Socio-Technical Theory and Knowledge Construction: Towards New Pedagogical Paradigms?

Antonio Cartelli
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
After a short introduction on socio-technical theory, the experiences the author made in the planning and carrying out of web sites and information systems for research and teaching are reported. The results from those experiences are analyzed with a special attention to knowledge development at three different levels: individuals, communities, and organizations (society), and the author’s hypotheses for the explanation of the observed phenomena are discussed. The most relevant results on the effects of ICT on knowledge can be summarized as follows: a) they can improve knowledge construction and induce meaningful learning in students, while contributing in building communities of learners (CoLs) and communities of practice (CoPs), b) they can induce new models for knowledge construction and evolution in special communities and learning organizations, and c) they can contribute in hypothesizing new teaching paradigms (or new pedagogical paradigms more generally). At last a revision of the well known scheme synthesizing the socio-technical approach to organization description (as regards knowledge construction and evolution) is reported and it is applied to the special case of a master course for teachers. The explanation of the effects that the new scheme has on the hypothesized three levels and on the structure of MIS (Management Information System) follows.
. Socio-technical theory, communities of practice, communities of learners, learning organization, cognitive apprenticeship teaching strategies
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