Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2013

Researching Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Lecturer: Professor Anne Edwards,
Department of Education,
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Main discipline: Educational Studies

This course is fully enlisted!
Dates: 22 - 26 July 2013
Course Credits: 10 pts (ECTS)
Limitation: 30 participants
 

Objectives
Understanding what is meant by learning and getting to grips with how learning is supported is not simply the concern of schools. The five day programme of study is based on the premise that people endeavour to make sense and learn where ever they are and it is important to know how that learning can be recognised and enhanced. The sessions will therefore focus on (i) how we recognise and research learning; (ii) what research can tell us about how learning is supported; and (iii) how certain kinds of research design can enhance learning. Sessions will respond to the research interests of particpants, but is expected that the sessions will be of interest to people working in the areas of: professional learning; work-place learning; learning in schools and higher education; learning in the community; and the pedagogic aspects of organisational change.

The theoretical under-pinning of the programme is a Vygotskian account of learning which emphasises the intertwining of mind and culture or person and practice. This ‘cultural historical’ account of learning sees learners as intentional sense-makers who navigate practices to achieve their goals. The sessions will therefore pay attention: to organisational purposes, the motives that shape practices, the demands these create for participants in the practices, and how these demands are interpreted and worked on in the processes of learning. Sessions will draw on examples of recent and current research to illustrate some of the methodological implications of taking such a multi-layered approach to researching learning. On the final day one session will take the form of a Developmental Work Research simulation. Participants will be sent details of the simulation and their role in it prior to the course.

 

Readings in preparation for the course

  • Cole, M. (1996). Cultural Psychology. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Daniels, H. et al. (Eds.) (2010). Activity Theory in Practice. London:Routledge.
  • Edwards, A. (2012). The Role of Common Knowledge in Achieving Collaboration across Practices. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction. 1(1) 22-32.
  • Engestrom,Y. & Sannino, A. (2011). Discursive manifestations of contradictions in organisational change efforts. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24(3): 368-387
  • Holland, D. et al. (1998). Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press.

 

Course Outline

July 22nd 

a.m. (i) What is meant by learning? (ii) A cultural historical theory account of learning
The first session will clarify the intellectual roots of a cultural-historical approach to understanding learning and place it in relation to the other major twentieth century approaches. The second session will outline the key concepts, discuss their relevance to studying learning in real world settings and begin to outline some of the methodological challenges the approach presents.

Key texts:

  • Cole, M. (1996). Cultural Psychology. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press. (Chapter 5. pp.116-145.)
  • Engestrom,Y. & Sannino, A. (2011). Discursive manifestations of contradictions in organisational change efforts. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24(3): 368-387
  • Kozulin, A. (1986). The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology: Vygotsky, His Disciples and Critics American Psychologist 41(3), 264–274.


p.m. Learning in formal settings: knowledge and explicit mediation
This afternoon we will examine how learners come to understand and work with the powerful forms of knowledge that are passed from expert to novice in educational settings. Topics will include what is meant by ‘knowledge’; the role of discourse; how learners become engaged; and how to study learning and teaching in these settings.

Key texts:

  • Wells, G. (1996) Using the Tool-Kit of Discourse in the Activity of Learning and Teaching, Mind, Culture, and Activity. 3(2) 74-101
  • Wertsch, J. (2007). Mediation, In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky. (pp.178-211) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

July 23rd

a.m. Learning in informal settings: working with knowledge in practices
In this morning’s sessions we will examine how a cultural historical understanding of learning is more than a matter of learning through participating in social practices. Topics will include understanding practices as historical accumulations, knowledge -laden and shaped by motives; and how discourse shapes and is shaped by practices.

Key texts:

  • Edwards, A. & Daniels, H. (2012). The knowledge that matters in professional practices. Journal of Education and Work. 25(1), 39-58.
  • Mäkitalo, Å.  (2012) Professional learning and the materiality of social practice. Journal of Education and Work. 25(1), 59–78.


p.m. Learning trajectories: navigating practices
This afternoon attention will turn to the agentic intentional learner as she or he navigates the affordances and constraints of existing practices. Topics will include personal sense-making, the development of expertise, and studying learning trajectories.

