22 SES 13 C, Paper Session
Today, many university students consider themselves post 20th century (McCrindle & Wolfinger, 2011). Not only were they born after the Internet and the WWW, in an increasingly digital world, but they have grown up in a VICA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). In a multifaceted social, political, economic, and technological context, manifesting themselves with a strong presence in social movements (Seemiller & Grace, 2017) and at the same time showing themselves to be more fearful and conservative (Lukianoff & Haidt, 2018; Vallespín & Martínez-Bascuñán, 2017; Twenge, 2017). These young people, who are considered the first Homo Globalis or citizens of the world (Broennimann, 2017, p. 6), have grown up connected to virtual environments and with access to more information than those of any other generation (Seemiller & Grace, 2017). In the time not of “experts but the era of user-generated opinion" (McCrindle & Wolfinger, 2011, p.102), in which "data is cheap, but making sense of it is not" (boyd (sic), 2010, np).
In these conditions, this generation has different motivations and practices than its predecessors, the Millenials (Center for Generational Kinetics, 2017; Northeastern University, 2014; Seemiller & Grace, 2016; 2017; Twenge, 2017). Digital by birth, young people of this generation use multimodal forms of communication and information search (McCrlinde & Wolfinger, 2011), giving preference to platforms of a non-textual nature, such as YouTube or Snapchat (Geraci et. al., 2017). At the same line, they have shown to prefer the role of observers, looking for real practical examples before applying their learning; as well as the need to understand such applicability to get involved in the process (Seemiller & Grace, 2017). On the other hand, many of them show great interest in social justice issues, showing themselves capable and involved in changing the world; and have proved to be much more receptive to gender identity issues (Broenniman, 2017). However, as Livingstone (2017) points out, many of the interpretations that are made of these generational data can lead to hasty conclusions, especially in relation to the use of digital technologies. Therefore, it is necessary to understand them and hence the need to deepen and comprehend the changes that are taking place in relation to the meaning of learning and knowledge. All this considering the unwanted consequences of the use of digital media, the possible problems of dispersion, superficiality (Carr, 2010; Desmurget, 2020) and the addictions (Alter, 2017, Sampedro, 2018) promoted by persuasive technologies (Fogg, 2003).
In this context, among higher education teachers, a fundamental question is: How can we communicate with young people if we do not speak the same language, if we do not know them? An underlying question that has prompted a good deal of research (Boyd, 2014; Erstad, 2012; 2013; Erstad, Gilje, Sefton-Green & Vasbo, 2009; Erstad & Sefton-Green, 2012; Erstad, Gilje, Sefton-Green & Arnseth, 2016; Jornet & Erstad, 2018; Hernández-Hernández, 2017; Ito, Baumer, Bittanti, Boyd, et al, 2010; Ito, Gutiérrez, Livingstone, Penuel, et al, 2013; Ito, Horst, Bittanti, Boyd, et al, 2008; Livingstone & Sefton-Green, 2016; Sefton-Green & Erstad, 2016; Twenge, 2017).
This body of research, developed in most cases from ethnographic perspectives focused on learning lives, shows the contextual nature of learning (Phillips, 2014). Hence, the research on which this proposal is based has the general purpose of exploring how different groups of young people learn, considering their educational paths, gender and their relationship with different learning environments (analogue and digital). We aim to provide individuals and institutions involved in higher education with knowledge about students’ learning, from their perceptions and experiences, that can contribute to shaping more genuine and meaningful learning relationships.
This paper is based on the research project “Learning paths of young university students: concepts, strategies, technologies and contexts”, collaboratively developed between the PUCRS of Porto Alegre (Brazil) and the University of Barcelona (Spain). In this phase of the project, 13 undergraduate and 28 graduate students at a Brazilian University have developed 41 cartographies and 33 narratives about their learning experiences and contexts. They explained their cartographies and dialogue with researchers and colleagues. We understand cartographies, in this case learning cartographies, as “a social construction of the world” (Harley, 2002, p.35). A notion “not limited to the work of academics. Artists and activists have also increasingly been swept up by the cartographic impulse, often subverting cartographic conventions or the authority of cartography” (McKinnon, 2011, p.456). Cartographies can be seen as existential territories -that imply sensitive, cognitive, affective, aesthetic universes, that suppose approaching the cartographies of concrete processes of subjectivation (Guattari, 2000 ); as relating to mappings and mappings relating to rhizome. Cartographies are captured through the rhizome, “movements in diverse directions instead of a single path, multiplying its own lines and establishing the plurality of unpredictable connections in the open-ended smooth space of its growth” (Semetsky, 2008, p.15 [emphasis in original]). Bearing in mind that “rhizome and becoming cannot be controlled; instead, they create unpredictable lines of flight” and the emerging question “how might this be taken up” (Masny, 2013, p.4). Considering that “subjectivity constitutes itself via the cartographic method of mapping a territory of problems and events. Subjectivity depends on our learning from unfolding experience” (Semetsky, 2013, p.85). And that the concept of limit provides potential avenues in mapping cartographies of becoming in education. Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of smooth and striated space, the differences between nomadic and state (urban-agricultural) territorial systems, provide basis for examining the operation of boundary systems, as does their concept of assemblage with its territorial function (Masny, 2013, p.12). We adopted an artistic form of the social sciences (Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005). To this end, the cartographies and the students accounts -which were recorded and transcribed, were put together to produce an emerging conversation, departing from a content analysis perspective (Bardin, 2016). This allowed us to open to “unexpected readings of and listening to materials in what might be termed 'fractal analysis'” (Lather, 2016, p.127).
