At the nexus of learning and innovation
September 27, 1:00 pm

Level 6, Room 612

Education Building (a35)

1:00 - 2:00pm

SSESW Research Seminar Series


Level 6, Room 612

Education Building (a35)

1:00 - 2:00pm

An Ecological Framework for Studying Interdisciplinary Knowledge Practices and Learning: Linking Culture, Activity and Mind

Lina Markauskaite, Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences, Co-director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation


Abstract. Rapid recent proliferation of interdisciplinary teaching and learning within universities has not been accompanied with sufficient theoretical research and created an urgent need to develop new ways to conceptualise, investigate and assess these emerging teaching and learning practices. In this presentation, I draw upon the epistemic practice perspective that has been developed for theorising complex knowledge work in research and organizational settings and introduce an integrated ecological framework for investigating interdisciplinary teaching and learning. My proposed conceptualization brings into one coherent analytical framework socio-cultural, socio-material and socio-cognitive perspectives and sees interdisciplinary learning as a hybrid epistemic practice where students construct their understanding by fusing epistemic tools, ways of knowing, objects, and personal knowledge resources from diverse disciplines and trans-disciplinary fields.  This view comes with a distributed notion of learning that places emphasis on teachers and students’ co-design of epistemic environments for interdisciplinary knowledge work and learning.

Short bio: Lina Markauskaite is an Associate Professor in the Learning Sciences and Co-director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation, the University of Sydney. Her research spans three related areas: 1) students and teachers’ ICT capabilities; 2) professional learning for complex knowledge work and innovation; 3) ICT-enhanced interdisciplinary research methods in education (eResearch). Her recent projects have been mainly concerned with understanding the nature of complex professional knowledge work and learning, in inter-professional and inter-disciplinary contexts, and how to facilitate knowledge co-creation on emerging knowledge frontiers, such as interdisciplinary teams, and industry and university partnerships.

Based on the paper presented at EARLI 2019 conference: Markauskaite, L., & Nerland, M. (2019). An ecological framework for studying interdisciplinary learning: Linking culture, activity and mind. In the 18th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction. Aachen, Germany, 12–6 Aug 2019


Cooperation Between Educational and Psychological Service (EPS) and School on Competence Development for Inclusive Practice in Norway


Vegard Moen, Associate Professor, University of Stavanger, Norway

Abstract. The presentation reports from an ongoing action research project in two Norwegian municipalities. The focus of the project is to support local agencies at the municipality level as well as the institutional level on developing competence for inclusive practice in schools. A national “expert” committee has analysed the present situation for children in need of special educational support in kindergarten and school in Norway, and their report states that we need to change our organizational system dramatically in order to strengthen the competence closer to the children. In line with recommendations in the report, inclusive practices are dependent on the development of local competence, supported by the policies and practices at the municipality level. The project is based on two assumptions:

1.    Development of (special)-pedagogical competence. Several researchers claim that a prerequisite for inclusive practice is that these two parts of educational discipline meet in dynamic cooperation.

2.    Teachers’ professional development. Research based knowledge must be interpreted by the professionals in common and transformed into the local context.

The project reports results from analysis of documents, focus group interviews and questionnaires. Based on these results the municipalities have started implementing various types of development work that will be followed closely by the researchers in 2019 based on an action research design. The research focus is directed towards the partnership between EPS and the schools, and their common processes of developing professional competence concerning inclusive education. Preliminary findings point to several challenges, both related to organizational issues at the municipality level as well as the school level, and to professional issues, especially questions about attitudes and understanding of diversity and special needs. A key question for further discussion is thus; how to create a partnership between EPS and school, that contributes to the construction of locally anchored competence and inclusive pedagogical practices for all pupils in school.

Short bio: I have been working in teacher education within pedagogy since 1997. I have been teaching in the master study of special education and have been a supervisor for several master students and PhD students. The last four years I have been Head of department for the Department for higher education pedagogy at the University of Stavanger. Teachers’ professional development is currently my main research interest, especially in the field of special education and inclusive education.