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Doctoral course

Transactional Perspectives on Education, 5 credits

Course information

Research education subject

  • Education

Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus



Course period

03 February 2022 - 01 April 2022


Course content

This course deals with the foundations of pragmatic philosophy and specifically introduces the transactional perspective of the American philosopher John Dewey. The course shows how this philosophical perspective can offer both theoretical frameworks for educational research and methods for empirical investigations. The focus here is on the transactional perspective's possibilities for dissolving dualisms between, for example, an inner consciousness and an external reality and how this in this way constitutes an alternative to cognitivist ways of viewing learning.

The course includes reading original literature and studies of how Dewey develops the transactional perspective from the classic essay "The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology" (1896) to his last book "Knowing and the Known" (Dewey & Bentley 1949/1989). With this philosophical basis, the course address how leading educational philosophers today interpret and understand the transactional perspective and how didactic researchers have applied this perspective in empirical research.

The didactic application is exemplified by several different themes such as aesthetic experiences, physical learning, development of moral and political values, the importance of emotions for learning, and how habits and the physical and cultural environment affect teaching and learning. The empirical examples range from the early years of preschool to adult learning.

Course information

The course is given in Swedish or English. The course is given on campus.

Admission requirements

Preference is given to doctoral students admitted to the subject of Education at Örebro University. Secondarily, doctoral students admitted to other subjects at Örebro University may participate.

Other applicants than doctoral students admitted at Örebro University may be given access to the course on the grounds of provisions for and/or agreements regarding contracted courses, joint degrees, national graduate schools or cooperation in other respects with other universities.


Apply here by January 14.