Day8 & Day9 #100DaysOfWriting – Revisiting the literature



I have been looking after a kitten and when I was reading and reflecting on this paper: Two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one the kitten kept jumping into my lap and catching the paper with her claws! Luna, the kitten, is interested in critical discussion on metaphors on acquisition versus participation too! So I had to abandon my reading and writing last night to play with her; so yesterday’s post has merged with #Day9.

After my initial thesis draft I am back reading new and some previously read papers on learning theory and professional learning towards draft2. At the moment I am focusing on my literature review. Reading and reflecting is my absolute favorite aspect of this EdD…. It’s the writing that’s the hard part! Roll on more shut up and write sessions…..

I feel that returning to reading is helping revisit my understanding and hopefully developing my opinion and ‘voice’ that I need to demonstrate in my literature review. Through the reading is I see that my thinking has changed and I need to articulate this better in writing.

Anyway just to give some info on the above paper, after an enjoyable but condensed read, Sfard’s message of this paper is that we should not perceive learning as purely acquisition not as purely participation. Sfard argues that as educators we need to think of learning and engagement in both processes, acquisition and participation.

In my role as an academic developer I am keen to open up opportunities for learners to participate and learn with others. As a result I acknowledge that I have least encouraged opportunities for acquisition of knowledge while I have facilitated many opportunities for participation and learning from others. Sfard and Greeno argue that approaches of acquisition and participation need to coexist and be complimentary to one another. Neither approach should have greater power over the other. So in my own practice I will be more mindful to blend acquisition and participation as part of learning situations.

Sfard’s paper resonates with underpinning concepts in my literature review and also with aspects of the discussion arising from findings. Participants of my study have engaged using Twitter in different ways for learning, some use it as a ‘acquisition’ tool, gathering new information, while others show more evidence of ‘participation’ using Twitter as social network for learning. Both types of activity on Twitter are useful to learning for these research participants, but reasons for their differing activities on Twitter are varied. Some reasons include being able to use Twitter effectively, an undeveloped sense of identity and the courage to tweet in public online spaces.


About Muireann O'Keeffe

I am an educational developer currently working at DCU. I have a passion for researching and evaluating technology that can support and enhance learning. In the past I have taught on Masters programmes (Msc Applied elearning & Postgraduate Diploma in Third level Learning and Teaching) as well as Leadership development programmes.
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