Thomas GENNEN

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Assistant

 

Adresse courrier

Université libre de Bruxelles
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 50 - CP 124
1050 Bruxelles
Belgique

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Domaines d'intérêt

Research interests: 

Learning and cognitive theories
Child cognitive development 
Conceptual change
Philosophical foundations of educational approaches 
Anthropology of learning and cognition

Présentation des enseignements

Teaching experience: 

Méthodologie de l’entretien de recherche - PSYC-D202 (Assistant)
Méthodologie de l’anthropologie sociale et culturelle - SOCA-D204 (Assistant)
Anthropologie sociale et culturelle I - SOCA-D101 (Assistant)

Présentation des recherches

Current research: 

My research focuses on how epistemological assumptions concerning how children learn knowledge translate into educational practices, with a focus on the cognitive processes engaged and the impact on children’s ability to learn new knowledge. In particular, I address three aspects of this general problem: (a) how assumptions concerning knowledge generalization translate into educational practices, (b) how assumptions concerning the nature of concepts translate into educational practices, and (c) how the epistemological assumptions of a teaching approach impact teachers’ everyday practices and epistemological beliefs.

I have addressed these problems both at a theoretical level by focusing on current issues in educational sciences (e.g., the instructivist-constructivist debate) and at an empirical level by using Steiner-Waldorf education as a primary case study, based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in several Steiner schools.

Anthropologist and philosopher by formation, I continued my research in learning sciences and cognitive psychology.

Travaux sélectionnés

1. Manuscripts submitted:

(2022). Conceptual change and instruction: The neglected potential of developmental teaching approaches. Target journal: Human Development.

(2022). Relating learning difficulties in teaching to epistemological assumptions about how learners best learn knowledge: The shortcomings of empiricist and constructivist primary education. Target journal: Educational Psychologist.

2. Manuscripts under preparation:

From epistemological assumptions concerning knowledge generalization in children to teaching practices: Rudolf Steiner radical experience-based view of knowledge generalization and its application in Steiner-Waldorf primary schools. Target journal: Cognition and Instruction.

From epistemological assumptions concerning the nature of concepts and their acquisition to teaching practices. Target journal: Journal of Curriculum Studies.
    
How epistemological and ontological beliefs inform teaching. Target journal: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice.

How anthropologists (mis)understand Vygotsky or why they missed his rendez-vous. Target journal: The American Ethnologist.

3. Conference proceedings: 

(2021, August 4—7). An anthropological approach to Vygotsky’s theory of concept formation. In Challenges and perspectives in educational and school psychology [Symposium]. 6th Congress of The International Society for Cultural-Historical Activity Research, Natal, Brazil.

(2019, September 9—11). Tracing cognitive development through ethnography [Symposium]. Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference, Oxford, England.

4. Other publications:

(2016). Culture de soi, hexis corporelle spirituelle et lien entre anthroposophie et pédagogie Steiner [Cultivation of the self, spiritual body hexis and the link between Anthroposophy and Steiner pedagogy] [Scientific communication]. In Association Belge Francophone de Sociologie et d’Anthropologie, Serendipity, 2.

(2015). Review of the book The American Pragmatists, by C. Misak. Lectures.
https://journals.openedition.org/lectures/19714

Conferences:

(2021, August 4—7). From epistemological assumptions concerning concept generalization to instructional practices of teaching concepts. In challenges and perspectives in educational and school psychology [Symposium]. 6th Congress of The International Society for Cultural-Historical Activity Research, Natal, Brazil.

(2019, September 9—11). Tracing cognitive development through ethnography [Symposium]. Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference (OEEC), Oxford, England.

(2019, June 18—20) An anthropological approach to Vygotsky’s theory of child concept formation: The case study of children learning concepts in Steiner schools [Paper presentation], Nordic Conference on Cultural and Activity Research: Research and practices within and across boundaries, Trondheim, Norway.

(2018, December 10) Limites et perspectives méthodologiques de l’anthropologie du développement cognitif de l’enfant [Limitations and methodological perspectives of the anthropology of children's cognitive development] [Conference session]. Séminaire de méthodologie: les apports de l’anthropologie de l’enfance (10ème édition). Retour à la méthode. Bilan et perspectives anthropologiques. Liège, Belgium.

(2018, June 27—28) Conceptual blending and cultural normative imagination: The case study of Steiner teachers interpreting their pupils’ learning progression [Conference session]. Transdisciplinary Research Association on Cognition and Embodiment International Workshop: Normativity in Situated and Embodied Cognition, Brussels, Belgium.

(2017, June 17—21). Une ethnographie cognitive du développement intellectuel des enfants dans les écoles primaires de Bali [A cognitive ethnography of children's intellectual development in primary schools in Bali] [Paper presentation]. 11th European Summer School for the Anthropology of Development, Mainz, Germany.

(2017, April 21). A néo-monadologie, monadologie et demie. Lecture de l’usage et de la caractérisation du concept de monade chez Bruno Latour [Critique of the use of the concept of monad in B. Latour's works] [Paper presentation]. Séminaire de philosophie moderne autour de Leibniz. Brussels, Belgium.

(2017, March 16). Table ronde avec Vinciane Despret, autour de ses livres Composer avec les moutons et Le chez soi des animaux [Oral communication in a round-table discussion Vinciane Despret’s books “Composer avec les moutons” and “Le chez soi des animaux”]. Séminaire de recherche sur les “Matérialités de la politique”. Liège, Belgium. 

Appartenance