"Theory in pieces" - The communal development of a theory

Orit Parnafes, Andrea Di Sessa, Joseph Wagner, Jose Mestre, Tom Thaden-Koch, Bruce Sherin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This symposium aims to expose some of the social dynamics of theory development in the learning sciences by examining one particular case. It examines how individual studies contribute to theory development by using and extending an original theory of conceptual development, coordination class theory. We show how the diversity of contexts in which these ideas have been applied has contributed, not so much to validation, but to genuine expansion of meaning and power of the theory. This pattern emphasizes the essentially social nature of theory construction, and also a striking parallel between theory development in professional science and ideas about conceptual development in students that emphasize the role of multiple contexts. We discuss theoretical and methodological issues of communal development of a theory, such as theoretical power, fit, extension and generality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICLS 2006 - International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Proceedings
Pages1078-1083
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Event7th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2006 - Bloomington, IN, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2006Jul 1 2006

Publication series

NameICLS 2006 - International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Proceedings
Volume2

Other

Other7th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2006
CountryUnited States
CityBloomington, IN
Period6/27/067/1/06

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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  • Cite this

    Parnafes, O., Di Sessa, A., Wagner, J., Mestre, J., Thaden-Koch, T., & Sherin, B. (2006). "Theory in pieces" - The communal development of a theory. In ICLS 2006 - International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Proceedings (pp. 1078-1083). (ICLS 2006 - International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Proceedings; Vol. 2).