Epistemic framework in theory

The perspective on any given situation can differ completely, depending on a set of elements that influence not only our perception but also our behaviour. This set of elements has been defined as an epistemic framework by David Shaffer and can be divided into four elements: knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values. In this article we take a closer look at how we can use the inspiration of real professionals in teaching young people to motivate and engage them, using the epistemic framework. Although it is well possible to design great playful learning without role play elements, if you fancy this aspect to be part of your playful learning, please read on.


Roles and perspectives

Most students or pupils in an educational setting are given the perspective of ‘the student’ as the only true or applicable perspective. However, behaviour belonging to this perspective is mainly behaviour belonging to the old sender-receiver model. In addition to this it’s logical from the student’s perspective to, for example, form a front against the teacher, to study for a test instead of out of curiosity or, from an efficiency standpoint, to see a 5.5 (on a scale of 10) as an ideal mark. When designing lessons, this perspective is relatively easy to overturn by not designing for ‘students’ (or those who do not yet command the subject matter) but for experts (those who take responsibility for the subject matter). However, telling a student (or player) that they are suddenly an expert, doesn’t magically turn them into on. To get the student to mimic that role, they need help, or scaffolding. The epistemic framework provides the tools for you to work with.



In the video below the theoretic principles of the epistemic framework are explained in such a way as to lay down the groundwork for a later application of these principles within the daily practice of music education. An example of a practical application of the epistemic framework is explained by Thijs Spook in another video.


Text, concept and visualisation: Willem-Jan Renger
Voice-over: Willem-Jan Renger


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