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Learning to co-create actionable knowledge across disciplinary and professional boundaries

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Capability to work across disciplinary and professional boundaries has become an essential attribute of today’s professionals: it is integral to complex professional problem solving; it drives innovation and research; it is key for sustainable development of industries and communities. This presentation will discuss some frontier research ideas on how people develop capability to work across diverse knowledge boundaries and how this capability could be fostered in higher education and workplaces.

Capability to work across disciplinary and professional boundaries has become an essential attribute of today’s professionals: it is integral to complex professional problem solving; it drives innovation and research; it is key for sustainable development of industries and communities. This presentation will discuss some frontier research ideas on how people develop capability to work across diverse knowledge boundaries and how this capability could be fostered in higher education and workplaces.

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Learning to co-create actionable knowledge across disciplinary and professional boundaries

  1. 1. The University of Sydney Page 1 Learning to co-create actionable knowledge across disciplinary and professional boundaries Lina Markauskaitė Acknowledgements: Peter Goodyear, ARC DP0988307 1 June2018 @ Sydney.Concepts.Westmead
  2. 2. The University of Sydney Page 2 The challenge - Formal <–> actionable knowledge - Inter-professional work and innovation - Interdisciplinary research - Academia <–> industry/community partnerships Knowledge work across boundaries Source: Nature, 2015, 525 (7569)
  3. 3. The University of Sydney Page 3 ‘Interdisciplinarities’ and ‘inter- professionalisms’… Multidisciplinarity Within disciplines Close disciplines Complementing Methodological Instrumental ‘Single man’ science Cooperative Collocated Knowledge focussed Professional Transdisciplinarity Across disciplines Remote disciplines Hybridizing Theoretical Critical Team science Collaborative Remote Problem-focused Social Integration Scope Proximity Function Extent Sharing Nature Mode Role Distribution Space
  4. 4. The University of Sydney Page 4 The roots – What does enable people to work across boundaries? – How could boundary work be facilitated? – How could development of boundary expertise be enhanced? Professional knowledgeable action and innovation
  5. 5. The University of Sydney Page 5 Epistemic fluency People who are flexible and adept with respect to different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency Capability to: 1. to integrate different kinds of knowledge 2. to coordinate different ways of knowing 3. to construct consci(enci)ous self 4. to assemble epistemic environments
  6. 6. The University of Sydney Page 6 Material foundation of knowledge work 1. Creating objects and artifacts 2. Playing epistemic games 3. Using epistemic tools and navigating infrastructures 4. Assembling epistemic environments What do people do when they create knowledge jointly?
  7. 7. The University of Sydney Page 7 Working on… Established boundaries – Diverse health providers – Work with clients – Etc. Emerging boundaries – Endemic health challenges – eHealth – Ephemeral innovations – Etc.
  8. 8. The University of Sydney Page 8 1. Epistemic objects and artefacts Objects and artefacts are the foundation of enduring professional practices, discovery and innovation They provide a concrete material foundation for joint knowledge work… and learning
  9. 9. The University of Sydney Page 9 1. Artefacts Meaning Practice artefacts Action artefacts Design artefacts Analytica l artefacts Action Source: Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2017, HERDSA
  10. 10. The University of Sydney Page 10 2. Epistemic games for established boundaries Epistemic games are patterns of inquiry that have characteristic forms (tools), moves, goals and rules used by different epistemic communities to conduct inquiries (Morrison & Collins, 1996) Examples – Creating a list – Creating a taxonomy – Making a comparison – Proving a theorem – Doing a controlled experiment Source: Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2017, Epistemic Fluency
  11. 11. The University of Sydney Page 11 2. Epistemic games for emerging boundaries – Design thinking – Expansive learning – Soft system methodology – Etc – Integration and implementation sciences – Team science Source: Engeström,1999, Expansive learning
  12. 12. The University of Sydney Page 12 3. Epistemic tools and infrastructures Social Cognitive Material Epistemic frames Epistemic devices Epistemic instruments & equipment Codes Information infrastructure Boundary infrastructure Learning infrastructure Material infrastructure Conceptual infrastructure Sociopolitical infrastructure Source: Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2017, Epistemic Fluency
  13. 13. The University of Sydney Page 13 4. Constructing epistemic assemblages An example from school counseling Source: Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2017, Epistemic Fluency
  14. 14. The University of Sydney Page 14 How? 1. Understand boundary work: arefacts, tools, games, infrastructures 2. Demystify boundary work for students: how to choose right tools and play right games 3. Foster students’ epistemic agency by developing their capacity to assemble productive epistemic environments 4. Develop capacity to create new epistemic tools, games and infrastructures
  15. 15. The University of Sydney Page 15 My final note Work on the boundaries requires epistemic awareness and epistemic fluency eBook link (Free @USyd via Springer Link) Website: https://epistemicfluency.com Twitter: @markauskaite Email: Lina.Marakauskaite@sydney.edu.au

Editor's Notes

  • Sydney.Concepts.Westmead
    Friday 1st June 2018 : 11.30—12md
    For information and registration: https://concepts2018.eventbrite.com.au

    Learning to co-create actionable knowledge across disciplinary and professional boundaries
    Capability to work across disciplinary and professional boundaries has become an essential attribute of today’s professionals: it is integral to complex professional problem solving; it drives innovation and research; it is key for sustainable development of industries and communities. This presentation will discuss some frontier research ideas on how people develop capability to work across diverse knowledge boundaries and how this capability could be fostered in higher education and workplaces.

