Theory of Practical Knowledge

The research group has been committed to the development of research in and on Practical Knowledge as a way of both articulating the foundations of the field of studies in Practical Knowledge, as well as applying this research perspective in the context of specific practices and professions.

The research group is a part of the research division
Centre for Practical Knowledge
The research group Theory of Practical Knowledge was established in 2013 with the aim of promoting research on Practical Knowledge. The research group has, for the most part, been based within the Centre for Practical Knowledge (CPK), although it also includes members from outside the CPK, from other faculties at Nord University, and from external institutions.

The research group, along with the CPK, has been committed to the development of research in and on Practical Knowledge as a way of both articulating the foundations of the field of studies in Practical Knowledge, as well as applying this research perspective in the context of specific practices and professions.

The activity of the Research Group Theory of Practical Knowledge is directly relevant, and forms the Research Foundation, for the Faculty's Masters program in Practical Knowledge and for the PhD in the study of Professional Praxis. Several members of the Research Group are also active in teaching modules in the Theory of Science in other programs at the Faculty.
The Research Group comprises both Professors and Associate Professors, as well as PhD fellows. 


More about the research group


The group has a continuing interest in research that contributes to a better understanding of Practical Knowledge as such. This includes foundational work on the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of Practical Knowledge, its situation in the landscape of knowledge production and acquisition generally, as well as on issues such as habit, memory, embodiment, intersubjectivity, socialization, learning, and innovation.

The research group also pursues research in specific practices and professions as the focal area in which Practical Knowledge comes to expression. As such, research in Practical Knowledge has been developed in fields such as Health Care and Education, but also in Journalism, Police work, Drama, Coaching, and Leadership. This research both exemplifies and develops the foundational work on Practical Knowledge.

Another major focus of the group has been on questions of method for elaborating and articulating practical knowledge. The CPK has traditionally focused on narrative based research on practitioners lived experience, while the research group has also sought to incorporate other methods and approaches to this end.

Given that the focus of the research group's activity is Practical Knowledge, it is not surprising that the group's members represent a wide range of academic disciplines and practical backgrounds. The research group is committed to interdisciplinarity both in terms of its members and its focal areas of research. This is justified predominantly with reference to the fact that practical knowledge as phenomenon is not the purview of any single discipline or practice.

At present, the group's membership covers disciplines such as Philosophy, Pedagogy, Psychology, Anthropology, Religious Studies, Social work, while it is an ambition to include more disciplines and background within the group in the future.

Recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in research in Practical Knowledge. The research group Theory of Practical Knowledge has sought to harness this interest through the establishment of collaborations with national and international research partners. Our closest international partner is the Centre for Practical Knowledge at Södertörn University College, Stockholm.

Structure

The Theory of Practical Knowledge has several active projects involving its group's members. It is not the case that all of the group's members are involved in all of the group's projects, but all of the projects included are understood as furthering the group's interests in foundational and applied research in Practical Knowledge.

The research group has sought a structure that allows for the development of relevant research ideas that both mirror the group's central objectives, while simultaneously harnessing the research profiles of its various members.

The research group arranges monthly research seminars with core group members and bi-semester seminars with presentations by the group's doctoral fellows.

The funding for these projects has largely been acquired internally, while a smaller percentage of the group's activities have been externally funded. It is an active goal of the research group to develop projects that can compete for NFR and EU funding.

Active projects

Education, Value and Critical Thinking

Contact: Professor James McGuirk

This project focuses generally on the field of education and specifically on the role of values in the institutional structure of the school. The project has been internally funded and involves several of the research group's members as well as partners from other faculties. The project is also a collaboration with another of the Faculty's research groups, Humanities, Education, and Culture. 

The project has hosted three international workshops featuring guest researchers from Belgium, the UK, and Ireland, as well as guests from other Norwegian Universities. These workshops have focused on topics such as the value and possibility of critical thinking in schools, democracy and education, and the values of and in education. An international English language anthology based on the work done in these workshops is currently in preparation. 

The Use of Literature in Professional Education

Contact: Professor James McGuirk

The research group has recently received internal funding for a project on the use of literature in professions education. This project is anchored in the use of literary texts in the CPK's Master's programme in Practical Knowledge. This practice has shown itself over many years to be an effective way of both framing and exploring challenges that characterize professional practice. The first step in this project is an international workshop planned for later in 2019, while it is also intended that this work form the basis of a larger research funding application in early 2020.

Dialogical Praxis

Contact: Associate professor Catrine Torbjørnsen Halås

Together with local partners and researchers from Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, division of Public Health and Business school, Center for Ecological Economics and Ethics, we are interested in exploring what characterizes dialogical praxis as a sustainable and successful humanistic and social ecological approach, and what it can lead to. Our overall research question is "How do reflective processes and dialogical practices contribute to enhance agency among citizens and professionals, in order to contribute to development of well-being, sustainable services and community building?" The overall objective is to create knowledge about how reflective processes and dialogical practices contribute to enhance agency among citizens and professionals, in order to contribute to development of well-being, sustainable services and community building. 

The project is transdisciplinary and will be carried out in close collaboration with citizens, professionals in communities and partners from national and international research institutions and universities. Local partners are municipalities of Fauske, Bodø, Mo I Rana and Saltdal. International research partners come from Aalborg University, (Centre for Dialogue and Organization), Södertörns university college (Centre for practical knowledge) and Business Ethics Centre, Corvinus University Budapest.

