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  • Edstrand, Emma, 1981- (författare)
  • Learning to reason in environmental education: Digital tools, access points to knowledge and science literacy
  • 2017
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Digital technologies and environmental education represent two rather new areas in school curricula. The background of the present research is an interest at the inter-section between how students learn about environmental issues (e.g., climate change) and the role digital technologies may play in such contexts. Thus, the aim is to investigate tool-mediated activities in environmental science education. The digital tools that are used in the instruction in this research are a virtual laboratory and a carbon footprint calculator. The study is guided by the questions of how digital tools co-determine activities and students’ reasoning about scientific knowledge and environmental topics, as well as what implications the use of such tools have for the development of science literacy. Analytically, this is studied within a sociocultural perspective on learning and by relating it to Dewey’s view of learning through inquiry. The empirical material consists of questionnaires and video data. The thesis consists of four studies. Study 1 builds on the analysis of questionnaire data from a corpus of almost 500 students’ written pre- and post-test answers to a problem-solving question in which they are required to design an experiment before and after working with a virtual lab. The second set of data comprises video recordings of upper secondary school students’ work with the two virtual tools. The results are presented in Studies 2 and 3. In addition, and in relation to the interest in science literacy more generally, Study 4 focuses on students’ work with an assignment requiring them to evaluate research reported in two scientific article abstracts on climate change. On a general level, the findings show that digital tools incorporate conceptual distinctions and operations that provide “shortcuts” for the students’ reasoning by providing access points to complex knowledge about the environment. This means that the students are able to engage in sophisticated discussions about environmental issues linked to human-driven climate change without requiring too much specific prior knowledge. However, the results also point to dilemmas connected to the use of such sophisticated tools. That is, for students to make meaning in ways that are relevant to understanding scientific argumentation, some of the processes and conceptual premises need to be unpacked by a competent partner (e.g., a teacher). Through engaging in such tool-mediated activities, students develop new cognitive habits, that is, new ways of reasoning which are made possible through the support of the tools. Thus, in sum, the present empirical studies demonstrate that digital tools have the potential to reconfigure learning activities that support students’ development of science literacy in environmental science education. At the same time, the analyses show that the tools are abstract and far from self-instructive. They index complex forms of knowledge that are not always transparent to the users. Thus, to reach curricular goals, the use of such tools in environmental science instruction presupposes guidance and support by teachers.
  • Eriksson, Ann-Marie, 1964- (författare)
  • Formulating knowledge: Engaging with issues of sustainable development through academic writing in engineering education
  • 2014
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Given that knowledge in society is increasingly shaped by textuality and dependent on texts, higher education holds a special responsibility for introducing and guiding students into text practices contingent on disciplinary fields and their knowledge traditions. On a general level, this doctoral thesis investigates how participation in such text practices at university functions as a means for engaging students with knowledge that is new to them. Two aims have been pursued across three empirical studies in the setting of supervision of an academic writing assignment in engineering education. First, the thesis aims at illuminating challenges involved as students and teachers are engaging with knowledge through text practices. Second, the thesis aims at making visible what communicative work such challenges entail.The empirical material comprises video recorded supervision sessions where sequential drafts of an academic writing assignment on issues of sustainable development are being discussed. Given the sociocultural and dialogical perspective this thesis is grounded in, text production is understood as a mediating activity and a process of gradual appropriation of disciplinary practices. Methodologically, such premises imply a detailed investigation of text production as practical work, empirically analysed as interactional, communicative processes and from the participants’ perspective.The studies have provided insights into three salient challenges in this type of text production. Study 1 addresses the problem of how supervisionprovides a site for taking initial steps into a disciplinary field and its knowledge traditions. Study 2 focuses on referencing as a contextualizing and recontextualizing practice where knowledge of a field needs to be transformed for new purposes. Study 3 addresses challenges involved in grounding conclusions in alignment with a particular knowledge field. The analyses show that formulating knowledge is a demanding process for both students and teachers. Writing a report on issues of sustainable development exemplify advanced practices that do not lend themselves to easy explanations and straightforward instruction. Dealing with specific matters about specific issues, negotiating alternative ways of formulating text and testing alternative solutions to specific textual problems seem to have the potential of guiding students intodialogue with a field. Based on the conclusion that this type of orientation seems to require time and recurrent encounters where gradually more concrete aspects of epistemic practices can be unfolded and experienced, it is argued that an orientation of this kind may be difficult to take on one’s own - especially for someone in the role of astudent.
