Signature Academic Contributions                                                                                                   代表性學術貢獻


Seeing by Proxy: Specifying Professional Vision

co-authored with A. P. Carlin and J. B. V. Marques

In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 30: 1005332 (2021)

Professional vision has become a key concept for the study of expertise. This paper celebrates the sophistication of Charles Goodwin’s (1994) formulation of the concept by specifying a form of professional vision, rather than relying on its coinage to do the work of analysis. Video of a public astronomy education session in a Portuguese observatory shows how the astronomer instructs a young boy to recognize sunspots against the background of the Sun. The astronomer is unable to see what the visitor sees; yet he can explain the visitor’s observation, which he does through a question and answer sequence. We call this practice of making astronomical sense of observations “seeing by proxy”. Seeing by proxy specifies professional vision as a cultural method of instruction. It particularizes professional vision as a praxeological not a conceptual matter.

Also read:

Carlin, A. P.; Marques, J. & Moutinho, R. (2021). COVID-19 precautions for public astronomy education sessions. Physics Education, 56(5): 055036 (online first). DOI: 10.1088/1361-6552/ac152a

Sheehan, L. (2022). Fixing change – An ethnographic study of child protection practice. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University. DOI:

Marques, J. B. V.; Carlin, A. P. & Moutinho, R. (2020) Seeing by proxy: a detailed analysis of an education interaction at the telescope. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís., 42: e20190354 (online first). DOI: 10.1590/1806-9126-rbef-2019-0354

Marques, J. B. V.; Carlin, A. P.; Gomes, M. & Moutinho, R. (2021). Periodicity and change: Talking about time inside the planetarium dome. Science Education, 105(6): 1252-1284. DOI: