A knowledge-practice perspective on technology-mediated learning

  • Kai Hakkarainen


The purpose of the present paper is to examine the relations between Carl Bereiter’s and Marlene Scardamalia’s knowledge-building approach and social practices. It is argued that technology enhances learning through transformed social practices. In order to truly contribute to educational transformation, pedagogical approaches have to be embedded in locally cultivated “knowledge practices” that channel the participants’ intellectual efforts in a way that elicits collective advancement of knowledge. Consequently, knowledge advancement is not just about putting students’ ideas into the centre but depends on corresponding transformation of social practices of working with knowledge. Creation of cultures which advance knowledge presupposes sustained efforts of teacher-practitioners, collaborating with students and researchers, aimed at iteratively transforming prevailing knowledge practices toward more innovative ones.


Epistemic artifact Habitus Knowledge building Knowledge practice Learning Social practice Trialogical approach 



The present investigation emerged in the context of research and development of the Knowledge-Practices Laboratory (, FP6-2004-IST-4, an integrated project 27490, 2006-2011) funded by the Information Society Technologies (IST) program of the European Community. A research grant provided by the Research Council of Culture and Society of the Academy of Finland for “Collective intelligence: How shared ‘trialogical’ knowledge practices augment human cognitive capabilities” (2008–2010, number 121207, PI Hakkarainen) also supported writing of the article. I would like to thank Carl Bereiter, Ritva Engeström, Yrjö Engeström, Kirsti Lonka, Reijo Miettinen, Sami Paavola, Marlene Scardamalia, Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, Jaakko Virkkunen, and Hal White for valuable comments concerning the issues addressed in the present article. The arguments and opinions provided are my own and do not necessarily correspond to those of the KP-Lab consortium or the funding agencies mentioned above.


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE), Department of EducationUniversity of HelsinkiUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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