Symbolic resources and sense-making in learning and instruction

Abstract

This paper presents the concept of symbolic resources for apprehending sense-making in learning and instruction. It first reminds the centrality of sense-making in learning and instruction from a sociocultural perspective, and proposes a pragmatist approach to examine what sorts of knowledge people use when they face situations that matter. The paper then presents two series of studies of symbolic resources. The first studies, led in informal situations, allow to define the concept of symbolic resources and a model of its uses. The second series is focused on school situations, and examines how school knowledge can be used as symbolic resources, and also, how symbolic resources can support learning in educational settings. This leads into a discussion on the role of institutional and social dynamics in the relations between learning in and out of school, at the heart of sense-making, as well as on the central role of imagination in learning and development. The paper ends by underlying the centrality of sense-making in learning and development, and the need to complement nomothetic studies with a more idiographic understanding of the complex dynamics involved.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    We have initially tried to account for the more cognitive vs. emotional nature of the use of the resource, notably through questionnaire, but the distinction does not resist closer investigation.

  2. 2.

    SYRES or “Symbolic resources at school,” a research program funded by the Swiss National Research Foundation (No. 100013-116040/1), under the direction of Tania Zittoun and Michèle Grossen, with the collaboration of Christophe Matthey, Olivia Lempen, Sheila Padiglia, and the support of Aleksandar Baucal.

References

  1. Akkerman, S. F. (2016). Imagination in and beyond education. In T. Zittoun & V. P. Glăveanu (Eds.), Handbook of imagination & culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press (in press).

  2. Akkerman, S. F., & Bakker, A. (2011). Boundary crossing and boundary objects. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 132–169. doi:10.3102/0034654311404435.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Boimare, S. (2005). Peur d’apprendre et échec scolaire. Enfances & Psy, 28(3), 69. doi:10.3917/ep.028.0069.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Boimare, S. (2008). Ces enfants empêchés de penser. Paris: Dunod.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bruner, J. S. (2003). Making stories: law, literature, life. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bruner, J. S., & Haste, H. (1987). Making sense. The child’s construction of the world. London: Methuen.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Cabell, K. R., & Valsiner, J. (2014). Systematic systemics: causality, catalysis, and developmental cybernetics. In K. R. Cabell & J. Valsiner (Eds.), The Catalyzing Mind (pp. 3–13). New York: Springer.

  9. Carraher, T. N., Schliemann, A. D., & Carraher, D. W. (1988). Mathematical concepts in everyday life. In G. B. Saxe & M. Gearhart (Eds.), Children’s mathematics, new directions for child development (pp. 71–87). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Cerchia, F. (2009). Young children’s use of symbolic resources in an experimental setting testing metaphor comprehension. Psychology & Society, 2(2), 200–211.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Cerchia, F. (2011). L’enfant et la métaphore (Percée socio-culturelle dans les contours normatifs du cognitivisme (PhD Thesis)). Lausanne: Lausanne.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Charlot, B., Bautier, E., & Rochex, J.-Y. (1997). Ecole et savoir dans les banlieues…et ailleurs. Albin Michel.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Cole, M. (1998). Cultural psychology: a once and future discipline. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Daiute, C. (2010). Human development and political violence. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  15. Daiute, C. (2016). Imagination in community engagement. In T. Zittoun & V. P. Glăveanu (Eds.), Handbook of imagination & culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press (in press).

  16. Dewey, J. (1896). The reflex arc concept in psychology. Psychological Review, 3, 357–370.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dewey, J. (1916). Démocratie et éducation. Paris: L’Age d’Homme.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Doise, W., Mugny, G., & Perret-Clermont, A.-N. (1975). Social interaction and the development of cognitive operations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 5(3), 367–383. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2420050309.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Eckhoff, A., & Urbach, J. (2008). Understanding imaginative thinking during childhood: sociocultural conceptions of creativity and imaginative thought. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(2), 179–185. doi:10.1007/s10643-008-0261-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Engeström, Y., Engeström, R., & Kärkkäinen, M. (1995). Polycontextuality and boundary crossing in expert cognition: learning and problem solving in complex work activities. Learning and Instruction, 5(4), 319–336. doi:10.1016/0959-4752D95]00021-6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Gillespie, A. (2006). Becoming other: from social interaction to self-reflection. Greenwich: InfoAge.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Gillespie, A. (2010). Autobiography and identity: Malcolm X as author and hero. In R. E. Terrill (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to Malcolm X (pp. 26–38). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. .

