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University of Washington

1. Howard, Joh. On the Interactive Assembling of Reflective Action.

Degree: PhD, 2019, University of Washington

Reflective actions link teachers and students, pedagogies and learning. While these commonsense connections are commonplace in education research, the learning sciences have yet to produce either a theory or an analysis of ‘reflective action’ (RA) as an interactive phenomenon endogenously utilized by interactants as a resource for “onto-epistemological navigations” along interaction trajectories during situated learning activities. This dissertation sets out to address this gap. Drawing on the theory that learning is mediated by its situated assembling and webbing across layers of social inter- and intra-action, I build on frameworks positioning all action as emplaced and contextualized, socially distributed, and historically situated, to argue that it is also reflective along a malleable, non-binary continuum ranging from autonomic to autonomic-and-deliberate. Framing pedagogical communications and reflective discourses as specific caregiver and educator practices of reflective action, respectively, I adduce empirical findings to support conceptualizing “reflective discourse” (RD) as a set of pedagogical micro-practices that harness the inherent structure of human communication for educational purposes. To advances this position, I conduct interaction analysis on data collected from a community-shaped, design-based study of I-STEAM LARP (Indigenous Scientific Technological Artistic Mathematical Live Action Role-Play) to map if and how interactants expressed RA. The key finding, developed across three interdependent sub-findings, is that the plastic structure of RA made it a malleable interactive resource for laminating layers of onto- epistemic meaning onto I-STEAM LARP substrates through a process which I identify as “reflective discourse chaining.” Implications include recommendations for how reflective practitioners can make RAs publicly visible through the micro-practices of RD; a new theoretical framework for analyzing RA as a plastic and malleable interactive resource that adapts well for teaching-and-learning by virtue of its contingent and ostensive markings; methodological inroads to marking the presence of RA using a five-component coding scheme; and a novel analytic framework for analyzing educational discourses that shifts from the frames of IRE/F to the frames of RD to analyze how interactants participating in teaching-and-learning activities collectively web and accumulate meaning and understanding. Advisors/Committee Members: Bang, Megan (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Indigenous learning; Interaction analysis; Learning sciences; Reflective action; Reflective discourse; Reflective practices; Educational psychology; Education - Seattle

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APA (6th Edition):

Howard, J. (2019). On the Interactive Assembling of Reflective Action. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Washington. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Howard, Joh. “On the Interactive Assembling of Reflective Action.” 2019. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Washington. Accessed March 20, 2019.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Howard, Joh. “On the Interactive Assembling of Reflective Action.” 2019. Web. 20 Mar 2019.


Howard J. On the Interactive Assembling of Reflective Action. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Washington; 2019. [cited 2019 Mar 20]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Howard J. On the Interactive Assembling of Reflective Action. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Washington; 2019. Available from: