, A. (Participant)

    Activity: OtherTypes for other activities - Other

  3. Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

    Sannino, A. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Jan 201730 Jun 2017

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

View all (100) »

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