We added to our slideware our presentation “Bridging professional learning, doing and innovation through making epistemic artefacts”, presented last week at the Practice-Based Education Summit “Bridging Practice Spaces” at Charles Sturt University. This presentation draws on the ideas from Chapter 8: Objects, things and artefacts in professional learning and doing of the book “Epistemic Fluency and Professional Learning“. It discusses how students’ work on making various artefacts for their assessments in courses that prepare them for professional practice bridges knowledge learnt in university setting with knowledge work in workplaces.
The gist of our argument can be summarised as follows:
- Professional expertise is inseparable from capacities to (co-)construct epistemic environments that enhance knowledgeable actions.
- Such expertise is grounded in embodied, situated professional knowledge work.
- Much of this work is done by (co-)creating epistemic artefacts that embody actionable knowledge.
- Productive epistemic artefacts connect the object (‘why’ of work) and the thing (‘what’ of work) through action (‘know how’) and ways of thinking that underpin situated professional innovation (ie. epistemic fluency)
In learning, much of the value of the epistemic artefacts comes from their dual and deeply entangled nature: they are simultaneously objective and grounded in situated experiences (aka. subjective). They embody actionable knowledge, and the activity through which they are constructed embodies knowledgeable action. They are reflective and projective.
How can epistemic fluency perspectives be enacted in daily learning and teaching work? This presentation overviews the design of a blended course Systems, Change and Learning that fundamentally builds on the ideas of epistemic fluency. The course draws together three modes of human inquiry: systems thinking, design practice and responsive action. Through reflective engagement with ideas from different disciplinary domains and teamwork on practical innovation challenges, students begin to appreciate the need to accommodate diverse perspectives and learn to combine diverse ways of knowing. This is not a “flagship” course – it never received any extra funding or other “external” support – but a course that emerged gradually through our daily work with students. By being “usual” and simultaneously “different” this course has celebrated students’ deep engagement, collaboration and positive feedback. A brief description of our approach is in the presentation and this document. Below is a short summary.
Summary: Learning to lead innovation and change
Capacities to drive collective learning, jointly address complex practical challenges and create innovative solutions are seen as essential for future graduates. How can we prepare students to lead complex collaborative learning, change and innovation projects? How can we help them to develop the knowledge and skills needed for resourceful teamwork with other people who have different areas of expertise, experiences, and interests? Continue reading
We added a document with chapter abstracts and keywords on Epistemic fluency and professional education book page [PDF]. Perhaps this is the easiest way to find out what this book is about. Below are 100 most frequent words in this book.
This weekend, The Conversation published quite interesting article entitled: “Why more scientists are needed in the public square”. It is written by the University of California’s President Janet Napolitano as a call for “all scientists” to step out from their labs into public arena and convey, in a jargon free language, social importance of their work. The article is squarely located in the US presidential election season, but there are a number of thought-provoking ideas from the epistemic fluency perspective (a brief comment that we posted in the morning is copied below). Overall, this article clearly shows that challenges related to the (lack of) epistemic fluency are both deep and widespread across science, society and politics. Continue reading
When our students and colleagues hear the term “epistemic fluency” for the first time they usually ask us two common questions: “Is it about interdisciplinarity?”; “Is it about expertise?” Perhaps the most straightforward answer is: “Yes” and “Yes”. Epistemic fluency is about interdisciplinarity and about expertise. To put it short – epistemic fluency is a capacity that underpins interdisciplinary expertise. However, this answer warrants some explanation of what we mean by “interdisciplinarity” and what we mean by “expertise”.