CO-CREATING KNOWLEDGE - DEVELOPING AN ON THE SPOT EPISTEMIC PRACTICE IN TEACHING
Educational systems around the world strive to customize methods and practices to fit both rapidly changing societal requirements and cultural changes. Educations are expected to deliver a highly skilled workforce and the term ’employability’ is among the parametres that are used in the quality assessment of the work done at universities and other higher education institutions. And so the aim of education becomes an ever changing fixpoint. Preparing students for becoming 21st century knowledge workers, then, entails preparing them for an unknown future. Critical reflection, independent thinking, creativity and a strong sense of navigating in the unforeseen are among the skills needed of the individual student. And – you could state – their teachers as well. The paper introduces an ’on the spot’ epistemic practice that combines basic principles of qualitative research with the practice of teaching and learning. Focus is on learning processes as they take place in the shared space between students and teachers. In some ways the methods suggested in the paper suspend the classical concepts of teaching and replaces them with a structured generative dialogue within which knowledge exchange and knowledge production can take place. The paper is based on data from educational development and didactical experimentation on a bachelor programme in Social Education carried out by the author and her students at University College of North Denmark. As it combines didactical development, teaching practice and research it represents a branch of ’practice research’. Methods traditionally used in qualitative studies are an integrated element in the teaching practice and they are used as a pathway to establish an epistemic practice that at the same time constitutes the research ’object’. The theoretical inspiration of the paper AND of the methods and the didactics described is a combination of systems theory, learning philosophy and design theory.