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Title: “Theory in Pieces” – the Communal Development of a Theory
Authors: Parnafes, Orit
diSessa, Andrea
Wagner, Joseph
Mestre, Jose
Thaden-Koch, Tom
Sherin, Bruce
Issue Date: Jun-2006
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences
Citation: Parnafes, O., diSessa, A., Wagner, J., Mestre, J., Thaden-Koch, T., & Sherin, B. (2006). “Theory in Pieces” – the Communal Development of a Theory. In Barab, S. A., Hay, K. E., & Hickey, D. T. (Eds.), The International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Indiana University 2006. Proceedings of ICLS 2006, Volume 2 (pp. 1078-1083). Bloomington, Indiana, USA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
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.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2006

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