Trajectories of Learning: Embodied Interaction in Change

This dissertation is about learning as changing understanding in social and situated activities. It takes part in the development of a reconceptualization of learning initiated within participationist perspectives. Multiparty interaction in situated activities is a primordial site for the exploration of human action and cognition. Through the theoretical framework of Conversation Analysis (CA), a method for the analysis and description of trajectories of learning is proposed. Departing from a view of learning, interaction, and cognition as closely related, learning is argued as gradually changing understanding in situated activities.The empirical material consists of video recordings from an elementary school and pilot training. The recordings are analyzed using CA methods, including detailed attention to embodied features of interaction…


Chapter 1: Introduction and aims
Trajectories of learning in situated activities
Plan of the dissertation
Chapter 2: Situating learning: an interactionist approach to cognition
he fundamentally social dimension of human life
An organization of meaningful action
Embodied interaction in a material world
Situated and socially distributed cognition
Cognition in an interactionist perspective
Previous CA research on learning and development
Studies of processes of learning and development
Toward learning as changing understanding in activity
Chapter 3: Methodological framework: recordings and ieldwork
Recordings of naturally occurring interaction
Data corpora
he FISK-project
he aviation study
Ethical considerations
Ethnographic knowledge and frames of reference
Chapter 4: he art of representation
he intimate relation between analysis and transcription
Transcribing talk
Transcribing joint activities in situated practices
From framegrab to drawing
Representing movement
Chapter 5: Analyzing trajectories of learning
A description of the analytic process
Trajectories of learning
Overview of topicalizations in the analyzed data
he reading activity
he recoveries from unusual attitudes
he jump rope activity
Introducing the analytical chapters
Chapter 6: Co-constructing contents of learning: Change within activities
Studying contents of learning
he relative absence of focus on content in CA studies of learning
Topic orientations as constitutive of contents of learning
Analyzed activities
Reading as collaborative activity
Establishing a shared focus of attention
Negotiating a content
Tracking a content of learning: he size of blue whales
he size of the blue whale as matter-of-fact
Specifying the size of the blue whale in relation to other animals
Embodied constructions of size
Specifying the size of the blue whale in relation to a material object
Tying the size of blue whales to things in the environment
An evolving understanding of the size of blue whale
Co-constructing a content of learning: Recoveries from unusual attitudes
Description of the maneuver
Discursive embodiments of speed, nose position, and wing position
he co-constructed content of recovering from unusual attitudes
Content and the organization of participation
Topicalizations and topic orientation as a basis for
contents of learning
Content and the establishment of shared understanding
Co-constructed content as a basis for arguing trajectories of learning
Chapter 7: Learning trajectories: Change over time and activities
Conceptualizations of change in previous CA research on learning
Contextualization, decontextualization, and transfer
Socially distributed cognition in development
he concept situation awareness
Analyzed activities
First light lesson
Parsing the recovery into separate actions
Embodied cognition: he body as resource
Understanding the implications of a low nose
Constructing an activity as something that has already been done
Second light lesson
Problematizing the relation between diferent aspects of the attitudes
Referring to a generic rule vs. analyzing the speciic situation
hird light lesson
Remembering the correct order of actions
Reformulating the rule with reference to what the student did
Trajectories of learning extending over several activities
Gestures building relations between material contexts
Learning situation awareness
Orientations to trajectories of learning
Chapter 8: Resistant stance toward change
Participation, stance, and (mis)alignment
Analyzed activities
Description of the jump rope activity
I. Finding the right jumping position
Identifying the problem
Redoing the same critique in the same way
Changing strategies
Explanations and demonstrations – elaboration of the instructions
Overt resistance
II. he art of turning a rope
Oppositional move
Objecting to the accusation
hreatening with exclusion
Attempting a change of focus of attention
Topicalizing the violation of rules
Leaving the activity
Resisting change
Contested constructions of contents of learning
Resistant stance and resisting change
Chapter 9: Learning as embodied interaction in change
he intertwinedness of content and participation
Trajectories of learning: Participants’ orientations to continuity and change
Learning as situated cognition in change
Appendix: Transcription convention

Author: Melander, Helen

Source: Uppsala University Library

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