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ERIC Number: EJ1130359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2295-3159
Revisiting Learning in Higher Education--Framing Notions Redefined through an Ecological Perspective
Damsa, Crina; Jornet, Alfredo
Frontline Learning Research, v4 n4 p39-47 2016
This article employs an ecological perspective as a means of revisiting the notion of learning, with a particular focus on learning in higher education. Learning is reconceptualised as a process entailing mutually constitutive, epistemic, social and affective relations in which knowledge, identity and agency become collective achievements of whole ecosystems. This conceptualisation implies that learning involves a trans-contextual and multimodal process, in which both learners and their social and material environments change. This article examines the implications of an ecological perspective on framing notions central to learning and current educational research, namely (a) knowledge co-construction and epistemic agency, (b) the role of (material) knowledge resources in the learning process and (c) the trans-contextuality that characterises learning in today's knowledge society. The discussion concludes by identifying prospects that an ecological perspective offers to education and research on learning in higher education. The insights emerging from this reconceptualisation imply changes in the ways we can enhance and analytically account for the transformative potential of education. They also indicate the necessity for further advancing our understanding of learners' ways of assembling the epistemic spaces necessary to engage in meaningful learning, their agency in this process and their relationship with the (social and material) environment.
European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction. Peterseliegang 1, Box 1, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A