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21st Century relational backgrounding for technical and professional communication

My networked learning partners come through the Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Project (TAPP), which takes a refreshingly grass-roots approach to online learning, including a strong sense of place, bringing the strengths of where we are to the virtual learning experience.

I delivered a paper outlining the approach that I take to include cultural and other forms of epistemic backgrounding at the AELFE-TAPP 2021 conference. The organizers went above and beyond in their attempt to bring Vilanova i la Geltrú to those of us who could not be there in person, so this post is also a thank you to dedicated professionals who do the ‘extra’ work to bring the human touch to what they do, in addition to managing the demanding technical aspects involved where people not just from different countries but using different software, hardware, and wireless/LAN network configurations try to come together.

The full (short) paper of my presentation can be downloaded on the conference site here, all presentations here. Below is the abstract:

An approach to technical and professional learning that recognizes and makes use of the social and material contexts of participants as well as the contexts of technical and professional content in the learning environment can be seen to cater to the ‘21st century skills’ that are ‘needed most’, according to the World Economic Forum (Soffel, 2016) at this time of great change (Schwab & Malleret, 2020). Such an approach will be presented here: drawing primarily on epistemic fluency (Markauskaite and Goodyear 2017), but also scientific autobiography (Goetz, 2019), ethics (Gardner, 2019), critical pedagogy (Freire, 2005), hermeneutics (Ricoeur, 1991), and a work of conceptual art (Micu, 2014). The approach is connected to technical and professional communication by its focus on the relational skills that facilitate and enrich work conducted in multiple contexts. It is distilled into three categories that present the epistemic tasks and tools that can be applied as backgrounding to learning environments. These categories are: creative relational skills, conscientious direction, and dialogic curiosity. Practical application is then illustrated through three examples of TAPP collaborations.
Key words: epistemic fluency, relational skills,collaborative learning,conscientious professionalism, dialogic curiosity, creative coordination

A copy of the paper can also be downloaded from this site:

21st Century relational backgrounding
File size 204.09 kB

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