Key texts:

  • Dreier, O. (1999). Personal trajectories of participation across contexts of social practice. Outlines: Critical Social Studies 1: 5–32.
  • Edwards, A. (2010). Being an Expert Professional Practitioner: the relational turn in expertise.  Dordrecht: Springer. (Chapter 2. pp. 21-40)
  • Edwards, A. and Mackenzie L. (2005) Steps Towards Participation: the social support of learning trajectories, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 24 (4) 287-302.
  • Holland, D. et al. (1998). Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press. (Chapter 3. pp. 49-65)

 

July 24th

a.m. Moving between practices: transitions
In these two sessions we will examine some of the conceptual and practical challenges of (i) following learners as they move between practices and settings, and (ii) how people work together outside the safety nets of their familiar practices.

Key texts:

  • Beach, K. (1999). Consequential transitions: a sociocultural expedition beyond transfer in education. Review of Research in Education. 24: 101-139.
  • Silseth, K. & Arnseth, H. C. (2011). Learning and identity construction across sites: A dialogical approach to analysing the construction of learning selves. Culture & Psychology. 17(1) 65–80.


p.m. Learning with and from each other: relational aspects of learning
A major theme this afternoon is the notion of relational expertise: an additional form of expertise which enables people to work together on complex problems. Topics will include the resourceful practitioner, the creating of common knowledge and the exercise of relational agency.

Key texts:

  • Edwards, A. (2005). Relational Agency: learning to be a resourceful practitioner, International Journal of Educational Research. 43. 3. 168-182.
  • Edwards, A. (2011) Building Common Knowledge at Boundaries between Professional Practices, International Journal of Educational Research, (50) 33-39.
  • Morch, A. et al. (2010). Adaptation and generalization in software product development. In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) (2010). Activity Theory in Practice. (pp. 184-206) London:Routledge.

 

July 25th 

a.m. Leading learning in changing systems
This morning attention turns to the learning that gives rise to changes in practices and in organisations. Topics will include the more affective and creative aspects of leading change and how organisational leaders work pedagogically to harness the expertise that is distributed across organisations to take forward organisational purposes.

Key texts:

  • Edwards, A. (2010). Being an Expert Professional Practitioner: the relational turn in expertise. Dordrecht: Springer. (Chapter 7. Pp. 117-136).
  • Seely Brown, J. & Duguid, P. (2001).  Knowledge and organization: a social-practice perspective. Organization Science. 12, (2), 198–213


p.m. Creating learning systems using research
The focus this afternoon is how research-based knowledge is brought into practices through, for example, action learning sets which have the potential to enhance the agency of participants. Particular attention will be paid to the implications of these kinds of learning processes for an organisation’s capacity to respond to the demands of the newly enriched practices.

Key texts:

  • Chaiklin, S. (2011). Social scientific research and societal practice: action research and cultural-historical research in methodological light from Kurt Lewin and Lev S. Vygotsky Mind, Culture, and Activity, 18: 129–147.
  • Lund, A. et al. (2010). Adaptation and generalization in software product development. In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) Activity Theory in Practice. (pp. 184-206) London:Routledge.

 

July 26th

a.m. Designing research to capture learning
The two sessions this morning will bring together the methodological challenges encountered over the past four days and discuss how researchers within the field have met and overcome them.

Key texts:

  • Edwards, A. (2010). Being an Expert Professional Practitioner: the relational turn in expertise  Dordrecht: Springer. (Chapter 8. pp 137-156)
  • Gee, J.P. & Green. J.L. (1998). Discourse analysis, learning, and social practice. Review of Research in Education. 23: 119-169
  • Middleton, D. (2010). Identifying learning in interprofessioanl discourse: the development of an analytic protocol. In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) Activity Theory in Practice. (pp. 90-104) London:Routledge.
  • Wardekker, W. (2000). Criteria for the quality of inquiry, Mind, Culture and Activity.7(4), 259–272.


p.m. Designing research to promote learning
The first session will be a simulation of a Developmental Work Research workshop. The second session will be reflection on the processes and their implications for the design of research to study learning.

Key texts:

  • Engeström, Y.  (2011). From design experiments to formative interventions. Theory & Psychology. 21(5) 598–628.
  • Virkkunen, J. et al.  (2010). From diagnosis to clients: constructing the object of collaborative development between physiotherapy educators and workplaces. In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) Activity Theory in Practice. (pp. 9-24) London: Routledge.