  23. Grossen, M., Baucal, A., & Zittoun, T. (2010). Using cultural elements as symbolic resources in and out school: results of a questionnaire submitted to young persons in three upper secondary schools (FNS no. 100013-116040/1 No. 5). Neuchâtel & Lausanne: Universités de Neuchâtel & Lausanne.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Grossen, M., Zittoun, T., & Ros, J. (2012). Boundary crossing events and potential appropriation space in philosophy, literature and general knowledge. In E. Hjörne, G. van der Aalsvoort, & G. de Abreu (Eds.), Learning, social interaction and diversity—exploring school practices (pp. 15–33). Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei: Sense Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Habermas, T. (1996). Geliebte Objekte. Symbole und Instrumente der Identitätsbildung. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Hale, H. C. (2008). The development of British military masculinities through symbolic resources. Culture & Psychology, 14(3), 305–332. doi:10.1177/1354067X08092636.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Hale, H. C., & de Abreu, G. (2010). Drawing on the notion of symbolic resources in exploring the development of cultural identities in immigrant transitions. Culture & Psychology, 16(3), 395–415. doi:10.1177/1354067X10361395.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Harris, P. L. (2000). The work of the imagination (1st ed.). Oxford/Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Heath, S. B. (2004). Risks, rules, and roles: youth perspectives on the work of learning for community development. In A.-N. Perret-Clermont, C. Pontecorvo, L. Resnick, T. Zittoun, & B. Burge (Eds.), Joining Society: social interaction and learning in adolescence and youth (pp. 41–70). Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Hedegaard, M., Aronsson, K., & Hojholt, C. (2012). Children, childhood, and everyday life: children’s perspectives. IAP.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Hilppö, J., Rajala, A., Zittoun, T., Kumpulainen, K., & Lipponen, L. (2016). Collective creation of imaginary landscapes for science learning (in press).

  32. Hinde, R. A., Perret-Clermont, A. N., & Hinde, J. S. (1985). Social relationships and cognitive development. Oxford: Clarendon.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Hjörne, E., & Säljö, R. (2014). Representing diversity in education: student identities in contexts of learning and instruction. International Journal of Educational Research, 63, 1–4. doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.10.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Hundeide, K. (2005). Socio-cultural tracks of development, opportunity situations and access skills. Culture & Psychology, 11(2), 241–261. doi:10.1177/1354067X05052353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Hviid, P. (2012). ‘Remaining the same’ and children’s experience of development. In M. Hedegaard, K. Aronsson, C. Hojholt, & O. Ulvik (Eds.), Children, childhood, and everyday life: children’s perspectives (pp. 37–52). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Hviid, P. (2015). Borders in education and living—a case of trench warfare. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 50(1), 44–61. doi:10.1007/s12124-015-9319-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Hviid, P., & Zittoun, T. (2008). Editorial introduction: transitions in the process of education. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 23(2), 121–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. James, W. (1904). What is pragmatism. The Library of America: In A new name for some old ways of thinking. Retrieved from http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/james.htm.

  39. Jonasson, C. (2014). Defining boundaries between school and work: teachers and students’ attribution of quality to school-based vocational training. Journal of Education and Work, 27(5), 544–563. doi:10.1080/13639080.2013.787483.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Kadianaki, I. (2014). Sustaining identity change through the use of symbolic resources: the case of an immigrant living in Greece. In S. Salvatore, J. Valsiner, & A. Gennaro (Eds.), Multicentric identities in globalizing world (pp. 195–218). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

  41. Konkola, R., Tuomi‐Gröhn, T., Lambert, P., & Ludvigsen, S. (2007). Promoting learning and transfer between school and workplace. Journal of Education and Work, 20(3), 211–228. doi:10.1080/13639080701464483.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Kontopodis, M., & Perret-Clermont, A.-N. (2015). Educational settings as interwoven socio-material orderings: an introduction. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 31(1), 1–12. doi:10.1007/s10212-015-0269-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Kumpulainen, K., Karttunen, M., Juurola, L., & Mikkola, A. (2014). Towards children’s creative museum engagement and collaborative sense-making. Digital Creativity, 25(3), 233–246. doi:10.1080/14626268.2014.904370.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Kumpulainen, K., Krokfors, L., Lipponen, L., Tissari, V., Hilppö, J., & Rajala, A. (2009). Learning bridges—toward participatory learning environments (Helsinki). Helsinki: Helsinki University press. Retrieved from https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/15631.

