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Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency: What makes complex knowledge work possible


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Webinar 2 “Interdisciplinarity in Technology-Enhanced Learning”
The topic chosen for the second edition of the Webinar series is “Interdisciplinarity in TEL”. The TEL field is interdisciplinary by definition. This makes TEL an especially interesting research field. Yet, it also brings complexity at different levels. A challenge for TEL researchers is to properly understand what is interdisciplinarity in our field, its challenges and implications. In the first part of the dialog, Lina Markauskaite will elaborate on the concept of epistemic fluency as “the capacity to understand, switch between and combine different kinds of knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world” (Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2016)

Published in: Education
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Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency: What makes complex knowledge work possible

  1. 1. The University of Sydney Page 1 Interdisciplinarity and Epistemic Fluency What makes complex knowledge work possible Lina Markauskaitė Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation 12 December 2018 @ EATEL Webinar
  2. 2. The University of Sydney Page 2 Main topics 1. Interdisciplinarity (ID): What do we mean by it? 2. Why is ID an issue for TEL field? 3. Epistemic fluency: epistemic infrastructures and epistemic games 4. What could TEL learn from this? Images from Pexel
  3. 3. The University of Sydney Page 3 Interdisciplinarity: What do we mean by it? Multidisciplinarity Within disciplines/fields Close disciplines Complementing Methodological Instrumental ‘Single man’ science Cooperative Collocated Knowledge focussed Professional Transdisciplinarity Across disciplines/fields Remote disciplines Hybridizing Theoretical Critical Team science Collaborative Remote Problem-focused Integration Scope Proximity Function Extent Sharing Nature Mode Role Distribution Space
  4. 4. The University of Sydney Page 4 Why Interdisciplinarity is an issue for TEL?…
  5. 5. The University of Sydney Page 5 Discipline as… …a set of shared dispositions about: a) Objects b) Evidence c) Methods d) Expertise Production of cumulative knowledge Markauskaite, et al. 2011 Struggles for TEL: 1. Articulating itself as a coherent intellectual field 2. A necessity to be a dynamic field with ‘leaky’ boarders From HoTEL EU project by Richard Millwood:
  6. 6. The University of Sydney Page 6 Epistemic fluency People who are flexible and adept with respect to different kinds of specialised and context-specific knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency. After Morrison & Collins, 1996
  7. 7. The University of Sydney Page 7 How does complex knowledge work get done? Epistemic infrastructure – basic conceptual, material and organisational structures and facilities needed for the operation of the ‘knowledge enterprise’ in a filed Professional epistemic games – ways of knowing that practitioners in a field use for generating (situated) knowledge that informs their action Images from Pexel
  8. 8. The University of Sydney Page 8 Epistemic infrastructure Conceptual infrastructure Codes Knowledge storage tools Contributing literacies Substantive professional knowledge base Knowledge & retrieval tools Competence codes Practice codes Technical codes Epistemic tools (see Figure 13.1) Learning infrastructure Information infrastructure Boundary infrastructure Material infrastructure General information retrieval tools Exemplars Updates Inter-professional knowledge tools General technical & material affordances Contributing knowledge bases Intra-professional knowledge tools Professional technical & material affordances Socio-political infrastructure Domain specific agendas General agendas Epistemic infrastructure
  9. 9. The University of Sydney Page 9 Socio-cognitive Social Socio-material Cognitive Material Epistemic frames Epistemic devices Epistemic instruments & equipment Codes Information infrastructure Boundary infrastructure Learning infrastructure Material (digital) infrastructure Conceptual infrastructure Socio-political infrastructure Epistemic infrastructure
  10. 10. The University of Sydney Page 10 Epistemic games Epistemic games 2. Situated problem-solving games 3. Meta-professional games Research games Producing games Coding games Concept combination games Articulation games Evaluation games Making games 4. Trans-professional games Sense-making games Exchanging games 1. Propositional games 6. Weaving games 5. Translational public games Conceptual tool- making games Routine games Semi-scripted games Concept games Public tool- making games Organising games Open games Investigative discourse games Decomposing & assembling games Flexible games Semi-constrained games Situation-specific games Standardisation discourse games Conceptual discourse games Informal discourse games
  11. 11. The University of Sydney Page 11 Main points 1. There is no good or bad interdisciplinarity 2. It’s important to be clear what sorts of ID problems we have and what sorts of ID we need 3. Building socio-technical (sic!) epistemic infrastructure is important for any mature field 4. Being more precise how productive ID work gets done could help do it better (see Epistemic games) It’s important to understand our own field Images from Pexel
  12. 12. The University of Sydney Page 12 Email: Thank you eBook: 9789400743687