An exploration of learning opportunities in education and professional practice as a dimension of social and technological change.

The exploration is motivated by, on the one hand, rapidly and ever-changing practices with technology in everyday life, specifically in the aftermath of Covid19, on the other hand, a noticeable focus on practices in recent research publication flows (2019-2020) pertaining to education and technology.

In this context, “practices” refer to everyday doings with digital tools inside and outside educational settings (Bagga-Gupta, Messina Dahlberg & Lindberg 2019; Schatzki 2019), while “skills” and “knowledge” are understood holistically and relationally as the competences and professional judgements needed in order to choose, perform and complete relevant actions related to a limited field of instruction, either in school or in a professional area (Hager & Beckett 2019). Through observations of a variety of practices that are emerging with technology implementation in education, new competences required in future educational sectors can be identified and critically examined. Skills and knowledge are shaped and specified in these social practices, where people, contexts, commercial and non-profit actors, and artefacts, such as digital tools and resources, play a part (Bagga-Gupta, Messina Dahlberg & Gynne 2019; Bonderup et al. 2019).

The pandemic crisis that struck the world in spring 2020 has had far-reaching consequences for learning contexts both in compulsory school, higher education, and professional sectors. Emergency distance education has been implemented in schools and universities on a global scale, allowing for participation in educational activities despite the necessity to stay at home. The swift move towards practices highly supported by technology is a proof of a global readiness for a broad integration of digital tools in institutional education, even though asymmetrical conditions between groups across the global South and North are evident. The sudden restrictions and lockdowns worldwide have provoked a variety of disruptive operations with the purpose to create remote teaching and learning in some weeks. Among a range of aspects, this transition has revealed urgent needs for hands-on competence development among educators at all levels. Institutional efforts to create a basic level of competences, and management of technicalities among staff in a time of crisis, has generated new and broadened communities of practices with regards to the involvement in digitalized educational contexts. Knowledge regarding these practices have not yet been articulated and shared, and, moreover, lessons from emergency solutions are to be considered in discussions on conceptualizations and practical realizations of digitalized education with high quality.

It is noteworthy that recent events that have pointed to the presence and availability of digital resources and tools for learning, sometimes described as “disruptive elements” (Hampel 2019) in the classroom, are not sufficient conditions for the implementation of the same. On the contrary, uses of media and technology for educational purposes seem to be dependent on “disruptive events” in the global society in order to become meaningful and relevant for learning (Schatzki 2019). Consequently, changes in practices with digital resources and tools can be challenging to predict and plan for. Still, innovative and transformed doings with tools will most certainly modify competences, more precisely, skills and knowledge, required and targeted in various relational learning situations including humans and machines. Indeed, traditional attempts to design education and learning processes by means of prediction and rational planning are challenged by increasing complexity that can no longer be disregarded, and new ways of designing education and learning are needed (Pendleton-Julli & Brown 2018). Therefore, it is imperative to create arenas where theoretical and empirical contributions on emerging practices are highlighted (Cerratto Pargman & Jahnke 2019), and where relationships between practices, skills, and knowledge can be discussed.

The PraSK exploration is kicked off by a seminar series that encompasses different disciplines with the potential to embrace reflective endeavors related to current practices and competences at play in increasingly digitalized learning and working lives; these include computer science and informatics, human-computer interaction, educational sciences and subject didactics, philosophy, and media and communication. The seminar series aims to highlight and critically examine theoretical and empirical research issues in order to bring forth state-of-the-art scholarship of relevance to the exploration.

Instead of focusing on “best practices” in teaching and learning, the PraSK theme is concerned with identification of practices in movement inside and outside educational institutional settings, and as a way of coping with current complexities and uncertainties. For example, what happens when algorithms are implemented to improve equality in students’ school choices, distribution of excellent teachers, and grading? Which communities of practices are forming on various virtual-analogue sites and how do these re-negotiate notions of skills and knowledge?

Against such a backdrop that points to complexified contexts for learning and communication (Hager & Beckett 2019), the PraSK seminar series is an attempt to bring into dialogue both theoretical perspectives on transforming practices and real-life experiences from different fields of expertise, with the ultimate aim to advance frontline understandings of the relationships between practices, skills, and knowledge. The following seminars will initiate this endeavor; they explore thematic strands within the field of PraSK, and are relevant for current educational and professional challenges.


Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta, Dahlberg, Giulia Messina & Lindberg, Ylva (red.) (2019). Virtual sites as learning

spaces: critical issues on languaging research in changing eduscapes. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bagga-Gupta, S., Messina Dahlberg, G. & Gynne, A. (2019). Handling languaging during fieldwork, analysis

and reporting in the 21st century. Aspects of ethnography as action in and across physical-virtual spaces.

In Bagga-Gupta, S., Messina Dahlberg, G. & Lindberg, Y. (eds.). Virtual Sites as Learning Spaces.

Critical issues on languaging research in changing eduscapes in the 21st century. (331-382). London:

Palgrave Macmillan. External link, opens in new window.

Bonderup Dohn, N., Børsen Hansen, S. & Jørgen, J. (eds.) (2020). Designing for situated

knowledge transformation. London: Routledge

Cerratto Pargman, T. (2019). Emergent Practices and Material Conditions in Learning and Teaching with

Technologies. Springer International Publishing.

Hager, P. & Beckett, D. (2019). The Emergence of Complexity. Rethinking Education as a Social

Science, Cham: Springer.

Hampel, R. (2019). Disruptive technologies and the language classroom: a complex systems theory

approach. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan

Pendleton-Julli, A. & Brown, J. S. (2018). Design Unbound. Design for Emergence in a White Water World,

Vol. 1 & 2, Boston: MIT Press.

Schatzki, T. (2019). Social Change in a Material World, New York: Routledge.

Putting the theory of practice architectures to work in educational research

Kathleen Mahon, Docent, University of Borås, Sweden
1 April 2022, 13.00-15.00

Language: English.

The theory of practice architectures (TPA), a contemporary practice theory developed by Stephen Kemmis and Peter Grootenboer and colleagues, is being increasingly put to work to investigate complex educational issues. In this session, we will explore some of the possibilities and challenges of using this theory as an analytical resource in educational research. A starting point for discussion will be some examples from Kathleen's research, which examines, among other things, conditions for teaching and learning, leading, and researching praxis in higher education.

Kathleen Mahon is an Associate Professor (Docent) in Pedagogical Work, University of Borås, Sweden. Her research areas are educational praxis, higher education pedagogy, teacher professional learning, and outdoor education. Kathleen is lead-editor of the Springer books Exploring Education and Professional Practice – Through the Lens of Practice Architectures (2017) and Pedagogy, Education and Praxis in Critical Times (2020) and co-editor of Living Well in a World Worth Living in for All - Volume 1: Current Practices of Social Justice, Sustainability and Wellbeing (forthcoming). She is also a Senior Editor of the Journal of Praxis in Higher Education, and co-leader of the HUPP research group (Högre utbildning, praxis och politik) and Director of the SPETS (Studies on Professional Education and Training for Society) research school at the University of Borås. Kathleen has a professional background as a secondary school and outdoor education teacher in Australia.



lillan buus, VIA University College, research leader of the enivronment Learning & IT. – 9 April 2021

I have an interest in Learning Design as a methodology for designing for digital mediated learning, and seen in the light of Covid-19 and the rapid digital transformation from traditional teaching to online teaching I have seen some interesting findings in a national research project on covid-19 and experiences with online teaching and learning. I would like to present some of these findings and relate them to the known facts on how to design for learning in general and from a Learning Design perspective.

Designing for situated knowledge in a world of change

NINA BONDERUP – 21 May 2021

In this talk, I shall address a basic question in education: How can students learn to put knowledge, developed in one context, to use in other contexts?

This question poses a major challenge for the educational systems of today because of the following conundrum: in contemporary society, people are required to traverse a range of different settings with different competence demands, and they often have to utilize knowledge across these different settings. However, several strands of research (e.g. practice theory, situated learning, embodied cognition) join in pointing out that knowledge is situated, i.e. acquires form and content from the context in which it is learnt.

Transfer of knowledge across settings is therefore no straightforward matter. It involves transformation of the situatedly learned knowledge so that it fits the new setting. Learning to do so emerges as crucial for students of today, and facilitating transformation becomes a key task for many educational systems.

