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Development of Concepts in Microengineering Teaching and Practice
Project responsable Martín Vergara Wilson
   
Thesis director Laure Kloetzer
   
Abstract This research will study the development of concepts in microengineering teaching and practice. The issue of how concepts are formed and transformed, this is, how one comes to know in a determined and specific way, is at the core of teaching and training, as well as of work activity. In educational psychology, one of the most salient attempts to account for the appropriation of conceptual knowledge is the research on conceptual change, which has also been highly influential in engineering education. Over five decades, this current has deepened our understanding of concepts and important insights for pedagogical applications have been derived from it. However, different versions of this current, as well as their meta-theoretical underpinnings, have been criticized for not accounting for the specific act of thinking performed in the use of concepts, or the process by and contexts in which they emerge and change. In Vygotsky’s work, conversely, we find a better-suited theory of concepts to account for what is missing in mainstream theories. In the Vygotskian theory, additionally, we find methodological principles for the study of concept development. In such a perspective, a concept cannot be taken as a thing comprised of parts, but as a process comprising successive moments. This movement, however, is unknown and inaccessible to the naked eye. To study the development of concepts, then, we need specific methods to set them in motion, this is, to elicit their development. Drawing on those principles, and in the frame of a collaborative research, this research aims to identify and describe core concepts for microengineering training and practice, and the development paths these concepts follow.
   
Keywords Concept development; Professional learning; Cultural-historical theory; Developmental methodologies; Engineering education
   
Type of project Dissertation project
Research area Sociocultural Psychology; Workplace learning and development; Adult development
Status Ongoing
Start of project 1-9-2020
End of project 31-8-2024
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