These were our keynote speakers for EAPRIL Conference 2015: Prof. dr. Sanna Järvelä, Prof. dr. Frank de Jong and Prof. dr. Michel Fayol.
Prof. Dr. Frank de Jong, Stoas Vilentum Wageningen University of Applied Sciences and Teacher Education, the Netherlands / Resigning Chair of EAPRIL (Tuesday November 24, 2015)
Understanding the difference
Responsive education: A search for ‘a difference which makes a difference’ for transition, learning and education.
Western production systems are coming under pressure due to sustainability issues such as biodiversity, water, fertiliser use, energy, climate change and the impending exhaustion of natural resources. The question is whether we are dealing with a stand-alone ecological crisis. Bowers (2015) makes a connection with culture, and even talks about a cultural crisis. Western thinking, he says, is not open-minded enough. We don’t learn enough about other schools of thought, such as Eastern philosophies. In our Western way of thinking, we devote too little attention to how things are interlinked and as such constitute an ecology. Assuming that education has a major role in learning about how we think and in our logical ‘if-then’ style of reasoning, education is not beyond the scope of a cultural crisis. Because present-day education is mainly characterised by practicing skills and reproductive learning, learning to understand the differences between models, theories and practices is rarely addressed. If such differences are addressed, it is often from the perspective that these differences are characteristics of objects, subjects, theories, ideas etc. rather than relationships.
What does it mean if we view differences as relationships? Firstly, we see relationships as dynamic, reciprocal, communicative and interactive processes with the others or the other. Secondly, we see that in this interaction signals are interpreted in each direction. On this basis, choices of reactions are made, which in turn also generate signals. It is two-way traffic in a network of signals and signs. Thirdly, in these communications of interrelated signals, the differences become visible and their meaning can be discussed. Signals, signs and actions are brought together in a relational interaction and differences form the essence of this. Fourthly, we do not see the world as a sum of facts; rather, a world view is formed as an ecology of relationships. Ecology is therefore equivalent to an interactive communication process. This is my reason for going back to the different forms of learning and for examining them in the light of such interaction, interpreting and giving meaning to signals based on differences. Bateson (1972) identifies this as follows: ‘a difference which makes a difference is an idea’. This prompts me to gain a better understanding of that interpretation in such a ‘return to learning’ within the context of transition and responsive education.
Lastly, from the perspective of taking a new look at learning, I explore the potential of the didactic approach of ‘knowledge building’ and the use of semantic ‘learning analytics’ for responsive education. This is partly based on experiences within the lectureship Kenniscreatie en Ecologisch Intelligent Denken (Knowledge creation and ecological intelligent thinking). Naturally, I will also sketch out the research we plan to carry out in the coming years in relation to responsive education and transition.
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Since 2006 I have held a professorate of education (Dutch: lector) at Stoas Vilentum University of applied sciences and teacher education, initially assigned to “Learning and development of teachers” (initially combined with a part-time professorate at the CAH-Dronten Applied University). Since 2010, this has been a full time senior professorate with the assignment ‘Knowledge creation and ecologically intelligent thinking’. In June of this year I started the professorial project ‘Responsive education in relation to the transition in food and agribusiness’.
My background is Educational and Experimental Psychology. I obtained my doctorate (1992) at Tilburg University on the topic ‘Self-regulated learning, a process approach’. I have worked at several universities (UT, TUE, WUR, KUN) and in industry as manager (LSOP police, NS-Training & development). I was chairman of the VOR Division Learning and Instruction (2008-2014), one of the founders of EAPRIL and current Chair of EAPRIL (2011-November 2015).
Knowledge of interest: idea-centered learning (knowledge creation); (self-regulated) learning, CSCL (computer supported collaborative learning), vocational education, workplace learning and development of professionals, Developmental Work Research.
My passion: knowledge building and development. How education and professional development can support learning by starting from the learner and his learning as a process of building and developing his own theories and finding his own uniqueness with consciousness of care for and being a part of nature as essential for mankind to find sustainable solutions, insights, wisdom, wellbeing and survival.
Prof. dr. Michel Fayol, Clermont University, France (Wednesday November 25, 2015)
Optimizing learning: from lab to real life
Learning is a central research topic within the field of education and psychology. Scientific work on learning has two major orientations: the theoretical strand investigates the fundamental processes, whereas the applied strand addresses the social requirements of institutions, companies and organisations. Progress in both fields of inquiry has given rise to reflections and actions that aim at optimising learning. Hence, scientific approaches enable us to analyse complex situations and issues, to define learning objectives, to develop training programs and to assess their short- and mid-term outcomes.
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Prof. Dr. Sanna Järvelä, University of Oulu, Finland (Thursday, November 26, 2015)
Regulated Learning in CSCL – Theoretical Progress for Learning Success
For collaborative learning to be effective, students must explicate their thoughts, actively participate, discuss and negotiate their views with the other students in their team, coordinate and metacognitively regulate their actions between them. In collaborating, not only cognitive and metacognitive aspects of subject matter content play an important role, but also the social and motivational aspects of collaboration. In my research group, we have been especially interested in how groups, and individuals in groups, can be supported to engage in, sustain, and productively regulate collaborative processes. In this presentation I will introduce the theoretical progress of research on regulated learning, in terms of self-, co-, and socially shared regulation of learning. I will review our recent empirical findings of regulated learning in computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) context and discuss about practical implications of this line of research. Looking at the major problems encountered when using CSCL and collaborative learning as pedagogy, one can conclude that many of them might be solved if we would progress in concepts and tools that could help the participants in the regulation of their working and learning within the group. Being able to strategically regulate one’s own learning and that of others is a vital and increasingly important 21st century skill.
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PhD Sanna Järvelä is a professor in the field of learning and educational technology and a head of the Learning and Educational Technology Research Unit (LET) (http://www.oulu.fi/let) in the Department of Educational Sciences, University of Oulu. Her main research interest deal with learning processes in technology-enhanced learning, self-regulated learning and computer supported collaborative learning. Järvelä and her research group is internationally well known from theoretical advancement of motivation as a contextual phenomena and of social aspects of self-regulated learning. Her research work has also strong contribution to the methodological development of process oriented and qualitative research methods in the field of learning, collaboration and motivation. She has been responsible leader of several international research projects funded by the Finnish Science Academy and her research group (LET) has been partner in the Networks of Excellence (NoE) KALEIDOSCOPE in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning. Järvelä has been an invited expert in different national (e.g. Ministry of Education) and international expert commissions (e.g. OECD and scientific organizations) as well keynote speaker in international conferences (e.g. EARLI and CSCL). During the year 2000-2001 she was visiting scholar in Kings’ College London, UK. She has been an associate editor of Learning and Instruction (2010-2014). Currently is an Editor of Frontline Learning Research and Associate Editor in International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (ijCSCL) and editorial board member in several scientific journals (e.g. Educational Psychologist, Educational Research Review). Järvelä has acted as an external examiner of dissertations in Finland and abroad (e.g. The Netherlands, Australia and Hong Kong). She has been a member of Executive Committee of EARLI (2010-2014) and she is currently a member of Oulu University Governing Board. Järvelä has published more than 90 scientific papers in international refereed journals and about 50 book chapters and three edited books. In the Oulu University 2014 Research Assessment Evaluation (RAE) her research group LET was ranked 5.5/6 in the highest vici category.
Motivation and self-regulation in learning, collaborative learning, computer supported collaborative learning, technology-enhanced learning
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