  45. Kumpulainen, K., & Lipponen, L. (2010). Producive interactions as agentic participation in dialogical enquiry. In K. Littleton & C. Howe (Eds.), Educational dialogues: understanding and promoting productive interaction (pp. 48–62). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Lawrence, J. A., & Valsiner, J. (2003). Making personal sense: an account of basic internalization and externalization processes. Theory & Psychology, 13(6), 723–752. doi:10.1177/0959354303136001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Leontiev, D. A. (1996). Dimensions of the meaning/sense concept in the psychological context. In C. W. Tolman, F. Cherry, R. van Hezewijk, & I. Lubek (Eds.), Problems of theoretical psychology (pp. 130–144). North York, Ontario: Captus University Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Märtsin, M., Chang, I., & Obst, P. (2016). Using culture to manage the transition into university: conceptualising the dynamics of withdrawal and engagement. Culture & Psychology, 22(2), 276–295. doi:10.1177/1354067X15621476.

  49. Mehmeti, T. (2013). Réussite scolaire de jeunes femmes kosovares: quels processus psycho-sociaux ? Dossiers de Psychologie et Éducation, 70, 1–133.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Mercer, N. (2007). Sociocultural discourse analysis: analysing classroom talk as a social mode of thinking. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 1(2), 137–168. doi:10.1558/japl.v1i2.137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Miller, P. J., Hoogstra, L., Mintz, J., Fung, H., & Williams, K. (1993). Troubles in the garden and how they get resolved: a young child’s transformation of his favorite story. In C. A. Nelson (Ed.), Memory and affect in development (Vol. 26, pp. 87–114). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into practice, 31(2), 132–141. doi:10.1080/00405849209543534.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Moscovici, S. (1984). Introduction : le domaine de la psychologie sociale. In S. Moscovici (Ed.), Psychologie sociale (pp. 5–22). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Mugny, G., & Doise, W. (1978). Socio-cognitive conflict and structure of individual and collective performances. European Journal of Social Psychology, 8(2), 181–192. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2420080204.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Muller Mirza, N., & Perret-Clermont, A. N. (2009). Argumentation and education: theoretical foundations and practices (1st ed.). Dodrecht: Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  56. Paín, S. (1989). La fonction de l’ignorance. Berne; Francfort-s. Main: P. Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Paín, S. (1992). Les difficultés d’apprentissage: diagnostic et traitement (3e éd). Berne: Francfort/M: P. Lang.

  58. Peirce, C. S. (1974). Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (Vol. 5). Harvard: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Pelaprat, E., & Cole, M. (2011). ‘Minding the gap’: imagination, creativity and human cognition. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 45, 397–418. doi:10.1007/s12124-011-9176-5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Perkins, N. D., & Salomon, G. (1994). Transfer of learning. In T. Husen & T. N. Postelwhite (Eds.), International handbook of educational research (2nd ed., Vol. 11, pp. 6452–6457). Oxford: Pergamon Press.

