Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

pp 807-810

Contradictions in Expansive Learning

  • Ines LangemeyerAffiliated withInterMedia, Faculty of Education, University of Oslo Email author 


Expansive learning; Expansive learning and its conditio sine qua non


The term “expansive learning” designates a mode of learning which enhances the quality of one’s life by increasing power and control over one’s own societal living conditions. Thus, the concept addresses individual or collective learning processes with the goal of extending agency, action possibilities, and self-determination – as well as, more generally, free human development. “Contradictions in expansive learning” refer to two different matters: Firstly, societal contradictions which obstruct development are subjected to collective learning to resolve them. Expansive learning is then seen as a method (similar to action research) to improve cooperative activities and their organizational structures. However, secondly, contradictions may occur as a specific effect of power relations that make conditions of expansive learning into a means of adapting and subordinating people to the d ...

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