  • Fauville, Geraldine (författare)
  • Digital technologies as support for learning about the marine environment: Steps toward ocean literacy Digital technologies and ocean literacy
  • 2017
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Over the last century the ocean has been negatively impacted by human activities. In order to continue benefitting from marine services and goods, and the qualities afforded to human life through the ocean, citizens need to be informed about their relationship to the ocean and their own impact on it, that is they need to be ocean literate. Marine education is challenging, as most of the ocean is invisible to the human eye and marine processes are spread over large temporal and spatial scales. Digital technologies have the potential to support learning about the ocean as, virtually, they can take learners into the depths of the ocean and help them visualise complex interactions between different factors over time and space. This thesis consists of four studies scrutinising the role of different digital technologies for learning about marine environmental issues with an emphasis on communicative aspects, with two of the studies having a specific focus on ocean literacy. Study I is a literature review of the use of digital technologies in environmental education. Study II investigates the use of a marine research institute’s Facebook page aimed at supporting communication and learning about marine topics. Study III addresses the use of a carbon footprint calculator as an opportunity for students to reason about their greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, Study IV analyses the questions asked by students on an online platform where they engage in an asynchronous discussion with a scientist around the issues of ocean acidification. The four studies show how the use of digital technologies in environmental education can make the invisible visible, allowing engagement with and manipulation of the abstract features of the ocean. As demonstrated in my studies and as is evident from previous research in the multidisciplinary field of environmental science, digital technologies offer new means to make sense of and engage with global environmental issues. These technologies provide a field of action where users can experiment, make mistakes, get feedback and try again in ways that are different from paper-based learning activities. The findings from Studies II, III and IV also illustrate the challenges associated with these technologies, and it becomes obvious that the technical features of a tool do not determine the kind of interactions that will evolve from its use. The contexts in which a tool is used, and what the features mean to the users in situ, are key, and demonstrate the importance of studying not only the outcome of a learning practice but also the ongoing interaction between the users and the tool in a specific context. In conclusion, this thesis offers an overview of the range of impacts that digital technologies can have on the development of ocean literacy, as well as illustrating how technologies open up new ways of learning about marine environmental issues both inside and outside of school. It also provides an account of why ocean literacy is such an important skill for 21st-century citizens living in a rapidly changing world with significant challenges to the environment and our own habitats.
  • Fransson, Dan, 1980- (författare)
  • Game demands and fatigue profiles in elite football – an individual approach -Implications for training and recovery strategies
  • 2019
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The physical activities performed during a football game are of intermittent prolonged character, including explosive actions and running at different speeds. The prolonged intermittent activities are conjoined with periods where physical intensity is markedly increased. The intense periods and prolonged activities affect the physiological and metabolic systems which provoke fatigue both temporarily throughout the game as well as towards the end of a game. Therefore, physical training in football should aim to reach physiological and metabolic adaptations to be able to resist fatigue in order to perform optimally throughout the game. Furthermore, post-game recovery and restoration of performance seems to be a slow process. Physical game demands, training responses and recovery can vary largely between players and needs to be studied with individual emphasis. The aim of the thesis is to improve the understanding of physical game demands, fatigue profiles in male elite football players with an emphasis on individual differences and implications for fitness training strategies. Running distance and in-game fatigue profiles were investigated through an analysis of game activity data from top-class football players (n = 473). Post-game fatigue and recovery profiles were examined using maximum voluntary contraction in various muscle groups after a simulated football model in competitive players (n = 12). Inter-individual relations between physical game demands and physical response in different small-sided game formats were investigated with global positioning system techniques on professional players (n = 45). Finally, muscular adaptations and physical performance responses of two different training protocols (four weeks of small-sided games or speed endurance training) were examined by means of pre- and post-intervention muscle biopsies and performance tests on 39 competitive football players. The results demonstrated that all playing positions indicate temporary fatigue after intense periods during a football game. However, after shorter intense periods central defenders were the only position that did not show a decline in running performance. A large inter-player variation in running performance between and within playing positions was found. Post-game fatigue showed large inter-player differences between various muscle groups and between players. Muscle performance in all investigated groups had recovered within 24 hours post-game except trunk-muscles, which was back to baseline values within 48 hours post-game. The physical response in small-sided game formats differed from game demands on an individual level. High intensity training was more potent in up-regulating muscle oxidative capacity and physical performance compared to small-sided games. In conclusion, individual differences in game demands and fatigue profiles are large and need to be considered when planning training. Small-sided games seem not to be the most appropriate training method to meet the individual game demands of all individual players. Thus, in order to increase exercise performance and associated physiological adaptations, additional high-intensity training should be considered for some individual football players.
