Towards dialogic metaphors of learning: from socialization to authoring

Tina Kullenberg, Roger Säljö

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The background of the article is an interest in theories of learning and the metaphors of learning they build on and propagate. The basic argument is that the discursive construction of learning plays a central role in theoretical perspectives in research but also in discussions of societal issues in a wider sense. An initial observation is that current metaphors of learning oscillate between emphasizing socializing/reproductive dimensions and perspectives which foreground new-thinking transformations of existing collective knowledge; the culturally given. Hence, our aim is to explore conceptions of learning underpinning dominant theoretical perspectives as behaviorism, cognitivism, pragmatism, and various sociocultural traditions, in the light of this theoretical tension. Our conclusion is that the views of communication and learning inherent to the radical dialogic perspective on communication that stresses the unfinalizable nature of knowing, offered by Bakhtin, add to our understanding of how learning may be conceptualized in contemporary society. Such a dialogic perspective, emphasizing open-ended agency, plurality of voices, and performative potentials of creatively expressing opinions when learning from each other, offers a perspective on learning worth considering in times of diversity, unpredictable risks, and the need for critical self-reflexivity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages17
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)


  • Bakhtin
  • authorial learning
  • learning
  • polyphony
  • socialization


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