Epistemography of an Urban and Regional Planning Practicum: Appropriation in the Face of Resistance

WCER Working Paper No. 2010-8

Elizabeth Bagley

May 2010, 26 pp.

ABSTRACT: Preparing citizens to address the complex problems inherent in cities requires changing society to embrace a new kind of education. One way to train people to think about complex problems is to identify and study how professionals who think in those ways develop their epistemic frame. This ethnographic study of an urban planning practicum examines the ways urban planners master and appropriate relevant expertise. Specifically, epistemic network analysis is used to look at presentation feedback sessions during 2 weeks of the urban planning practicum and explore emergent relationships between the teacher’s and the students’ planning expertise. The results of this study indicate that epistemic network analysis offers a powerful set of techniques for analyzing the kinds of situated understanding that result from sociocultural learning and for observing the translation of pedagogy into practice in various types of learning environments.

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keywords: Ethnography; Practicum; Epistemic Network Analysis; Appropriation; Epistemic