This stack of slides comes from the presentation entitled “Practice-based research methods: Challenges and potentials” given before the master class on practice-based research on the 11th of December 2018, at the University of Southern Denmark, Kolding.
Education as an applied interdisciplinary research field faces acute challenges in defining the nature and scope of practice-based research. Constantly shifting notions of what it means to learn and, consequentially, what it means to teach make practice-based research a fluid and muddy concept. Increasing technologisation of learning environments and heightened expectations concerning the role of evidence in situated educational decisions have led some scholars to suggest a range of new approaches that are seen as more suitable for quickly changing research and practice contexts and capable to connect research with practice, design with teaching, and data with action. In this presentation, I discuss some different ways of thinking about these connections and emerging from them methodological implications. I argue that practice-based research has to ground itself in a much better understanding of diverse ways of knowing. It requires knowledge and skill to engage in methodological craftsmanship.
This set of slides has been prepared for a workshop “Interdisciplinary methods for researching teaching and learning”. It summarises some ideas about intellectual work across conventional (disciplinary) boundaries in education. A number of them draw on experiences working in the field of the learning sciences and writing the Epistemic fluency book. The main message is the paradoxical tension between what educational research is as practice and how educational research is organised and institutionalised as a formal research field (aka. discipline).
Last month we co-organised a symposium on interdisciplinary teaching and learning at The Sciences and Technologies of Learning Research Fest. As some colleagues were asking for access to our slides, we have uploaded them into our “slideware”. There are two presentations:
The first presentation “Teaching people to think and work across disciplinary and professional boundaries” comes from the symposium session (Symposium abstract is below). In our presentation, we provided an overview of the “zoo” of different definitions, taxonomies and classifications of interdisciplinarity and inter-professionalism. Most of these ideas are based on chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity. We also introduced some current discussions about the “shapes” of interdisciplinary expertise. Brief explorations of these ideas could be found in the linked pages about T-shaped and E-shaped people.
The second presentation “Learning to work across boundaries – opportunities for research and innovation” was a summary (by Lina) of the symposium – as part of the Research Fest’s closing plenary discussion. It briefly outlines our view of: i) what interdisciplinary skillfulness looks like, and ii) what kinds of educational research could help us to improve interdisciplinary teaching and learning.
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”.