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The role of learning in transdisciplinary research: moving from a normative concept to an analytical tool through a practice-based approach

Westberg, Lotten and Polk, Merritt (2016). The role of learning in transdisciplinary research: moving from a normative concept to an analytical tool through a practice-based approach. Sustainability science. 11:3, 385-397
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11625-016-0358-4

Abstract

Transdisciplinary (TD) research is an example of a participatory research approach that has been developed to address the complexity of societal problems through the exchange of knowledge and expertise across diverse groups of societal actors. The concept of knowledge exchange is central to the ability of TD research to produce usable knowledge. There is, however, limited theoretical attention to the processes that enable knowledge exchange, namely learning. In this article, we analyze the "transferability" of knowledge generated in TD research settings from a practice-based approach. In this approach, learning and knowing are seen as situated in social practices, in meaning making processes where the involved participants make sense of what they do and why they do it. We describe and analyze three TD projects, and discuss the role of practitioners' perspectives in the interpretation of the tasks and realization of TD, and in the consequences this has for the organization of the research process and the usability of its results. The analysis shows that while the project teams were given the same task and framework, they did not understand or enact TD in a similar fashion. The three projects created different goals and organizations. They also resulted in different challenges, which could be identified and analyzed by the use of a practice-based approach to learning. In the conclusions, we identify aspects for both practice and research that are important for creating sufficient conditions for learning in TD research processes so that they can better promote contributions to societal change.

Authors/Creators:Westberg, Lotten and Polk, Merritt
Title:The role of learning in transdisciplinary research: moving from a normative concept to an analytical tool through a practice-based approach
Series/Journal:Sustainability science (1862-4057)
Year of publishing :2016
Volume:11
Number:3
Page range:385-397
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1862-4057
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:U Auxiliary disciplines > U30 Research methods
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:Transdisciplinary research, Situated learning, Sociocultural theory, Sustainability
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4352
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-4352
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000374329900002
ID Code:14394
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:13 Sep 2017 07:43
Metadata Last Modified:13 Sep 2017 07:43

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