chapter  19
Towards a Generous* Discussion of Interplay Between Natural Descriptive and Hidden Machinery Approaches in Knowledge and Interaction Analysis
ByRogers Hall, Ricardo Nemirovsky, Jasmine Y. Ma, and Molly L. Kelton
Pages 29

This chapter explores different orientations to research practices that are present in both Knowledge and Interaction Analysis. Rather than rehearsing the familiar controversy between individual and sociocultural theories of knowing and learning, we analyze differences associated with what we call “natural descriptive” (ND) and “hidden machineries” (HM) orientations. The writing was undertaken as a conversation among the authors, following a series of lively (and sometimes difficult) conversations with others in the KAIA community. The text came in pieces, with many gaps and alternate paths taken that are not reflected here. We have tried to smooth the remaining pieces together in a way that reflects some of our discoveries along the way, starting by characterizing the work of hidden machineries and natural description in scientific practices, and then illustrating the latter in two historical cases. Next, we pose a series of generous*1 questions for exploring differences and possible interplay between these two orientations, using cases from previous studies in the learning sciences. We end with an invitation to think differently – in generous* ways – about these differences, in efforts to integrate Knowledge and Interaction Analysis in studies of learning and teaching.