  61. Perret-Clermont, A. N. (2015). The architecture of social relationships and thinking spaces for growth. In C. Psaltis, A. Gillespie, & A.-N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.), Social relations in human and societal development (pp. 51–70). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Perret-Clermont, A.-N., Arcidiacono, F., Breux, S., Greco Morasso, S., & Miserez Caperos, C. (2015). Knowledge-oriented argumentation in children. In F. H. van Eemeren & B. Garssen (Eds.), Scrutinizing argumentation in practice (pp. 135–150). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Perret-Clermont, A.-N., & Carugati, F. (2001). Learning and instruction, social-cognitive perspectives. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pp. 8586–8588). Oxford: Pergamon.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Perret-Clermont, A.-N., Carugati, F., & Oates, J. (2004a). A socio-cognitive perspective on learning and cognitive development. In J. Oates & A. Grayson (Eds.), Cognitive and language development in children (pp. 305–332). Oxford: The Open University. Blackwell Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Perret-Clermont, A. N., Perret, J. F., & Bell, N. (1991). The social construction of meaning and cognitive activity in elementary school children. In L. Resnick, J. M. Levine, & S. D. Teasley (Eds.), Perspectives on socially shared cognition (pp. 41–62). Washington D. C: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Perret-Clermont, A.-N., Pontecorvo, C., Resnick, L., Zittoun, T., & Burge, B. (2004b). Joining society: learning and development in adolescence and youth. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Radišić, J. (2011). ‘What do you mean by that?’ How personal meanings are developed and constructed in literature classes at upper secondary level. In A. Baucal, F. Arcidiacono, & N. Buđevac (Eds.), Studying interaction in different contexts: a qualitative view (pp. 153–186). Belgrade: Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Rochex, J. Y. (1998). Le sens de l’expérience scolaire. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Rochex, J.-Y. (2001). Transformations de l’enseignement secondaire et expérience scolaire des « nouveaux lycéens »: appropriation des savoirs et élaboration de soi. In M. Kucera, J.-Y. Rochex, & S. Stech (Eds.), La transmission du savoir comme problème culturel et identitaire (pp. 107–120). Prague: Université Charles de Prague, Editions Karolinum.

    Google Scholar 

  70. Rochex, J.-Y. (2009). Expérience scolaire et procès de subjectivation. Le Français aujourd’hui, 166(3), 21. doi:10.3917/lfa.166.0021.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Rochex, J.-Y., & Bautier, E. (2005). Rapport de recherche du GFR. Enseigner la philosophie au lycée professionnel. Analyses, expériences, témoignages (Collection études et recherches No. 6). Reims: Académie de Reims.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Rogoff, B. (1993). Children’s guided participation and participatory appropriation in sociocultural activity. In R. H. Wozniak & K. W. Fischer (Eds.), Development in context: acting and thinking in specific environments (pp. 121–153). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  73. Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is evrything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 1069–1081.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Säljö, R. (1997). Educational psychology: some thoughts on the transformation of learning in social practices and its consequences for a field of research. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 41(3–4), 259–271. doi:10.1080/0031383970410307.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Schuetz, A. (1944). The stranger: an essay in social psychology. American Journal of Sociology, 49(6), 499–507. doi:10.2307/2771547.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Singer, J. L., & Singer, D. G. (2012). How conscious thought, imagination, and fantasy may relate to cognition and motivation. In S. Kreitler (Ed.), Cognition and motivation. Forging an interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 450–467). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

  78. Smolucha, F. (1992). The relevance of Vygotsky’s theory of creative imagination for contemporary research on play. Creativity Research Journal, 5(1), 69–76. doi:10.1080/10400419209534423.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Stankovic, B., Baucal, A., & Zittoun, T. (2009). Uses of symbolic resources in youth: moving from qualitative to quantitative approach. Psihologija, 42(4), 437–457.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Star, S. L., & Griesemer, J. R. (1989). Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907–39. Social Studies of Science, 19(3), 387–420.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Toomela, A. (2015). What are higher psychological functions? Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 50, 1–31. doi:10.1007/s12124-015-9328-0.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Valsiner, J. (2014a). An invitation to cultural psychology. London: Sage.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  83. Valsiner, J. (2014b). Needed for cultural psychology: methodology in a new key. Culture & Psychology, 20(1), 3–30. doi:10.1177/1354067X13515941.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  84. Valsiner, J. (2015). From person-oriented to person-centered psychology: abstracting structures of relationships. Journal of Person-Oriented Research, 1(1–2), 7–14. doi:10.1177/1354067X13515941.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Vygotsky, L. S. (1931). Imagination and creativity of the adolescent. Retrieved 22 July 2010, from http://www.cddc.vt.edu/marxists/archive/vygotsky/works/1931/adolescent/ch12.htm#s02.

  86. Vygotsky, L. S. (1971). The psychology of art. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). In A. Kozulin (Ed.), Thought and language. Cambridge: The MIT Press..

    Google Scholar 

  88. Vygotsky, L. S. (2004). Imagination and creativity in childhood. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 42(1), 7–97.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Walker, D. (2014). A pedagogy of powerful communication: youth radio and radio arts in the multilingual classroom (1st ed.). New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  90. Wentzel, B., & Zittoun, T. (2011). Parcours de transition professionnelle: regards croisés. In B. Wentzel, A. Akkari, P. F. Coen, & N. Changkoki (Eds.), L’insertion professionnelle des enseignants : regards croisés et perspective internationale (pp. 169–189). Bienne: Haute Ecole Pédagogique BEJUNE.

    Google Scholar 

  91. Winnicott, D. W. (2001). Playing and reality. Philadelphia/Sussex: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  92. Zittoun, T. (2004a). Donner la vie, choisir un nom: Engendrements symboliques. Paris: L’Harmattan.

    Google Scholar 

  93. Zittoun, T. (2004b). Preapprenticeship as a transitional space. In A.-N. Perret-Clermont, C. Pontecorvo, L. Resnick, T. Zittoun, & B. Burge (Eds.), Joining Society: Social Interaction and Learning in Adolescence and Youth (pp. 153–176). Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  94. Zittoun, T. (2006a). Insertions. A quinze ans, entre échecs et apprentissage. [Insertions. Being fifteen, from failure to apprenticeship]. Berne: Peter Lang.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  95. Zittoun, T. (2006b). Transitions. Development through symbolic resources. Greenwich: Information Age Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  96. Zittoun, T. (2007a). Symbolic resources and responsibility in transitions. Young. Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 15(2), 193–211.

    Google Scholar 

  97. Zittoun, T. (2007b). The role of symbolic resources in human lives. In J. Valsiner & A. Rosa (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Socio-Cultural Psychology (pp. 343–361). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  98. Zittoun, T. (2008a). La musique pour changer la vie. Usages de connaissances, dynamiques de reconnaissance, Education & Sociétés, 22(2), 43–55.

    Google Scholar 

  99. Zittoun, T. (2008b). Tolstoï, la Bible et André the Giant : Les ressources que la jeunesse se donne. In M. O. Gonseth, Y. Laville, & G. Mayor (Eds.), La marque jeune (pp. 174–180). Neuchâtel: Musée d’Ethnographie (MEN).

    Google Scholar 

  100. Zittoun, T. (2009a). Dynamics of life-course transitions—a methodological reflection. In J. Valsiner, P. C. M. Molenaar, M. C. D. P. Lyra, & N. Chaudhary (Eds.), Dynamic process methodology in the social and developmental sciences (pp. 405–430). New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  101. Zittoun, T. (2009b). La circulation des connaissances: un regard socioculturel. Revue Économique et Sociale, 67(2), 129–138.

    Google Scholar 

  102. Zittoun, T. (2010). How does an object become symbolic? Rooting semiotic artefacts in dynamic shared experiences. In B. Wagoner (Ed.), Symbolic transformations. The mind in movement through culture and society (pp. 173–192). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  103. Zittoun, T. (2013a). On the use of a film: cultural experiences as symbolic resources. In A. Kuhn (Ed.), Little Madnesses: Winnicott, Transitional Phenomena and Cultural Experience (pp. 135–147). London: Tauris.

    Google Scholar 

  104. Zittoun, T. (2013b). Religious traditions as means of innovation: the use of symbolic resources in the life course. In H. Zock & M. Buitelaar (Eds.), Religious voices in self-narratives making sense of life in times of transitions (pp. 129–148). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    Google Scholar 

  105. Zittoun, T. (2014). Trusting for learning. In P. Linell & I. Marková (Eds.), Trust and language (pp. 125–151). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publisher.

    Google Scholar 

  106. Zittoun, T. (2015a). Social relations and the use of symbolic resources in learning and development. In C. Psaltis, A. Gillespie, & A.-N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.), Social relations in human and societal development social relations in human and societal development (pp. 134–146). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  107. Zittoun, T. (2015b). Transitions, imagination and TEM. In Y. Yasuda, A. Nameda, M. Fukuda, & T. Sato (Eds.), Wordmap TEA Theory (pp. 97–100). Kyoto: shin-yo-sha.

    Google Scholar 

  108. Zittoun, T. (2016a). Symbolic resources and imagination in the dynamics of life. In A. Rosa & J. Valsiner (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of sociocultural psychology (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  109. Zittoun, T. (2016b). Living creatively, in and through institutions. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 12(1),1–11. doi:10.5964/ejop.v12i1.1133.

