Professional Knowledge and Knowing in Shared Epistemic Spaces: The Person-Plus Perspective

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


This chapter extends the arguments developed in Chap.  4 by concentrating on the kinds of knowledge that are needed when people work together. The frame of reference shifts from what an individual might be said to know, to how knowledge functions when professional work is a collective accomplishment. We explore some of the ways that knowledge and knowledgeable action are distributed across systems or networks of people and objects – to constitute shared epistemic spaces. While our focus is on shared professional knowledge practices, we argue that in order to understand professional learning for knowledgeable action and innovation, traditional views of practice – as shared cultural, social and material phenomena – need to be extended at least one level downwards: to include human skills and the mind.


Inter-professional work Knowledge objects Knowledge cultures Epistemic cultures Shared epistemic spaces 


  1. Akkerman, S. F., & Bakker, A. (2011). Boundary crossing and boundary objects. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 132–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnett, R. (2004). Learning for an unknown future. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(3), 247–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bowker, G. C. (2008). Memory practices in the sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bowker, G. C., & Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting things out: Classification and its consequences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bromme, R., Kienhues, D., & Stahl, E. (2008). Knowledge and epistemological beliefs: An intimate but complicate relationship. In M. S. Khine (Ed.), Knowing, knowledge and beliefs: Epistemological studies across diverse cultures (pp. 423–441). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Collins, H. (2011). Language and practice. Social Studies of Science, 41(2), 271–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Collins, H. (2013). Three dimensions of expertise. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 12(2), 253–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collins, H., & Evans, R. (2007). Rethinking expertise. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deacon, T. W. (1997). The symbolic species: The co-evolution of language and the brain. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  11. Deacon, T. W. (2012). The symbol concept. In M. Tallerman & K. Gibson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of language evolution (pp. 393–405). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  13. Derry, S. J., Schunn, C. D., & Gernsbacher, M. A. (Eds.). (2005). Interdisciplinary collaboration: An emerging cognitive science. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  14. Dewey, J. (1938). Logic: The theory of inquiry. New York, NY: Henry Holt.Google Scholar
  15. Donald, M. (1990). Origins of the modern mind: Three stages in the evolution of culture and cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Donald, M. (2001). A mind so rare: The evolution of human consciousness. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  17. Dreyfus, S. E., & Dreyfus, H. L. (1980). A five-stage model of the mental activities involved in directed skill acquisition. Berkeley, CA: University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  18. Echeverría, M. P. P., & Scheuer, N. (2009). External representations as learning tools. In C. Andersen, N. Scheuer, M. P. P. Echeverría, & E. V. Teuba (Eds.), Representational systems and practices as learning tools (pp. 1–17). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  19. Edwards, A. (2005). Relational agency: Learning to be a resourceful practitioner. International Journal of Educational Research, 43(3), 168–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Edwards, A. (2010). Being an expert professional practitioner: The relational turn in expertise. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Engeström, Y. (2008). From teams to knots: Activity-theoretical studies of collaboration and learning at work. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Engeström, Y., & Blackler, F. (2005). On the life of the object. Organization, 12(3), 307–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Engeström, Y., & Middleton, D. (Eds.). (1996). Cognition and communication at work. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Ewenstein, B., & Whyte, J. (2009). Knowledge practices in design: The role of visual representations as ‘epistemic objects’. Organization Studies, 30(1), 7–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fenwick, T., & Nerland, M. (Eds.). (2014). Reconceptualising professional learning: Sociomaterial knowledges, practices and responsibilities. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional vision. American Anthropologist, 96(3), 606–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goodwin, C. (1996). Seeing as a situated activity: Formulating planes. In Y. Engeström & D. Middleton (Eds.), Cognition and communication at work (pp. 61–95). Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goodwin, C. (2005). Seeing in depth. In S. J. Derry, C. D. Schunn, & M. A. Gernsbacher (Eds.), Interdisciplinary collaboration: An emerging cognitive science (pp. 85–121). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  29. Goodwin, C. (2013). The co-operative, transformative organization of human action and knowledge. Journal of Pragmatics, 46(1), 8–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gordin, D. N., & Pea, R. D. (1995). Prospects for scientific visualization as an educational technology. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4(3), 249–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Greeno, J. G., & Hall, R. P. (1997). Practicing representation: Learning with and about representational forms. Phi Delta Kappan, 78, 361–367.Google Scholar
