Tesis doctoral en la redInfoling 11.33 (2012)

Autor/ra:Vera López, Hortensia Beatriz
Fecha de lectura o defensa:2 de julio de 2012
Título de la tesis:The Scholarship of Learning Modern Languages and Cultures. Integrating Education, Research and Human Development
Director/a de la tesis:Mark I. Millington
Universidad:The University of Nottingham
Departamento:Hispanic and Latin American Studies
País:Reino Unido
Descripción de la tesisThe problem

The development of personal epistemologies and their integration with social epistemologies is not a current priority in most institutions of higher education, which has negative consequences for knowledge itself (its generation and re-creation), for the individuals who see themselves restricted by limiting beliefs about learning and knowing, and for society at large for reproducing practices that favour alienation and fragmentation. While the transformative effect of learning is part of a social epistemology, it is important to attest of such a transformation in personal epistemologies. Both kinds are necessary for a critical form of life which, according to Barnett, “has to be construed and practiced as a form of social and personal epistemology” (Barnett, 1997: 5).

Personal epistemologies, however, are generally considered as being subsumed under social epistemologies, as if the experiential and perceptual transformations of the individual were no more than by-products of larger impersonal processes. However, a serious reconsideration of the role of education in personal epistemologies can offer multiple opportunities to investigate the experiential roots of knowledge and ways of knowing conducive to the development of specific fields of knowledge. This would be beneficial for disciplines in general and for Modern Languages and Cultures in particular, in terms of gaining a phenomenological perspective on its underpinnings, and helping learners to enhance their autonomy and creativity.

A profound revision of the meaning of knowledge as connected to the transformation of the individual and how he or she goes about knowing is a must in all academic fields but perhaps most acutely in the Humanities, where subjectivity is such a consistent focus of study. Given the tendency to define knowledge in ‘objective’ terms (Gellner, 1964), one of the most important problems in the study and research of the Humanities is the revision of the role of subjectivity both in the definition of its object and in its methods of study. New forms of scholarship that construct flexible and generative objects and ways of knowing that bring learners, collectively and individually conceived, into being are necessary. We need forms of scholarship for which the human development of those who practise them is not indifferent.

The core idea

By taking learning as the axis of scholarship, personal and social epistemologies have a common ground: experience and reflective action. I am not considering learning as a vehicle whose success is measured to the extent that a portion of the external world is appropriated, but as a qualitatively different way to see, understand and handle experience. A scholarship of learning is tightly bound to the experiential roots of objects of study that keep on changing in individual and collective histories. Therefore, a scholarship of learning is not a set of context-free skills but a complex process of transformation of its practitioners’ identity and agency over themselves and their object of study. Such two-fold construction orientates a discipline no less than the ways of knowing, acting and being of those engaged in its investigation. I propose that the object of study of Modern Languages and Cultures should be literacy in the multilayered symbolic codes (some of which are tacit) that make intercultural interchanges intelligible and effective. The scope of this dissertation, however, is restricted to the investigation of deep learning in literacy.

My thesis is that Modern Languages and Cultures should not be limited to objects of study, such as language, discourse, texts, films, etc. but has to include the processes of agentification of the learner and making sense of his or her experience in a foreign language and culture. I advocate the investigation of the experiential roots of language and culture in a scholarship of learning which seeks to integrate research and education, on the one hand, and language and content, on the other. Experience and learning are subjective-objective processes, and so I advise the epistemological revaluation of subjectivity. I propose that subjectification (i.e. the construction of the subject) is not only relevant for human development and social well-being, but is a source of knowledge in the Humanities.

The argument

Three general statements derive from the argument that a scholarship of learning languages and cultures is constructed and practised as a form of social and personal epistemology that transforms the agency and the identity of its practitioners:
A. Learning is the most comprehensive form of communication: with the mediation of the world, we learn from and educate each other in ways of thinking, acting and being that construct intersubjectively validated worldviews without which not even disagreement would be possible. Different conceptions of learning account for surface or deep approaches to it and, consequently, underlie different representations of knowledge, knowing and knowers.
B. Variability, generativeness, and being experiential-transformative are characteristics of deep learning.
C. According to the previous characteristics of deep learning, the study of languages and cultures has to change its gravitational centre from its current impersonal and collective orientation (which is distinctive of surface learning) to personal experience and the active construction of identities and agentive voices.