In the talk, I present research on knowledge transformation, on design principles to support it, and on the implementation of specific learning designs in educational practice. The talk draws on the results of the recent project Designing for situated knowledge in a world of change (2015-2020), financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.


The Trajectories of a Life

Professor Theodore R. Schatzki, Department of Philosophy, University of Kentucky

18. February 2022, 14.00-16.00

Language: English. Link: JU-SE.ZOOM.US/J/7262330985

This presentation combines a phenomenological account of life trajectories with a practice theory approach to the social contexts in which life trajectories occur to illuminate key features of the phenomena studied by life course research. The discussion construes life trajectories, not as the events and transitions that make up the progress of life in specific life domains, but as central dimensions of a life qua continually unfolding entity. It subjects three types of trajectories so construed to analysis: space-time paths, successions of actions, and past-future arcs. It then explores the contextualization of such trajectories in constellations of social practices. The presentation concludes by situating life and its trajectories in the causal order of society and reflecting on the advantages of using theories of practices in this context.

Ted Schatzki is Professor of Geography, and of Philosophy and Sociology. His research interests lie in theorizing social life, and he is widely associated with a stream of thought called practice theory that is active today in a range of social disciplines, including geography, sociology, organizational studies, education, anthropology, international relations, and history. Among his current research interests are a practice-theory-of-institutions account of blockchain and, more generally, algorithmic organization; the digital mediation of social relations and associations; and the conceptions of space needed to understand digitalized society. In the spring of 2018 he received an honorary doctorate from Aalborg University in Denmark. A November 29, 2021 article in the Daily Nous based on the Scopus index listed Schatzki as the 13th most cited philosopher in the world in 2020.


SOCIO(-)MATERIALITY AND MODES OF INQUIRY. When does the owl of Minerva take flight?

Docent Anders Buch, Centre for Quality of Education, Profession Policy, and Practice, VIA University College

Friday, February 26, 2021.

Language: English

Locality: ZOOM: JU-SE.ZOOM.US/J/7262330985

The interplay of the social and the material realm has preoccupied discussions within Science and Technology Studies for quite some time. Taking departure in these discussions, the lecture explores the ontological commitments needed to advance theories of practice. ​



Professor Niklas Lavesson, Applied AI, JAIL/JTH

Friday, September 11, 2020.

Language: English

Locality: ROOM: Ha 208 & ZOOM: JU-SE.ZOOM.US/J/7262330985

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral part of society. The AI technology is currently very limited but has been proven to be very effective in narrow applications. The question is how humans and computers can collaborate to solve problems more efficiently and effectively.

INTERACTION OR PRACTICE? (Re)searching the field of educational technology

Docent Teresa Cerratto Pargman, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, DSV/Stockholm University.

Friday, October 23, 2020.

Language: English

Locality: ROOM: Ha 208 & ZOOM: JU-SE.ZOOM.US/J/7262330985

Based on her recent publication Emergent practices and Material Conditions in Learning and Teaching with Technologies (2019), Cerratto Pargman contributes with theoretical and methodological perspectives on research in educational technology.


Guests: Peder Bylander & Henrik Thurén from the EdTech business sector.

Discussant: Assistant Professor Jonathan Lilliedahl, School of Music, Theatre, and Art, Örebro University

Friday, December 4, 2020.

Language: Swedish

Locality: ROOM: Ha 208 & ZOOM: JU-SE.ZOOM.US/J/7262330985

The brains behind SoundLily will offer a background to the application and its functions. Jonathan Lilliedahl will contribute to the seminar discussion with this expertise in aesthetical knowledge practices and music education.


Docent Teresa Cerratto Pargman, Human machine interaction, Stockholm University.Cerratto Pargman recently received funding from WASP-HS, for her project

Friday, January 22, 2021.

Language: English

Locality: ZOOM: JU-SE.ZOOM.US/J/7262330985

Recent developments have suggested ways of using AI to understand better and optimize student learning, ensure improvements in educational quality, and boost retention rates. While these unprecedented technical and research developments promise to unlock the black box of student learning and to inform educational institutions about the complexities of educational processes, the use of student data and analytics techniques raises a series of issues that require ethical and legal considerations. In this presentation I will address some of the issues identified in the literature and discuss their implications for students, teachers and higher educational institutions