About the Epistemic Fluency book

Markauskaite, L., & Goodyear, P. (forthcoming). Epistemic fluency and professional education: innovation, knowledgeable action and actionable knowledge. Dordrecht: Springer.

This book, by combining sociocultural, material, cognitive and embodied perspectives on human knowing, offers a new and powerful conceptualisation of epistemic fluency – a capacity that underpins knowledgeable professional action and innovation. Using results from empirical studies of professional education programs, the book sheds light on practical ways in which the development of epistemic fluency can be recognised and supported – in higher education and in the transition to work.

The book provides a broader and deeper conception of epistemic fluency than previously available in the literature.

Epistemic fluency involves a set of capabilities that allow people to recognize and participate in different ways of knowing. Such people are adept at combining different kinds of specialised and context-dependent knowledge and at reconfiguring their work environment to see problems and solutions anew.

In practical terms, the book addresses the following kinds of questions. What does it take to be a productive member of a multidisciplinary team working on a complex problem? What enables a person to integrate different types and fields of knowledge, indeed different ways of knowing, in order to make some well-founded decisions and take actions in the world? What personal knowledge resources are entailed in analysing a problem and describing an innovative solution, such that the innovation can be shared in an organization or professional community? How do people get better at these things; and how can teachers in higher education help students develop these valued capacities? The answers to these questions are central to a thorough understanding of what it means to become an effective knowledge worker and resourceful professional.

This book…

  • Synthesises recent research into the nature of professional learning and knowing
  • Reconceptualises professional capacities entailed in working in dynamic muti-professional workplace settings
  • Presents a new account of the nature and role of epistemic fluency – defining it as the ability to integrate different kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing
  • Drawing the emerging grounded views of human cognition, offers an action-oriented perspective of professional conceptual knowledge
  • Draws attention to the role of professional capacity to construct epistemic environments
  • Sheds light on practical ways in which the development of epistemic fluency can be supported in higher education

For whom we wrote it…

The book addresses the needs of three main audiences, which have an overlapping interest in the nature of professionals’ working knowledge and the reform of professional education.

  1. Academic researchers, including research students, whose interests focus on understanding: contemporary workplaces; the nature of (multidisciplinary and inter-professional) knowledge work; the nature of professional knowledge and its role in solving novel and recurrent problems in professional practice. The cross-disciplinary nature of these issues means that the book will be of interest to researchers from a variety of fields, including those researching in the learning sciences, higher education, workplace studies and organizational studies.
  2. Those who have a leadership responsibility for programs of professional education in universities and elsewhere. The book will be of value to those considering major changes in such programs – from curriculum, assessment, accreditation, learning and teaching perspectives.
  3. University teaching staff, workplace mentors and others who have responsibility for the successful running of professional education and personnel development programs, including the design and management of work-based learning experiences.

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