Pedagogical Praxis & Wikis - #3c

Pedagogical praxis? The phrase has a nice alliterative ring to it…The basis of pedagogical praxis is “to analytically separate the effects of layers of context and to reintegrate them in a more complex model of the learning process – one that incorporates the emerging social, economic, and technological forces and their implications for cognition and citizenship” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 1402).

This premise is based on the notion of reflexive practice, i.e., “learn to think in action and learn to do so through…professional experiences” (Schon as cited in Shaffer, 2004, p. 1402). Furthermore, Shaffer (2004) incorporates Lave & Wenger’s work in communities of practices and the “different ways of knowing, of deciding what is worth knowing, and of adding to the collective body of knowledge and understanding” (p. 1404).

The combination of pedagogical praxis, reflective action, and communities of practice fit nicely into my own philosophical pocket. Application of the tripod to vocational postsecondary educational environments also has potential. The health field is one that is constantly changing with new and multifaceted information. As well, it is a profession that extensively depends on a well-prepared team of experts. Training practical nurses involves a blend of traditional content in various sciences (with a strong emphasis on skills in basic mathematics, vocabulary, reading and writing skills) and a strong component of the hands-on clinical experience. Reflective practice is in evidence at the hospital setting where students have an opportunity for engagement with medical professionals. Those practitioner circles offer much more knowledge than the classroom, the textbook and even the simulated lab setting.

Finally, I ponder that alliteration, pedagogical praxis, for its connections of new technologies with learning. Discovering technologies that can help students engage in the practices of reflection and community appear to have significant value. Shaffer (2004) found that students demonstrated distinct progression in viewing complex problems, saw technology as more ubiquitous, and internalized new ways of thinking. Given the appropriate setting and structure, would wikis be one of those technologies? I think wikis can be a platform for reflective learning and with the opportunity for input by a variety of medical professionals, the construction of knowledge increases for students. I plan to continue my own wiki knowledge with additional learning framework articles and a look at wiki-books for the next couple of weeks.

Shaffer, D. W. (2004). Pedagogical praxis: The professions as models for postindustrial education. Teachers College Record, 106, 7, pp. 1401-1421. Retrieved March 31, 2006 from http://coweb.wcer.wisc.edu/cv/papers/TCRpedprax.pdf


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Joshua O said...

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At 8:17 AM, Blogger Joshua O said...

Good combination of theory and practice, Marie. You have tied notions of pedagogical praxis and reflective practice together in a way that is easily understood. Your analogies with health care workers show their relevance to your project. Your vocational wiki users will be much more receptive to wiki usage as you elaborate upon how they specifically benefit them as a learning tool as you did with the example of practical nurses. Have you picked a specific field of study for you first vocational wiki?

Wikis do seem to fit into Shaffer's framework for a technology that engages students in the practice of reflection and community. Their understanding and knowledge grows through their collaboration on the wiki platform. Good final point.



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