 

Reading list:

  • Beach, K. (1999). Consequential transitions: a sociocultural expedition beyond transfer in education. Review of Research in Education. 24: 101-139.
  • Chaiklin, S. (2011). Social scientific research and societal practice: action research and cultural-historical research in methodological light from Kurt Lewin and Lev S. Vygotsky Mind, Culture, and Activity, 18: 129–147.
  • Cole, M. (1996). Cultural Psychology. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Daniels, H. et al. (Eds.) (2010). Activity Theory in Practice. London:Routledge.
  • Dreier, O. (1999). Personal trajectories of participation across contexts of social practice. Outlines: Critical Social Studies 1: 5–32.
  • Edwards, A. (2005). Relational Agency: learning to be a resourceful practitioner, International Journal of Educational Research. 43. 3. 168-182.
  • Edwards, A. (2010). Being an expert professional practitioner; the relational turn in expertise. Dordecht: Springer.
  • Edwards, A. (2011) Building Common Knowledge at Boundaries between Professional Practices, International Journal of Educational Research, (50) 33-39.
  • Edwards, A. (2012). The Role of Common Knowledge in Achieving Collaboration across Practices. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction. 1(1) 22-32.
  • Edwards, A. & Daniels, H. (2012). The knowledge that matters in professional practices. Journal of Education and Work. 25(1), 39-58.
  • Edwards, A. and Mackenzie L. (2005) Steps Towards Participation: the social support of learning trajectories, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 24 (4) 287-302.
  • Engeström, Y.  (2011). From design experiments to formative interventions. Theory & Psychology. 21(5) 598–628.
  • Engestrom,Y. & Sannino, A. (2011). Discursive manifestations of contradictions in organisational change efforts. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24(3): 368-387.
  • Gee, J.P. & Green. J.L. (1998). Discourse analysis, learning, and social practice. Review of Research in Education. 23: 119-169
  • Holland, D. et al. (1998). Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds. Cambridge Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Kozulin, A. (1986). The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology: Vygotsky, His Disciples and Critics. American Psychologist 41(3), 264–274.
  • Mäkitalo, Å.  (2012) Professional learning and the materiality of social practice. Journal of Education and Work. 25(1), 59–78.
  • Seely Brown, J. & Duguid, P. (2001).  Knowledge and organization: a social-practice perspective. Organization Science. 12, (2), 198–213.
  • Silseth, K. & Arnseth, H. C. (2011). Learning and identity construction across sites: A dialogical approach to analysing the construction of learning selves. Culture & Psychology. 17(1) 65–80.
  • Virkkunen, J. et al.  (2010). From diagnosis to clients: constructing the object of collaborative development between physiotherapy educators and workplaces. In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) Activity Theory in Practice. (pp. 9-24) London:Routledge.
  • Wardekker, W. (2000). Criteria for the quality of inquiry, Mind, Culture and Activity.7(4), 259–272.
  • Wells, G.   (1996)   Using the Tool-Kit of Discourse in the Activity of Learning and Teaching,  Mind, Culture, and Activity. 3(2) 74-101
  • Wertsch, J. (2007). Mediation, In H. Daniels et al. (Eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky.  (pp.178-211) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Further reading

  • Carlile, P. (2004) Transferring, translating, and transforming: an integrative framework for managing knowledge across boundaries, Organization Science, 15 (5), 555–568.
  • Claxton, G.(2007). Expanding young people’s capacity to learn, British Journal of Educational Studies, 55, (2), 1-20.
  • Feldman, M. & Orlikowski, W.J. (2011). Theorizing practice and practicing theory, Organization Science,  22, (5), 1240–1253.
  • Schatzki, T. et al.  (Eds). (2001). The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory.  London: Routledge.

 

The lecturer
Anne Edwards is a Professor in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford where she co-convenes the Oxford University centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory Research (OSAT). Her work is located in the cultural historical strand of research that has developed from Vygotsky’s ground-breaking work on learning. She has written on the learning of children, young people and adults, professional learning, inter-professional collaborations and interventionist research methods. Her analyses focus on the layer of activity that lies between a focus on the individual and a focus on the system, in order to understand how individual learning and organisational change are interconnected.

 

Tags: Summer School, PhD, Education, Studies, Research, Learning, Cultural Psychology, Sociology
Published Aug. 30, 2018 8:57 AM - Last modified Aug. 30, 2018 8:57 AM