A phronetic approach to educational design-based research: Issues and aspirations


  • Emanuele Bardone Tartu University
  • Merja Bauters Metropolia University of Applied Sciences




experience, intervention theory, phronesis, professional judgment


This paper is a theoretical attempt to show how the Aristotelian notion of phronesis may provide a fruitful viewpoint to trigger and animate a series of discussions on educational design-based research. In particular, we focus on the overall meaning that the notions of intervention and theory can acquire. What concerns the former, phronesis helps avoid interpreting intervention as the making of an object, be it a learning environment, an application, a piece of software. Conversely, it posits that intervention can be fruitfully located within teachers’ professional judgment. The specific focus on professional judgment helps point to a different conception of “theory”, which does not revolve around the development of generalized principles informing the practice. Conversely, theory can be viewed as the effort to articulate teachers’ experiences in the form of stories “from the field”.


Author Biographies

Emanuele Bardone, Tartu University

Emanuele Bardone received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Pavia (Italy). He is currently Senior Researcher at the Institute of Education, University of Tartu (Estonia). He is author of the book “Seeking Chances. From Biased Rationality to Distributed Cognition” (Springer, 2011). His current research interests include epistemology of educational research, inquiry learning, philosophy of scientific inquiry, responsible research and innovation. At the moment he is involved in the 7th European Framework programme project "Ark of Inquiry".

Merja Bauters, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Merja Bauters is Docent of semiotics in the University of Helsinki, and a researching lecturer at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. She received her PhD from Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, University of Helsinki 2007. The topic covered Charles Peirce thoughts for understanding visual interpretation. She has been involved in multiple EU projects, such as: Learning Layers, 7th Framework Programme (2013-2016), Developing Knowledge-Practices Laboratory, KP-Lab, Sixth Framework Program (2006–2011) and Creating Knowledge through Design & Conceptual Innovation (knowledge-through-design.uni-kiel.de/project), Lifelong Learning Programme, (2011–12). Her interests are on experience, Peircean pragmatism, habit formation and reflection.




How to Cite

Bardone, E., & Bauters, M. (2017). A phronetic approach to educational design-based research: Issues and aspirations. EDeR. Educational Design Research, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.15460/eder.1.1.1025



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