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Federica Raia

Associate Professor
Federica Raia
Federica Raia
Federica Raia
Associate Professor


• Ph.D., Geophysics and Volcanology, University Naples ‘Federico II’, Naples, Italy, 1997
• Laurea (B.Sc./M.Sc.) in Geological Sciences, University of Naples ‘Federico II’ Naples, Italy, 1991

Teaching & Research Interests

My work focuses on studying professional practices of care in Medical and Education contexts.

Professionals, albeit in the specificity of each situation and community, confront the complex and important question of how to care for the Other in need to develop a new and meaningful sense of being in the world.

I situate my work at the crossroads of learning, sciences & technology, and the concept of personhood. It is informed by complexity science and continental philosophy and in particular,  Martin Heidegger’s and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical work on fundamental ontology and phenomenology of the lived experience always embedded in the world we inhabit, always in interaction with equipment, tools and other persons.

I have developed a conceptual framework called Relational Ontology. Within this framework, I focus on the relational aspect of encountering the Other in asymmetrical power and knowledge distribution situations as it is in the case in teacher/student and doctor/patient encounters. As discussed in my work, in the professional practices of both educators and healthcare practitioners the ethical imperative to care is part of the social positioning a) manifested in the world inhabited by the  professionals in caring for the Other and b) toward oneself, taking a stand on one’s own path of becoming this kind of practitioner.

I study practices at the interactional level, utilizing an ethnomethodologically informed audio-video analysis method of multimodal analysis to make visible:

  • what it means to care for the Other
  • what it means to “notice” in practice
  • what it means to be and become a practitioner in high-tech medicine multiactivity practice of teaching/learning and patient care
  • the multimodality of learning and practicing as a process of becoming and,

With the advent of COVID-19,  I am studying the influence that telemedicine is having in creating new ways of caring-for-the-Other and intra professional communication (among the various health professionals) and with patients and their families


  • Medical Education Research
  • Practices-Based studies and Practice Theory
  • Multimodal video analysis
  • Microethnography 

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Other Affiliations:

Select Publications

Raia, F., & Smith, M. S. (2020). Practitioners’ Noticing and Know-How in Multi-Activity Practice of Patient Care And Teaching and Learning. Cognition and Instruction, 0(0), 1–29. View here: eScholarship

Raia F. (2020) The temporality of becoming: care as an activity to support the being and becoming of the other  Mind, Culture, and Activity, 18 Apr 2020 . View here: eScholarship

Raia F. (2018)  Identity, tools and existential spaces Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 19, 74–95. View here: eScholarship

Raia, F. and Deng, M. C. (2015). Relational Medicine: personalizing modern healthcare – the practice of high-tech medicine as a RelationalActImperial College Press/World Scientific Publishing.

Raia, F. (2012), Emergence of a Learning Community: a Transforming experience at the boundaries. Cultural Studies of Science Education. DOI 10.1007/s11422-012-9434-y

Raia, F. (2012), Mechanisms, causality, and explanations in complex geodynamic systems, in Kastens, K.A., and Manduca, C.A., eds., Earth and Mind II: A Synthesis of Research on Thinking and Learning in the Geosciences: Geological Society of America Special Paper 486, doi:10.1130/2012.2486(20).

Raia, F. & Deng, C. M., (2011). Playful and mindful interactions in the recursive adaptations of the zone of proximal development: a critical complexity science approach. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 6(4), 903-914.

Raia, F.  Causality in Complex Dynamic Systems: A Challenge in Earth Systems Science Education. Journal of Geoscience Education – 56, 81-94, 2008.