Filling the Gap between Theory and Practice

Contact: Associate professor Catrine Torbjørnsen Halås

What are the relevance of research evidence for social work practices with children and youth and how can social work research contribute to strengthen the value and validation of evidence produced for social work practice. 

The project explores strategies in the four European programmes in Norway, Netherlands and Italy, especially focusing intersubjectivity, dialogues and interactions between researchers-users-professionals. 

Research collaboration involving researchers from the four different Universities in tree countries.


PhD Projects


The good interpreter: Deaf people's perspectives on doctor-patient sign language interpreted consultations. 


Candidate: Camilla J. Sandrud

Project title: The good interpreter: Deaf people's perspectives on doctor-patient sign language interpreted consultations. A qualitative study on health, sign language and interpretation. 
 
Supervisors: Professor James N. McGuirk (SPK); Professor Anna-Lena Nilsson (NTNU)

Project objective: This research project aims to investigate, from a phenomenological perspective, how and what constitutes the good ‘interpreted doctor-patient consultation’. This project will contribute to the articulation of constituting elements in deaf peoples bodily and relational experiences in ‘sign language interpreting conversation’, particularly their experience on what constitutes good interpretative practice. 

Publications: Tolkede legesamtaler Tolking - språkarbeid og profesjonsutøvelse, 2018, (ISBN 978-82-05-49528-9), s. 302-316

Other: Affiliated with Research School PROFRES

Bildung and in-depth learning. A study of text selection and methods for teaching literature in upper secondary school.  


Candidate: Elin Aaness

Project title: Bildung and in-depth learning. A study of text selection and methods for teaching literature in upper secondary school.  
Supervisors: Associate Professor Jostein Greibrokk (FLU); Professor Johan Arnt Myrstad (SPK)

Project objective: This research project is a study of approaches to teaching literature at the upper secondary school levels in Denmark and Norway. The goal is to attain knowledge about how the teacher´s text selection sets the guidelines for their teaching practices, as well as which tools the teacher implements to teach students to develop their own understanding of fictional texts.

Publications: 
- «Skjønnlitteratur mot ekkokammersamfunnet» (Morgenbladet, 20.10.17)
- «Debattinnlegg Nordlands Trompet» (Avisa Nordland, 14.02.19)

Partners: The Norwegian Research Council. Nordland Municipality

Other: Affiliated with Research School NAFOL

Police officers experience with mentally challenged abuse victims: focusing on investigative and preventive actions.


Candidate: Karianne Moen

Project title: Police officers experience with mentally challenged abuse victims: focusing on investigative and preventive actions.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Linda Hoel (Norwegian Police University College); Professor Johans Tveit Sandvin (FSV, Nord University)

Project objective: The study intends to develop knowledge of the challenges that family violence specialists face in their professional practice, and whether different police districts have a unitary and unified practice on how to fulfil their role and task regarding mentally challenged individuals legal security.

Other (network etc): 
• Research group Organization and management at the Norwegian Police University College.
 • Regional network: the legal security of people with intellectual disabilities who have committed a crime.

How to promote Upper Secondary students’ conceptual understanding of cells? – Design and analysis of empirical teaching interventions


Candidate: Leonie Isabelle Johann 

Project title: How to promote Upper Secondary students’ conceptual understanding of cells? – Design and analysis of empirical teaching interventions

Supervisors: Professor Steen Wackerhausen (SPK); Professor Jorge Gross, Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg, Germany, Department of Science Education 

Project objective: It is the aim of the project to suggest adequate teaching interventions in order to promote Upper Secondary students’ conceptual understanding of cells. Different qualitative approaches such as text analysis, interview - conducted at Norwegian Upper Secondary Schools – and teaching interventions constitute the empirical basis for the project. The study is framed by the Model of Educational Reconstruction (Duit et al., 2012b) which is epistemologically based on a moderate constructivism (Gerstenmeier and Mandl, 1995). Also, the theory of conceptual metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson 1980) provides an important fundament. 

Partners: Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany

Other networks: Affiliated with the research school NAFOL; member of the research group Learning in interaction at Nord University.

Closed projects


Practical Knowlegde and Professions research

The group has worked on developing a theoretical framework for the understanding of Practical Knowledge and its application on various fields of practice both within and without the professions. While this research is ongoing, the first wave of research done on this is considered to have culminated with the publication of the 2015 anthology Praktisk kunnskap som profesjonsforskning (English title: Practical Knowledge as Professions research), ed. McGuirk, J. & Methi, J.S. (Fagbokforlaget).

Research Methods in Practical Knowledge


The group has also worked on the issue of research methods and how these are understood in relation to the field of research in Practical Knowledge. This is also work that is considered ongoing, while its first phase culminated with the 2017 publication of Humanistiske forskningstilnærminger til profesjonspraksis (English title: Humanistic Research in Professional Praxis), ed. Halås, C., Kymre, I.G., & Steinsvik, K. (Gyldendal).

Other major publications include the 2018 anthology Erfaring som kunnskapskilde i profesjonspraksis (English title: Experience as a source of Knowledge in Professional Praxis), ed. Danielsen, I. & Alteren, J. (Novus). For other publications connected with the group's activity, see Cristin.




 Research Group Leader

 Members