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How to claim knowledge: The use of information in the lifeworld of the educational context
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2003 (English)In: ERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia) Annual Conference Proceedings, (Book of refereed proceedings), 2003, 9- p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Using a small body of empirical data concerning the types of information students

handle, this paper inquires into the problematic of knowledge creation, artifacts of

knowledge, and the possible role of examination as a negative factor in students’ reflective

achievements. Habermas’ theory of communicative action is proposed as the theoretical

framework for analyzing the educational environment seen as a lifeworld. From the observed

fact that types of information students themselves produce (papers, essays, lecture notes,

master theses, etc.) are hardly mentioned as information they say they handle, the tentative

conclusion is drawn that these missing types are systematically excluded. The theoretical

framework provides an explanation for this state of affairs. The overall goal of higher

education is to increase knowledge in a particular field. In teaching, however, this goal is

dealt with in a training manner, clearly manifest in the examination process. Therefore, the

action orientations of the students will differ more or less from the overall goal. Claims of

validity connected with knowledge turn in a normative direction in action situations oriented

towards examination. Since information is the link anchoring claims of validity, students

become inclined to exclude the artifacts of their own knowledge creation. The latter are not

viewed as dealing with information linking the claims connected with the overall goal of

increasing ‘real’ knowledge, instead being taken as constituting the links for normative

claims. The paper also proposes certain means in line with the theory for improving this state

of affairs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. 9- p.
Keyword [en]
Communicative action, concept of information, reflection
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-80733OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-80733DiVA: diva2:108647
Available from: 2006-05-23 Created: 2006-05-23 Last updated: 2012-12-10

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Backlund, Janne
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