  • Fridlund, Lena (författare)
  • Interkulturell undervisning – ett pedagogiskt dilemma. Talet om undervisning i svenska som andraspråk och i förberedelseklasser
  • 2011
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Abstract Title: Intercultural education – A Pedagogical dilemma. Professional talk about the teaching of Swedish as a second language and in preparatory classes. Language: Swedish with an English summary Keywords: second language learning, bilingual education, special education, inclusion, exclusion, social constructionism, difference dilemma. ISBN: 978-91-7346-707-0 A central point of departure in this thesis is to investigate how schools deal with the difficult and complex task of ‘a school for all’ while some students are being taught in Swedish as a second language (SSL) and in preparatory classes. How teachers and principals justify and describe a separate teaching of SSL for some students is examined through a theoretical perspective of Berger and Luckmann’s social constructionism and is complemented with theories that concern profession, interaction, inclusion and exclusion. The study was conducted at a primary school and used ethnographic research and document analysis. The fieldwork focused on the ‘professional talk about’ a separate teaching of SSL and in preparatory classes and how such discourses are formulated by teachers and school principals. The empirical material was collected during a two-year-period, and includes analysis of interviews, observations and documents. For analytical purposes, terms such as Fulcher’s ‘inclusive and divisive discourse’ and Minow’s ‘difference dilemma’ were used. The document analysis shows that on a general level multicultural and multilingual skills are emphasized as assets while the documents otherwise reflect that diversity is considered as a problem implying multicultural and multilingual skills to be dealt with within a divisive discourse. The teaching of SSL as well as in preparatory classes is conducted ‘by the side of’ or separate from other school activities. If discourses could also be adopted to include the spatial, apart from what is said and written, then the premises could be seen as an expression of a divisive discourse. All professionals, regardless of mission in the educational activities, are doing their best in order to legitimize the separation of second language education. The reasons why some students are taught in separate groups and classes are formulated in terms of their different behavior, special needs of peace and quiet, the need for basic education, and upbringing. The results indicate that students are ‘formed’ in order to fit within a separate educational activity. With the exception of the SSL teachers, the other participants in the study express a sense of the ‘difference dilemma’ and harbor an ambivalent attitude towards this kind of separation. What therefore appears as a paradox is that SSL teachers, whose mission is to contribute to and facilitate integration with the help of second language education do not justify the SSL activities primarily in terms of language development. Instead it seems to be the case that it is the professionals in SSL who emphasize that the students are different from others and therefore need something else. Ideas and perceptions of students depend on the context and the institutional based activities, where ‘talk about’ a separate education is expressed. It is in the regulatory texts, curricula and syllabi that the conditions for institutional workings are created, which leads to specific discourses and ‘talk about’ pupils’ different abilities and needs.
