gms | German Medical Science

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018)

08.03. - 09.03.2018, München

Implications of multiperspectivity and social reflexivity in planning (developmental) research processes with stakeholders

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Sabine Reisas - Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, PerLe, Kiel, Germany
  • author presenting/speaker Julia Sandmann - Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, PerLe, Kiel, Germany

Learning through Inquiry in Higher Education: Current Research and Future Challenges (INHERE 2018). München, 08.-09.03.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc46

doi: 10.3205/18inhere46, urn:nbn:de:0183-18inhere469

Published: March 1, 2018

© 2018 Reisas et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Science is confronted with the notion to not only finding solutions for problems raised by society, but also to evoke transformative learning processes and social change [1]. From this perspective, research is interlinked in real-world settings to deduce adequate options for action for the people involved and to produce new knowledge and visions for a better life. In short, research has to deal with ill-structured problems in social settings. Therefore, Nowotny et al. [1] describe the relationship of science and society not only reciprocal, but rather interwoven. The challenge lies in fostering the dialogue of all stakeholders within a specific situative setting to conduct research together. It entails a normative account: Researchers as well as stakeholders are asked to take over responsibility and to distribute expertise in social settings to foster developmental processes, which are uncertain in nature: Diverse perspectives, assumptions, goals and expectations of all involved in the research process might come into conflict and have to be questioned and negotiated.

If higher education wants to qualify students for the aforementioned demands, learning at the university should support critical engagement in ill-structured problems. Therefore, the authors argue for a learning environment that combines elements of research-based learning and service learning from an angle of multiperspectivity. The poster represents a selection of critical incidents that can be identified in such complex research processes to deduce possible options of support. This is especially helpful for teachers in higher education. The challenges were deduced by an analysis of courses, which were conducted by teaching staff at Kiel University consulted by the authors. Furthermore, the poster offers a definition of social reflexivity to address the question on how to address the challenges of ambiguity and uncertainty.


Nowotny H, Scott P, Gibbons M. Wissenschaft neu denken. Wissen und Öffentlichkeit in einem Zeitalter der Ungewissheit. 1. Aufl. Frankfurt am Main: Humanities Online; 2004.