This paper discusses how contemporary changes in knowledge cultures and practices alter conditions for student learning in higher education and what this may imply for research on student learning. Drawing on perspectives from social studies of knowledge, it is argued that the general emphasis on science in society generates an increased research orientation also in professional programs and brings with it a focus not only on science-based knowledge but also on the investigative processes through which knowledge is produced and validated. Changes are also related to the emergence of advanced technologies that allow knowledge to circulate quickly in information networks. On its way, knowledge in such “global forms” provides new arenas for engagement as well as resources for community formation. As a result, environments for learning become extended and comprise a multitude of sites and practices that may coexist and interact in complex ways. To understand how students of today are inducted into expert cultures and develop expertise is thus an important topic for research. The paper examines how these issues have been addressed in research on student learning and suggests that analytical perspectives and resources developed within social studies of science may be employed to supplement existing research.
October 1, 2012
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)
CHANGES IN KNOWLEDGE CULTURES AND RESEARCH ON STUDENT LEARNING by Monika Nerland. CSHE. 14.12 (October 2012)