  • Gerrbo, Ingemar (författare)
  • Idén om en skola för alla och specialpedagogisk organisering i praktiken
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Based on the assumption that inclusive schools, sometimes put in terms of ‘schools for all’ – i.e. the quest to create and maintain everyone’s learning, participation and social development in school – is a somewhat challenging task to accomplish, this thesis turned to study the work done and efforts made in this field in some mainstream Swedish school settings. In this endeavor, situations involving students at risk of school failure formed a specific focus. The aim of the study was to identify and analyse what, in school, calls for special education and, what is of particular importance in this thesis, the special education measures taken by the teachers to handle such issues; i.e. how special education is being done. Data mainly consisting of special education narratives by classroom teachers and special educators were collected during visits to a total of five mainstream schools units – all inspired and guided by the idea of inclusive schools. In the analysis of the data, narrative tools alongside process theoretical concepts such as sensemaking, mindfulness and tool dropping were used. Since social rather than pure knowledge-related school difficulties appeared to be the main concern for the school units involved, teachers spend a lot of time trying to solve misunderstandings and social tension among their students. Unless dealt with, such situations seemed to jeopardize most of what is supposed to take place in classroom. Creating and maintaining really close mutual relations between the teachers concerned and every specific child involved in any situational school difficulty, appeared to be of utmost importance. By using the tools of dialogue and personal involvement, attentive teachers struggled to make sense of the situations and, above all, tried to comprehend the specific student’s point of view. In addition to this close teaching style, measures in terms of gap reducing, gap bridging and actions taken to widen and develop mutual understanding and acceptance amongst children were employed. Furthermore, teachers tried to prevent social school failures by repeatedly discussing human rights and values in class and, not least, by embracing the uniqueness of every child. Most of the respondents, strongly supported by their principals, viewed such work as a key issue in pursuit of inclusive schools.
  • Gisslevik, Emmalee, 1984- (författare)
  • Education for sustainable food consumption in home and consumer studies Lärande för hållbar matkonsumtion i hem- och konsumentkunskap
  • 2018
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Education as a means to enable sustainable food consumption has gained increasing recognition as a vital means to decrease current burdens upon both natural resources and human health. In response, the Swedish compulsory school subject of home and consumer studies, which positions education about food as core content, has been revised to incorporate in its national syllabus a perspective of sustainable development since 2011. However, because sustainable development remains an ambiguous, contested concept with a range of definitions and interpretations, it is necessary to gain better understanding of what incorporating its perspective can entail in home and consumer studies, particularly regarding the core food-related content knowledge that it teaches. Building upon four papers, this thesis reports research guided by an interpretive and exploratory approach that involved analysing data from syllabuses, observations, recordings of in-class lessons and interviews with practising teachers. The results reveal two ways of understanding what incorporating a perspective of sustainable development can entail in home and consumer studies in Sweden. The first understanding proposes an enriched and unified practice in which the curriculum prioritises embodied forms of knowledge about healthy, ethical and resource-efficient food consumption by allowing a multi-relational, systems thinking approach while focusing a homemade meal practice. By contrast, the second understanding proposes a practice riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions in providing teaching and learning opportunities to attain the intended goals. This ultimately results in fragmented learning opportunities focused more on informed reasoning than on informed actions. Taken together, both understandings pose theoretical, conceptual and practical implications, both for home and consumer studies in particular and in education for sustainable food consumption in general.
