Inscriptions Shaping Mind, Meaning and Action

  • Lina Markauskaite
  • Peter Goodyear
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 14)


Chapter 11 continues the theme of inscriptional work, begun in Chap.  10. We shift from a functional to a semiotic perspective. That is, we look at how inscriptions bring forth meanings within knowledgeable action in professional learning and work. Using empirical material from our work with nurse educators and teacher educators, we focus on the kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing that get inscribed. We also argue that traditional semiotic accounts do not provide much assistance in understanding the role of inscriptions in the creation of new ideas, particularly those ideas that combine knowledge from multiple disciplines and domains of human activity. We use this to develop connections with the literature on conceptual integration and material blending, to examine more closely how innovation and the generation of new ideas depend upon skilful interweaving of complex cognitive work in the mind with actions in the world. We argue that inscriptions often provide an essential material–symbolic anchor for this complex generative work, which is distributed across body, mind and world.


Inscriptions Semiotics Conceptual integration Material blending 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina Markauskaite
    • 1
  • Peter Goodyear
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI), Faculty of Education & Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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