Publication 6118

Niessen T., Abma T., Widdershoven G., van der Vleuten C. & Akkerman S. (2008) Contemporary epistemological research in education: Reconciliation and reconceptualization of the field. Theory & Psychology 18(1): 27–45. Fulltext at
In this article the authors challenge contemporary epistemological research within educational settings. After a reconciliation of the current models which treat epistemological beliefs as static and mechanical, the authors present a teaching experience to illustrate their enactivist view that epistemological beliefs should be conceptualized as fluid and dynamic constructs, emerging in web-like configurations. Answers to epistemological questions unfold within the interstices and mutual interactions between people and their environment. Boundaries between student – teacher, individual – community, cognition – bodily experience are becoming blurred. From this enactivist perspective the researcher’s role changes considerably. Instead of determining teachers’ personal traits and epistemological make-up, the researcher should sensitize teachers to the subtle ways epistemological beliefs are enmeshed within their day-to-day professional lives, focusing on the complex fabric of the teaching practice.


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