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Digital Turn in Epistemology


27 - 28 August 2018
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Symposium How methodology and theory push each other forward on EARLI Special Interest Groups Meeting 2018

The symposium aims at connecting the themes of two EARLI SIGs, theory and methodology, addressing epistemological as well as ontological aspects about the objects of research. In research, theory and methodology need to be aligned but their epistemological roles and their contributions to come to new knowledge may differ. These roles and contributions are explored in four presentations and discussions answering the question in what waystheories and methodologies may contribute to advance the scientific field. In some cases, theoretical insights, for example from embodied cognition, push researchers to use innovative methods such as in the case of embodiment: logging of hand movements, gaze movement, and gestures (Bakker, Abrahamson and Alberto’s presentation). Vice versa, advances in methodological techniques such as dual eye-tracking may help advance theoretical development on embodiment (Schindler and Lilienthal’s presentation). In a laboratory classroom run by Clarke and Chan, individual work, group work and classroom discussion can all be tracked in ways that used to be impossible without their current technological set-up. Their data collection facilities allow them to study how ideas travel through classrooms, shedding light on the relationship between individual and the collective. A challenge for theory and methodology may also originate in different cultures of an interdisciplinary project where technical and didactical innovation developing “smart” (Algebra) tangibles push theoretical insights forward in both disciplines (Bikner-Ahsbahs, Janßen and Döring’s presentation). As a discussant, Lehrer will address the typical epistemological roles of theory and methodology leading to new insights, and will instigate discussion with the audience.