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A Transactional Perspective on Meaning-making: Democratic Discussions
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (SMED)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0118-832X
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (SMED)
Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. (SMED)
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose is to illustrate a method that facilitates investigations of students’ learning processes in classroom discussions through in situ studies. In environmental and sustainability education there has been a shift to more participatory approaches (see Englund, Öhman and Östman 2008; Huckle 2008). Participatory approaches focus on communication in order to stimulate a critical examination of different views in the debate about different questions and problems relating to the environmental issues. This means a relocation of the process of knowledge and value constitution from before to in the educational event. In this way education is expected to become more democratic and pluralistic. This has led to an increasing interest for student discussions and the importance of argumentation in discussions about environmental and socioscientific issues have been highlighted. The method has been developed in order to conduct investigations of, i) student’s learning progress in terms of the way the arguments are constructed and the knowledge content used, ii) the interplay between the intra-personal and inter-personal dimensions of meaning making, and iii) the role of knowledge in students’ argumentative discussions. The method, called transactional argumentation analysis, TAA, combines a transactional perspective on meaning making based on John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy (1949/1991) and an argument analysis based on Toulmin’s argument pattern (1958/2003) (see further Rudsberg, Öhman & Östman, 2013). The direction of the students’ meaning making is analysed as the relations construed in and by action. Further, a functional interpretation of Toulmin’s argument pattern is used to clarify the meanings in terms of argumentative elements. The investigated conversations are characterised by a participatory educational practice concerning socioscientific issues. The discussions can be said to be open-ended, even though they follow specific rules for the ‘correct’ way of creating meaning, i.e., how to participate in a pluralistic act of communication about value-related issues. In this way the process is an essential part of the learning content and the examined practice can be seen as a way of learning to ‘live democratically’, which from a theoretical perspective relates to a view of democracy as a communicative activity – democracy as a life form.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61007DiVA: diva2:1141050
Conference
ECER 2017, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 22-25, 2017
Available from: 2017-09-13 Created: 2017-09-13 Last updated: 2017-09-20Bibliographically approved

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  • ieee
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