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A contextual understanding of educational phenomena

By Lennart Svensson


In this paper some general characteristics of a contextual understanding of educational phenomena is outlined. The outline is suggested against the background of previous phenomenographic research and a recent interdisciplinary phenomenographic project on university physics students’ use of language in expressing their understanding of cases of physical motion. The theoretical approach suggested is presented in contrast to some main characteristics of cognitive and socio-cultural theories often referred to in educational research but found to be limited in their focus mainly on cognitive and socio-cultural phenomena and not on educational phenomena. It is suggested that to understand educational phenomena one has to consider the immediate situational context and broader cognitive and socio-cultural contexts based on seeing the learner as an agent mediating the relation to and significance of the contexts. An agent perspective and an intentional expressive view on language use seem to be essential to a contextual understanding of education

Topics: Educational Sciences, language use, education, learning, contextual understanding, phenomenography.
Year: 2007
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