  32. Guile, D. (2010). The learning challenge of the knowledge economy. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  33. Hall, R. (1996). Representation as shared activity: Situated cognition and Dewey’s cartography of experience. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 5(3), 209–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hall, S. (Ed.). (1997). Representation: Cultural representations and signifying practices. London, UK: Sage, in association with The Open University.Google Scholar
  35. Hall, R., Stevens, R., & Torralba, T. (2002). Disrupting representational infrastructure in conversations across disciplines. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 9(3), 179–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Henning, P. H. (2004). Everyday cognition and situated action. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (2nd ed., pp. 143–168). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  37. Hoffmann, M. H. G., & Roth, W.-M. (2007). The complementarity of a representational and an epistemological function of signs in scientific activity. Semiotica, 164(1/4), 101–122.Google Scholar
  38. Howlett, P., & Morgan, M. S. (Eds.). (2010). How well do facts travel?: The dissemination of reliable knowledge. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Jensen, K., Lahn, L. C., & Nerland, M. (Eds.). (2012). Professional learning in the knowledge society. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  40. Jones, A. (2009). Redisciplining generic attributes: The disciplinary context in focus. Studies in Higher Education, 34(1), 85–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Knorr Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic cultures: How the sciences make knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Knorr Cetina, K. (2001). Objectual practice. In T. R. Schatzki, K. Knorr-Cetina, & E. V. Savigny (Eds.), The practice turn in contemporary theory (pp. 175–188). London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Knorr Cetina, K. (2007). Culture in global knowledge societies: Knowledge cultures and epistemic cultures. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 32, 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lampland, M., & Star, S. L. (Eds.). (2009). Standards and their stories: How quantifying, classifying, and formalizing practices shape everyday life. London, UK: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Miettinen, R., & Virkkunen, J. (2005). Epistemic objects, artefacts and organizational change. Organization, 12(3), 437–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nerland, M. (2012). Professions as knowledge cultures. In K. Jensen, L. C. Lahn, & M. Nerland (Eds.), Professional learning in the knowledge society (pp. 27–48). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nerland, M., & Jensen, K. (2010). Objectual practice and learning in professional work. In S. Billett, C. Harteis, & H. Gruber (Eds.), Learning through practice (Vol. 1, pp. 82–103). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nerland, M., & Jensen, K. (2014). Learning through epistemic practices in professional work: Examples from nursing and engineering. In T. Fenwick & M. Nerland (Eds.), Reconceptualising professional learning: Sociomaterial knowledges, practices and responsibilities (pp. 25–37). London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Nicolini, D., Mengis, J., & Swan, J. (2012). Understanding the role of objects in cross-disciplinary collaboration. Organization Science, 23(3), 612–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Polanyi, M. (1966/2009). The tacit dimension. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  52. Rheinberger, H. (1997). Toward a history of epistemic things: Synthesizing proteins in the test tube. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Roth, W.-M., & McGinn, M. K. (1998). Inscriptions: Toward a theory of representing as social practice. Review of Educational Research, 68(1), 35–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Säljö, R. (1995). Mental and physical artifacts in cognitive practices. In P. Reimann & H. Spada (Eds.), Learning in humans and machines: Towards an interdisciplinary learning science (pp. 83–95). London, UK: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  55. Shaffer, D. W. (2004). Pedagogical praxis: The professions as models for postindustrial education. Teachers College Record, 106(7), 1401–1421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Star, S. L. (1989). The structure of ill-structured solutions: Boundary objects and heterogenous distributed problem solving. In L. Gasser & M. N. Huhns (Eds.), Distributed artificial intelligence (Vol. 2, pp. 37–54). Pitman, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Star, S. L. (2010). This is not a boundary object: Reflections on the origin of a concept. Science, Technology & Human Values, 35(5), 601–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Streeck, J., Goodwin, C., & LeBaron, C. (Eds.). (2011). Embodied interaction: Language and body in the material world. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Tomasello, M. (2010). Origins of human communication. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  60. Tomasello, M. (2014). A natural history of human thinking. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Toulmin, S. (1953). The philosophy of science: An introduction. London, UK: Hutchinson’s University Library.Google Scholar
  62. Trede, F., Macklin, R., & Bridges, D. (2011). Professional identity development: A review of the higher education literature. Studies in Higher Education, 37(3), 365–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Turnbull, D. (2000). Masons, tricksters and cartographers: Comparative studies in the sociology of scientific and indigenous knowledge. Abingdon, OX: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Vygotsky, L. S. (1930). The instrumental method in psychology. Text of a talk given in 1930 at the Krupskaya Academy of Communist Education. Retrieved from

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

Personalised recommendations