  • Godhe, Anna-Lena (författare)
  • Creating and Assessing Multimodal Texts. Negations at the Boundary
  • 2014
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Digital technologies are becoming increasingly common in educational settings. The availability of such tools facilitates the creation of multimodal texts in which several kinds of expression are combined. In this thesis, the activities of creating and assessing multimodal texts in the subject of Swedish at upper secondary school level are analysed in order to illuminate how these activities relate to established practices of creating and assessing texts in educational settings. When the tools that the students work with, as well as the outcome of their activities are altered, the meaning of these altered activities in the educational setting needs to be negotiated. Encounters between new ways of working and educational environments require modification and appropriation of both the technologiesand the educational settings. Literacy and assessment are central concepts in this thesis. Spoken and written words have been central in conventional perceptions of the concept of literacy. However, as the communicational landscape has changed, there is a need to broaden this concept. Likewise, the necessity to broaden the concept of assessment has been discussed. When literacy and assessment are regarded as situated, the settings in which they occur have to be considered, because the concepts both affect and are affected by the environment. The aim of this thesis is to illuminate the relationship between technology, literacy and the educational setting by exploring the activities of creating and assessing multimodal texts. The empirical foundation of the thesis comprises four articles, in which the empirical material has been analysed to answer questions of how the multimodal texts are created and assessed. The empirical material has been collected in an iterative research process in which classroom interactions and interviews with students have been video and audio recorded. The theoretical framework of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) has been utilized in the analysis, focusing on how the components of activity systems affect and constitute each other. Tensions and contradictions in and between the different components, as well as between different activity systems, may lead to transformations. By studying these tensions and contradictions, insights can be gained into what enables and constrains transformations. The analyses show that it is mainly the spoken word that is negotiated and assessed in the multimodal texts. This mirrors conventional conceptions of the kinds of expressions that are regarded as valuable in language education. In the subject of Swedish, there is a hierarchy in the subject culture where the spoken and written words are regarded as primary in meaning making. Other kinds of expressions are largely overlooked when the multimodal texts are assessed. Thereby, the multimodal texts may reinforce the primacy of the written and spoken language in educational settings, instead of contributing to the evaluation and incorporation of different ways of expressing meaning in language classrooms.
  • Göthberg, Martin, 1959- (författare)
  • Interacting – coordinating text understanding in a student theatre production
  • 2019
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The present dissertation explores student actors’ and their teachers’ coordination of text understanding in a theatre production – a two-semester process from page to stage in an upper secondary school in Sweden. With an interest in the collaborative work achieved in and through theatre education the research is realized against a background of the role of arts education and reading of literary texts in the neoliberal educational landscape that favors measurable effects of individual achievements. The overarching aim is to explore how text understanding evolves collaboratively as the participants transform drama text into stage text. This aim is pursued by investigating moment-to-moment contingency of unfolding social interaction in theatre activities grounded in a particular drama text. Analytically, such a focus is pursued by employing sociocultural and dialogical approaches to meaning making, creativity and learning. Data has been generated from ethnographic observation and video- and audio recordings of the participants’ staging of Molière’s The Affected Ladies, including the process from the first reading to the last performance. The unit of analysis applied to the data is tool-mediated activities, encompassing the participants, their interactions and the tools used. Three studies are reported through two articles and a licentiate thesis. The studies complement each other as the analytical work moved from ethnographic orientation into finer-grained scrutiny of talk- and action-in-interaction. The research design allows investigation of the micro-genesis of specific text understanding in relation to the overall transformation of a literary text into stage text, in which complexity of text understanding in artistic practice can be demonstrated. The results illustrate the situated, interactional ways in which the participants progressed from a position as newcomers to the drama text into a position of mastering the stage text. The findings show that anchoring text understanding in experiences in the material world developed the student’s perspectives on the text and expanded their action possibilities. They also show that students’ informal and playful role-playing provided the spaces necessary for appropriation of cultural and social interactional means that the students later re-used in rehearsal of scripted dialogue and in the stage text. One of the productive features was the dynamic, laminated interaction, including hybrid role-taking, in which substantial student agency surfaced. Such interaction supported collaborative realizations of meaning potentials in the situated habituation of characters’ manners. Stretched-out over the production period, the micro transitions of text understanding formed salient examples of emergent learning across formal and informal situations. There seems to be good arguments for doing more things with literary texts than ‘just’ reading them, in order to explore their inherent dynamics as layers of cultural meaning. To reduce learning arrangements to what seems efficient to reach measurable goals for the individual appears ill-judged considering the educational potentials of collaborative, creative, explorative and transgressive forms of learning illustrated in the present research.
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