The outcomes of this study can be situated in three main areas. First, it is giving an embodied evidence of the deeply contextual dimensions of learning. Cartographies and narratives reveal to which extent “learning is a phenomenon that involves real people who live in real, complex social contexts from which they cannot be abstracted in any meaningful way” (Phillips 2014, p. 10). And something fundamental to consider, above all in higher education, the crucial role of social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1977; Lee & Chen, 2017). Most participants first pointed to aspects of their social and cultural life as determining factors in their learning processes. Second, and profoundly interwoven with the previous one, participants’ productions show the subliminal character of a large part of our learning (Mlodinow, 2012). Learning happens everywhere, and they felt surprised realising they had never paid attention to what they were learning and where they were learning it. Moreover, despite being in the field of education, they did not used to think about how they learn. This is an important aspect to be considered by institutions and scholars. The process of self-reflection is highlighted as a mechanism little promoted both in teacher education programmes and school practice. Third, using visual methods allowed us to go beyond the rigid limits of text and the cognitive dimension of learning, fostering the exploration of their corporeal dimensions entangled with matter, other living beings and affects (Sancho-Gil & Correa-Gorospe, 2019). However, participants experienced the limitations and lack of skills imposed by a highly textualized educational tradition. Another challenge to be met by higher education institutions. Several students pointed out the importance of being able to listen to their peers, an inspiring experience in a classroom context.
Alter, A. (2017). Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping. Penguin Press. Boyd, D. (2014). It’s Complicated. The social lives of networked teens. University Press Book. Bardin, L. (2016). Análise de Conteúdo. Edições 70. Carr, N. (2010). The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. W. W. Norton & Company. Erstad, O. (2013). Digital learning lives. Peter Lang Publishing. Erstad, O., Gilje,O., Sefton-Green, J., & Vasbo, K. (2009).Exploring 'learning lives': Community, identity, literacy and meaning. Literacy, 43(2),100 - 106. Erstad, O., & Sefton-Green, J. (Eds.) (2012). Identity, Community, and Learning Lives in the Digital Age. Cambridge University Press. Fogg, B. J. (2003). Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Morgan Kaufmann. Ito, M., Baumer, S., Bittanti, M., boyd, d., Cody, R., Herr-Stephenson, B., et al. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: kids living and learning with new media. MIT Press. Lather, P. (2016). Top Ten+ List: (Re)Thinking Ontology in (Post)Qualitative Research. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 16(2), 125–131. doi: 10.1177/1532708616634734 Lee, K. S., y Chen, W. (2017). A long shadow: Cultural capital, techno-capital and networking skills of college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 67-73. Lukianoff, G., & Haidt, J. (2018). The coddling of the American mind: How good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure. Penguin Press. Mccrindle, M., y Wolfinger, E. (2011). ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations. UNSW Press. Mlodinow, Leonard. 2012. Subliminal: The Revolution of the New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us About Ourselves. Penguin Books. Phillips, D. C. (2014). Research in the Hard Sciences, and in Very Hard “Softer” Domains. Educational Researcher, 43(1), 9-11. doi: 10.3102/0013189X13520293 Seemiller, C., & Grace, M. (2017). Generation Z: Educating and Engaging the Next Generation of Students, About Campus, 22(3), 21-26. doi: 10.1002/abc.21293 Sefton-Green, J., & Erstad, O. (2017). Researching ´learning lives´-a new agenda for learning, media and technology. Learning, Media and Technology, 42, 246-250, doi: 10.1080/17439884.2016.1170034 Twenge, J. (2017). IGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy-and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood-and What That Means for the Rest of Us. ATRIA Books.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.