Objects, Things and Artefacts in Professional Learning and Doing

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


This is the first major chapter in the book in which we combine outcomes from our empirical research with further development of the main lines of the theoretical argument. In this chapter, we use some of the assessment tasks set for students who are going on work placement (internship or practicum). We argue that when students are tackling an assessment task, they are inevitably engaging in an artefact-oriented activity. We unpick the nature of this activity – distinguishing between object as motive and object as material entity. We make this distinction, in part, to then look at connections between motive and materiality in the overlapping worlds of the classroom and the workplace. We show that learning for knowledgeable action often takes the shape of an epistemic artefact-oriented activity. This activity connects, rather than separates, abstract knowledge and objects of professional practice with embodied skill through concrete, materially expressed, actions and things. We also distinguish between different kinds of artefacts – showing the ways in which they preserve, transfer and improve upon skills used in the professional workplace.


Assessment Practicum Objectual practice Epistemic artefact Materiality 


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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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