    Speaker: Associate Professor Lina Markauskaite is Co-director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation at the University of Sydney. Her research interests focus on understanding complex scientific and professional practices. She researches how university students and professionals develop expertise to work across traditional knowledge boundaries, use diverse knowledge tools, solve complex problems, innovate and create actionable knowledge.

    Sydney.Concepts.Westmead is an ongoing series of conversations between researchers across the depth and breadth of the University of Sydney and colleagues from the Westmead precinct. These conversations will cover exciting discoveries and innovations and are aimed at initiating new collaborative opportunities between the university and the broader Westmead community. After the talks you are welcome to join the presenters for a chat.

    Sydney.Concepts.Westmead
    Westmead Hospital
    The Huddle: WECC Level 1
  • Demands of what is expected from future professionals and higher education
    Knowledge work: evidence-informed and evidence generating practice
    Teamwork iner-professional and interdisciplinary: multi-disciplinary work, relational expertise (Anne Edwards), interactional expertise (Harry Collins)
    Participatory ways of knowing: movement from “mass customisation” to open innovation and co-configuration; involvement of customers and users in professional knowledge construction




  • So what do we mean by interdisciplinarity?
    Some typical taxonomies:
    Multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity (Degree of integration)
    Within discipline Across disciplines
    Close disciplines vs remote disciplines
    Complementing vs hybridizing (Partial integration vs full integration)
    Methodological vs theoretical
    Instrumental vs critical
    Single man vs team science
    Shared/cooperative vs collaborative
    Collocated vs remote
    Knowledge focussed (Basic Mode 1) vs problem focussed (Applied Mode 2)
    Professional/endogenous vs Social/exogenous

    There is no one thing “Interdisciplinary expertise”

    The issue is then
    What do we mean by “interdisciplinary expertise”?
    How could we decide what we should teach and how create/choose productive facilitation approaches?

  • Four aspects of eFluency as conscientious inhabiting
    To integrate different kinds of knowledge (incl formal, functional, grounded concepts)
    To coordinate different ways of knowing. Play and weave different epistemic games
    To assemble epistemic environment to support one’s knowledgeable action
    To construct conscious self

    5. To see and sense the world (ie. attunement, capacity to notice/sense what matters, what to select and what to ignore)

    When we applied the notion of Epistemic fluency to skilful and knowledgeable professional work it became clear that ep. Fluency is not so much about recognising and using ep.games, as about connecting, weaving, constructing.
    This notion is much more entwined with the material world, and embodied self.

  • Diverse health providers (GPs, specialists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers)
    Work with clients (patients, carers)
    Etc.


    Endemic health challenges (diverse experts and stakeholders)
    eHealth (data analysts, IT engineers)
    Ephemeral innovations (nurse – architect)
    Etc
  • Key is to identify important and powerful kinds of artefacts and help students learn to produce them
    Learning to construct artefacts as the learning outcome
    Learning to construct arefacts as a means for learning
    Not all artefacts are equally productive helping link theoretical/formal and practical knowledge
  • Epistemic games, in simple words are practical methods, that practitioners use to generate knowledge (characteristic ways of conducting inquiries and producing new knowledge)
    Epistemic games is one (important) kind of such actionable knowledge
    The idea of epistemic games:
    Knowledge and knowing producing activity has an underpinning structure.
    “When people engage in investigations - legal, scientific, moral, political, or other kinds - characteristic moves occur again and again” (Perkins, 1997, 50)

    Epistemic games – patterns of inquiry that have characteristic forms, moves, goals and rules used by different disciplinary and professional communities to guide inquiry

    “…there is a bond between the demands of particular disciplines or professions, as they have been socially constituted, and epistemic games. <…> One cannot deal with the law in any serious manner without facility in dealing with rule and precedence-based reasoning.” (Perkins, 1997, 50)
    “Different contexts (communities of practice) support different ways of knowing, and therefore different kinds of epistemic games...” (Morrison & Collins, 1996, 108)

    Parallels wit language games
    Ludvig Wittgenstein:
    Language game is a form of language that is used by people, but much simpler than the entire language
    Language is not separate and does not mirror reality. Concepts do not need to be clearly defined to be meaningful. We know the meaning by family resemblance.
    Speaking of language is part of activity, a form of life
  • https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2009.12.002
  • Fig 12.1
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