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Perspectives on epistemological development and architecture
All Ireland Architectural Research Group (2013)
  • Shannon M. Chance, Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Gavin Duffy, Dublin Institute of Technology
There is an extensive base of literature that attempts to describe how college students understand “knowledge” and their role in generating it. Educators can draw from this literature to help students develop increasingly sophisticated ways of using knowledge. Although existing research aims for broad generalizability, it is clear that various disciplines have developed their own unique value systems. This presentation explores the overlap between the design process and epistemological understanding. The first half of this presentation will discuss existing perspectives regarding how students typically use and view knowledge. The three major perspectives differ by positing that: 1. Individuals develop increasingly complex intellectual outlooks and they typically do so in a fairly linear sequence. 2. Individuals develop at different rates in each domain of knowledge (characterized by some as aesthetic judgments, value judgments, truths about the physical world, etc. and by others as the structure of knowledge, the source of knowledge, the control of knowledge acquisition, etc.). 3. Individuals develop a set of personal tools, abilities, or “resources” relating to epistemology that they can draw from in various combinations as applicable to the context at hand (those with high levels of development will have more resources and a better handle on how to combine them to achieve desirable results). The choice of perspective is important in guiding research on the topic and developing learning, teaching, and assessment methods to promote student development. The second half of this presentation will discuss aspects of cognitive development that are specific to design. The presenters will explain how to use the Epistemological Development Rubric for Designers (a tool that can be used to assess students’ epistemological understandings and track changes over time). The rubric is appropriate for use with students of architecture, engineering, art, and a host of other fields that require creative thinking.
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Shannon M. Chance and Gavin Duffy. "Perspectives on epistemological development and architecture" All Ireland Architectural Research Group (2013)
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