Each one of the previous general statements is respectively broken down into three more specific ones, thus making nine steps for the argument and mirrored in the nine constitutive chapters of this dissertation:
1. Disciplines have an educational genesis which is generally neglected. I am proposing that it is necessary to acknowledge this origin by investigating the meaning of deep understanding leading into educational practices that are integral to the way of conceiving of the disciplines themselves. The term I use for this investigation and practice of the disciplines is scholarship of learning.
2. The concept of a scholarship of learning derives originally from the diversification of the notion of scholarship and then from the critical revision of its historical antecedent: the scholarship of teaching. I suggest that the scholarship of learning is the most comprehensive form of disciplinary construction because it is not limited to knowledge as a product but includes the processes of knowledge formation.
3. The characteristics of deep (as opposed to surface) learning are the benchmark of good scholarship interconnected with sound educational practices. Therefore, the critical revision of a discipline needs to inquire into this double connection, asking: how do these basic assumptions posit learning and learners? What kind of educational practices are necessary to improve the construction of this discipline?
4. The contextual and self-induced variation of the aspects of experience considered by the learner is foundational for discernment and hence for deep learning.
5. Deep learning is heuristic and creative.
6. Through deep learning, individuals transform themselves.
7. The cultural experience of language is the matrix of generativeness and self-transformation in language and culture.
8. The ability to shift languages in narrated events and narrative actions scaffold literacy in a foreign language.
9. The meaning of understanding in a discipline unites social and personal epistemologies.
Área temática:Ciencia cognitiva, Español como lengua extranjera (ELE), Español como segunda lengua (EL2), Filosofía del lenguaje, Lingüística cognitiva, Otras especialidades, Pragmática, Psicolingüística, Semántica, Teorías lingüísticas
Tesis completa en el Archivo de Infoling: http://www.infoling.org/repository/ID/85
ÍndiceTHE SCHOLARSHIP OF LEARNING MODERN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES: INTEGRATING EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
THE PROBLEM
THE CORE IDEA
THE ARGUMENT
THE PLAN

PART ONE: SCHOLARSHIP AND ITS METAMORPHOSES

CHAPTER 1 THE EDUCATIONAL GENESIS OF THE DISCIPLINES
OVERVIEW
1.1 DISCIPLINES AND DISCIPLINARITY
1.2 EDUCATION AND THE SCHOLARSHIP OF LEARNING
1.3 LEARNING AS THE FOUNDATION OF SCHOLARSHIP
1.3.1 Learning and research reconsidered
1.3.2 Institutional epistemology
1.4 MAIN CONCERNS OF A SCHOLARSHIP OF LEARNING MODERN LANGUAGES
1.4.1 Disciplinary identity
1.4.2 Principled socialising practices
1.4.3 Human development
1.4.4 Foreignness

CHAPTER 2 FROM THE SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHING TO THE SCHOLARSHIP OF LEARNING
OVERVIEW
2.1 LEARNING AND DIFFERENT MODELS OF UNIVERSITY
2.2 MULTIPLE FORMS OF CONSTRUCTING THE DISCIPLINES
2.3 CURRENT ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT TEACHING AND RESEARCH
2.4 TOWARDS A SCHOLARSHIP OF LEARNING
2.4.1 The transition from the scholarship of teaching
2.4.2 Dealing with uncertainty and complexity
2.4.3 The turning point from teaching to learning
2.4.4 The learning experience amid the disciplines

CHAPTER 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF A SCHOLARSHIP OF LEARNING
3.0 LEARNING, KNOWING AND BEING
3.0.1 Surface learning
3.0.2 Deep learning
3.1 VARIABILITY
3.1.1 Variation for discernment
3.1.2 Practice and experience
3.1.3 To see in order to act –to act in order to see
3.2 GENERATIVENESS
3.2.1 A focus on knowledge formation
3.2.2 Generative practice
3.3 TRANSFORMATION
3.3.1 Transforming perspectives
3.3.2 Ontological shifts and changes in understanding
3.4 INTEGRATIVE CONNECTIONS
3.4.1 Connections with other disciplinary fields
3.4.2 Connections with the community at large

PART TWO: DEEP LEARNING IN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES

CHAPTER 4 VARIABILITY IN LEARNING LANGUAGES AND CULTURES
4.0 LEARNING AND VARIATION
4.1 CONTEXTUAL VARIABILITY: THE MONOLINGUAL BIAS OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDIES
4.1.1 Reifying concepts and practices
4.1.2 The native speaker
4.1.3 Towards ‘de-reification’
4.1.4 Linguistics and foreignness
4.2 LANGUAGE FROM A THIRD PLACE
4.2.1 Plurilingualism and bilingualism
4.2.2 Multilingualism and Plurilingualism
4.2.3 Multilingualism and plurilingualism in ML disciplinary scope

CHAPTER 5 LANGUAGE LEARNING AND GENERATIVENESS
5.0 SOME DEFINITIONS
5.1 SELF-INDUCED VARIABILITY
5.2 ANALOG AND DIGITAL FORMS OF SYMBOLIZATION
5.3 MEANINGS “FOR ME”
5.4 GENERATORS
5.4.1 Generators of consistency
5.4.2 Generators of diversification
5.4.2.1 Crosslinguistic Influence
5.4.2.2 Similarity
5.4.2.3 Blending
5.4.2.4 Feeling
5.4.2.5 Genre
5.4.2.6 Metaphors
5.5 GENERATORS’ ROLE IN SLA

CHAPTER 6 TRANSFORMATIVE INVESTIGATION OF THE LANGUAGE LEARNER IDENTITY
6.0 AGENCY AND IDENTITY
6.1 FROM OBJECTIFICATION TO THE RE-DESIGN OF SUBJECTIVITIES
6.2 EMIC AND ETIC
6.3 STAGES OF A PLURILINGUAL EMIC INVESTIGATION
6.4 PERSONA DESIGN
6.4.1 Grammaticalisation of linguistic agency
6.4.2 Cultural agency and the self-inventing subject
6.5 GUIDELINES OF LANGUAGE LEARNING ACTIONS
6.5.1 Taking up multiple roles
6.5.2 Taking up multiple readings and multiple writings
6.5.3 Learning journals
6.5.4 Learning language as a cooperative undertaking

PART THREE: CULTURAL STUDIES OF THE PERSON
CHAPTER 7 THE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE OF LANGUAGE
7.0 OTHERNESS AND FOREIGNNESS: TWO THRESHOLD CONCEPTS
7.1 CULTURAL STUDIES IN THE PARTICIPANT’S PERSPECTIVE
7.2 THE MEANING OF “CULTURAL EXPERIENCE”
7.3 THE PROBLEM WITH CULTURAL STUDIES: ISSUES OF DISCIPLINARITY
7.4 ONOMASIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF CULTURE
7.4.1 Knowledge transfer: an onomasiological project
7.4.2. Linguistic mapping to mental concepts
7.4.3 Onomasiological investigations with lexis and syntax
7.4.3.1 Dictionaries
7.4.3.2 Semantic syntax
7.5 CULTURAL STUDIES CENTRED IN THE PERSON
7.5.1 Language learner autonomy
7.5.2 Knowledge as design
7.5.3 Self-narratives

CHAPTER 8 A DESIGN APPROACH TO LITERACY
8.1 LITERACY AND ITS AVATARS
8.1.1 The social turn in literacy studies
8.1.2 The concept of literacy practices
8.2 THE ONTOLOGICAL BIAS OF LANGUAGE STUDIES
8.2.1 The object of language studies
8.2.2 Literacy’s centres
8.2.3 Literariness and language acquisition
8.2.4 Symbolic waves of language acquisition
8.3 LANGUAGE MATERIALITY
8.3.1 The materiality of language representation
8.3.2 The narrative mimetic paradigm
8.3.3 Narrative materiality
8.4 THREE STAGES OF LITERACY STUDIES
8.4.1 Literacy reified
8.4.2 Literacy objectified
8.4.3 Literacy subjectified

CHAPTER 9 LEARNING FOR UNDERSTANDING: NEXUS OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL EPISTEMOLOGIES
9.0 THE MEANING OF UNDERSTANDING ML&CS
9.1 EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES TO ADVANCE A SHARED BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
9.2 SOCIAL EPISTEMOLOGIES
9.2.1 Crossdisciplinary connections
9.2.2 Transdisciplinary perspectives
9.3 PERSONAL EPISTEMOLOGIES
9.3.1 The design of self-narratives
9.3.2 Textual identity
9.3.3 Action and awareness in personal knowledge

CONCLUSION: HIGHER EDUCATION & HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Número de págs.:338


Fecha de publicación en Infoling:15 de noviembre de 2012
Remitente:
Hortensia Beatriz Vera López
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
<beatrizverahotmail.com>