  110. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2012). Using diaries and self-writings as data in psychological research. In E. Abbey & S. E. Surgan (Eds.), Emerging methods in psychology (pp. 1–26). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  111. Zittoun, T., & Grossen, M. (2012). Cultural elements as means of constructing the continuity of the self across various spheres of experience. In M. César & B. Ligorio (Eds.), The interplays between dialogical learning and dialogical self (pp. 99–126). Charlotte: InfoAge.

    Google Scholar 

  112. Zittoun, T., & Cerchia, F. (2013). Imagination as expansion of experience. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 47(3), 305–324. doi:10.1007/s12124-013-9234-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  113. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2013). Symbolic resources. In The encyclopedia of cross-cultural psychology. London: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp527/abstract.

  114. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2014). Sculpture and art installations: towards a cultural psychological analysis. In B. Wagoner, N. Chaudhary, & P. Hviid (Eds.), Cultural psychology and its future: complementarity in a new key (pp. 167–177). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  115. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2015). Internalization: how culture becomes mind. Culture & Psychology, 21(4), 477–491. doi:10.1177/1354067X15615809.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  116. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2016a). Imagination: Creating alternatives in everyday life. In V. P. Glaveanu (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity and Culture. London and New York: Palgrave.

    Google Scholar 

  117. Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2016b). Imagination in human and cultural development. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  118. Zittoun, T., Duveen, G., Gillespie, A., Ivinson, G., & Psaltis, C. (2003). The uses of symbolic resources in transitions. Culture & Psychology, 9(4), 415–448.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  119. Zittoun, T., Gillespie, A., Cornish, F., & Psaltis, C. (2007). The metaphor of the triangle in theories of human development. Human Development, 50, 208–229.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  120. Zittoun, T., Cornish, F., Gillespie, A., & Aveling, E. L. (2008). Using social knowledge: a case study of a diarist’s meaning making during World War II. In W. Wagner, T. Sugiman, & K. Gergen (Eds.), Meaning in Action: Constructions, Narratives and Representations (pp. 163–179). New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  121. Zittoun, T., & Perret-Clermont, A. N. (2009). Four social psychological lenses for developmental psychology. European Journal for Psychology of Education, 24(2), 387–403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  122. Zittoun, T., Padiglia, S., Matthey, C., Lempen, O., & Grossen, M. (2010). La culture personnelle des élèves et leurs relations aux textes lus en classe de philosophie, littérature et enseignement général (SYRES No. 4). Neuchâtel: Université de Neuchâtel.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Aleksandar Baucal for his kind invitation to write this paper, as well as his feedback on its first version. I also thank Michèle Grossen very much; many ideas presented here have been developed through our collaboration over the years, and her careful commentaries on this paper were precious to the maturation of this paper. Finally, I am grateful to three anonymous reviewers for the careful reading of this text and useful feedbacks which led to the present version.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tania Zittoun.

Additional information

Personal details

Tania Zittoun. Faculty of Humanities, Institute of psychology and education, FLSH - University of Neuchâtel, Louis Agassiz 1, CH – 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Email: Tania.zittoun@unine.ch

Current Themes of Research:

Psychology of the lifecourse; imagination; highly mobile families; migration and the law; ageing

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education (5):

Zittoun, T. (2008). Development through transitions. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 23(2), 165–182.

Zittoun, T. (2015). Social relations and the use of symbolic resources in learning and development. In C. Psaltis, A. Gillespie, & A.-N. Perret-Clermont (Eds.), Social Relations in Human and Societal Development Social Relations in Human and Societal Development (pp. 134–146). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Zittoun, T., & Brinkmann, S. (201). Learning as meaning making. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1809–1811). Boston, MA: Springer US.

Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2016). Imagination in human and cultural development. London: Routledge.

Zittoun, T., & Grossen, M. (2012). Cultural elements as means of constructing the continuity of the self across various spheres of experience. In M. César & B. Ligorio (Eds.), The interplays between dialogical learning and dialogical self (pp. 99–126). Charlotte, NC: InfoAge.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zittoun, T. Symbolic resources and sense-making in learning and instruction. Eur J Psychol Educ 32, 1–20 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-016-0310-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sense-making
  • Symbolic resources
  • Informal learning
  • Sociocultural psychology
  • Imagination