Group work as an arena for learning in STEM education: Negotiations of epistemic relationships
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionRusk, F. & Rønning, W. (2020). Group work as an arena for learning in STEM education: Negotiations of epistemic relationships. Education Inquiry, 11(1), 36-53. doi: 10.1080/20004508.2019.1638194
The relationship between learning and group work is often treated as self-evident, but the finer workings of this relationship require further study into the social organisation of group work. The aim of the research that forms the basis for the current article is to locate, describe, and gain new understanding of how peers orga- nise their group work with a focus on epistemic negotiations. Based on detailed micro-analyses of several situations where pupils express their knowledge and orient to other’s expressions of knowledge regarding the current assignment, we focus on describing and exemplifying how participants organise their social interaction and cooperation in group work. There appear to be important factors that may affect the group work. These include access to physical resources, participants’ expressed knowledge and orientation to co-participants’ expressed knowledge, and access to new knowledge. Through a micro-analysis of group work, we can better understand the dynamics of group work and better pinpoint cooperation and communication skills and strategies that are important to consider as learnables, themselves.