Rethinking the Material, the Embodied and the Social for Professional Education

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


In this chapter, we revisit some key insights into how the social, the material and the embodied enter professional work and learning. We argue that knowledge work and knowledgeable action are constitutively entangled with embodied practices in the material and social worlds. We show how matter matters in professional work, and how a ‘socially extended mind’ enables thinking with others. This entangling of mind, body and world raises some difficult questions about what is important to teach in the classroom – and what is reasonable to expect students to learn there – and what needs to be learned in real workplaces. As a part of our argument, we revisit some well-known ideas about the dialectical, dialogical and trialogical approaches to knowing and learning. We return to the notion of mediation in professional learning and work. We specifically point to the central, yet often obscured, mediating role of self-as-knower, with a resourceful mind and bodily skills, able to act within, and shape, materially and socially rich work environments. Seeing the self as a mediator, coordinator and active constructor of work and learning environments has strong implications for how we should think about professional skilfulness and the professional capacity to learn.


Mediation Entanglement of mind, body, world Extended mind Coordination Self-as-knower Self-engineering 


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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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