Making Collective Learning Coherent: An Adaptive Approach to the Practice of Transdisciplinary Pedagogy

Publikation: Beiträge in SammelwerkenKapitelbegutachtet


The growing practice of transdisciplinary research and teaching is shifting its focus from disciplines to problems, driving the need for new paradigms. To achieve this requires a re-examination of, and an opening up of, ontological, epistemological and methodological framing of knowledge and understanding, as well as an adaptive approach to teaching place and space.

For most university teachers, the process of shifting from traditional conceptions of pedagogy towards a more transdisciplinary approach requires adaptation of their thinking and practice. We have focused here on shifts at the micro scale of the classroom or ‘learning space’, rather than at the faculty or institutional level. We do this to enable teachers and students to maintain or reclaim agency in the pedagogical process at the classroom or micro level. This is particularly important for learning outcomes, given that greater control over their environment is identified as a key success factor in student learning. We describe the micro-context as a ‘sociomaterial assemblage’ to convey our holistic, multi-dimensional, systems approach in which our pedagogical context is a gathering of people and things that combine to form a whole that is different to the parts. We describe four key adaptive shifts in these assemblages: (1) from a disciplinary focus to to a problem focus, (2) from a unified, hegemonic approach to foundational thinking (or paradigmatic change) to an approach which embraces a diverse, inclusive plurality of world-views, (3) from compartmentalization to the co-production of knowledge, (4) a shift to an approach which reinforces the adaptive use of space, time and things. To address and work with the complexity, we use multiple perspectives to understand and adapt these assemblages by using five epistemic lenses (biophysical, cultural, ethical, relational and aesthetic). We address the inevitable tensions which change generates via an iterative process, requiring multiple learning cycles, and a process of reflection and reflexivity, particularly given that every partial solution to a wicked problem uncovers new problems.
TitelTransdisciplinary Theory, Practice and Education : The Art of Collaborative Research and Collective Learning
HerausgeberDena Fam, Linda Neuhauser, Paul Gibbs
Anzahl der Seiten15
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-93742-7
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-319-93743-4
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.01.2018