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  • Jämsvi, Susanne (författare)
  • Unpacking dominat discourses in higher education language policy : A critical study of language policy in Swedish higher education
  • 2019
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The overall purpose of the thesis is to investigate dominant discourses operating in the changing of HE concerning questions of language policy. It has been studied at a national level, analysing reports and government bills, and at an institutional level, analysing university language policy, taking Sweden as an example. The research questions address language ideals and language competences. The analyses reveal that discourse strands of economy/market, inclusion and success operate, often entangled with each other in discursive knots, in construing what and how languages are valued, and what kind of language competences academics and students need. An overall finding suggests that economic reasons and market values have become more and more salient in construing ‘language’, concurrently defining participation and prosperity. The findings show that it is primarily Swedish and English, i.e. as parallel languages, that are construed as language ideals. Swedish, as the national language, is constructed as essential for protective and democratic reasons. Academics are construed as protectors of Swedish scientific terminology and as facilitators of Swedish scientific learning. English, as the international language, is at present constructed as essential, or inevitable, for the interests of a liberalised research and educational market. However, the findings suggest a transformation from the 1970s when English was construed as important for reasons of solidarity and worldwide responsibility. English as an obvious and natural foreign language in Sweden is construed for professional, rational and participatory reasons. Multilingualism, beyond Swedish-English bilingualism, is not valued in HE in the 2000s, nor are minority languages or immigrant languages acknowledged in relation to HE. Instead of recognising the potential linguistic repertoire of multilingual students and academics, the findings indicate that perspectives of deficiency prevail. Transnational students and academics are construed as English proficient, and only as English proficient. English-language students are construed as important for universities. Market values and market forces incorporate success for students, but also for universities through these students. The constructs of language ideals and competences in language policy of Swedish universities are interdiscursively connected to the national level. A parallel Swedish-English language ideal construes Swedish as principle and English as more relevant as educational levels get higher. Ideas of linguistic progress for students and of subject-lecturers as language teachers are prevalent. The Swedish language ideal is to a large extent construed in relation to the plain language movement. Commodifying processes operate in the construals of language by externalising language from people, construing it as an added value, an instrument or a technical matter. Finally, the educational implications of the findings are discussed in relation to academic work.
  • Magnusson, Maria, 1960- (författare)
  • Skylta med kunskap : en studie av hur barn urskiljer grafiska symboler i hem och förskola.
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The topic of this study is to generate knowledge about children’s understandingof graphical symbols. These forms of knowledge are prevalent in contemporarysocieties, for example, in the form of letters, numbers, road signs, maps, andcomputer icons. More specifically, in this thesis is scrutinized in detail howchildren develop symbolic skills and how this can be supported througheducational activities. The theoretical basis of the study is variation theory(Marton & Tsui, 2004). This theory conceptualizes learning in terms ofdifferentiation and integration. Two empirical studies are reported. The first isabout two children, Olle and Lasse, who both are in the age span four to fiveyears. How these children handle graphical symbols in the form of producingsigns that they put up in their homes are followed over time. Hence, thechildren’s own make and use of symbols in their everyday life are studied. In thesecond empirical study, the findings from the first study and theoretical insightfrom variation theory are orchestrated in a preschool center with two teachersand twelve children, to see if these principles can be functional in supportingchildren’s development of symbolic understanding. Both studies are based onvideo data. The findings are that a particular pattern of variation entitled,‘contrast’ is functional in developing such insight, while another pattern ofvariation entitled, ‘induction’ is not. In addition, meta-communication is arguedto be important not only for the researcher to gain access to the child’sunderstanding but also to the child’s development as such. The theoreticaldistinction made by Vygotsky between ‘pseudo concepts’ and ‘concepts (proper)’is used to discuss the findings.
  • Pedersen, Helena, 1968- (författare)
  • The School and the Animal Other : An Ethnography of Human-Animal Relations in Education
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • How human-animal relations are expressed and negotiated has significance for the situation of animals in society and offers insights that contribute to our understanding of how we organize relations between humans as well. This critical ethnographic investigation is positioned at the intersection of education research and the interdisciplinary area of human-animal studies. It uses participant observation, interviews with students and teachers and critical discourse analyses of texts and other artefacts used in the schools investigated to contribute cross-curricular perspectives on how human-animal relations are configured in the daily activities of both vocational (animal caretaker) and university preparatory programs. Building on central ideas from the Frankfurt School, the study proposes a platform for a critical theory of human-animal relations in formal education that embraces species-inclusive versions of critical pedagogy as well as gender and postcolonial analyses. In this vein, the study explores how social processes and practices in and outside the classroom enable certain human as well as animal subject positions while disabling others. A primary question is how a species-discourse intersects with categories formed around conceptions of gender, race/ethnicity, and class. A variety of ascribed animal representations and positions embedded in these processes are identified.The study argues that human-animal relations are characterized by indeterminacy and contradiction. While the school may educate to achieve improved conditions for animals inhuman society, it is at the same time involved in a process of social and cultural reproduction that normalizes the accessibility of animal bodies for human purposes. At the heart of this reproduction process lies boundary work around the animal as “other”. Such conceptualizations at times conflict with the views of animals that students bring with them to school and they therefore receive guidance about the “appropriate” position of animals in society; guidance that at the same time allows students to keep intact a sense of self as caring and moral actors toward animals. The school has a repertoire of concrete strategies for achieving this, and the effects of these strategies are identified as key components in a hidden curriculum of human-animal relations. The analyses show that these effects constitute a shared frame of reference of commonsense knowledge about animals in which contradictions embedded in human-animal relations can be comfortably accommodated. In addition, analytical tools borrowed from postcolonial theory are proposed that contribute to understanding the operations of hegemonic discourses of human-animal relations in the classroom as well as the effects generated by resistance to these discourses.
  • Henry, Alastair, 1963- (författare)
  • L3 Motivation
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The purpose of this thesis was to study secondary school students' motivation to learn a second foreign language in addition to English. In addition to the empirical investigation of L3 motivation over a program of study and the testing of the widely-held assumption that L2 English impacts negatively on L3 motivation, the aim was also to contribute to the conceptual development of self-based motivation theory by examining the evolution and development of language-speaking/using selves, and by addressing the issue of interference between different self-guides.  In Studies I and II the L3 motivational trajectories of two samples of secondary school students (n=532, n=169) were mapped across grades 4 – 6 (Study I) and grades 6 – 9 (Study II), with a particular focus on differences in the trajectories of girls' and boys' ideal language-speaking/using selves. The results of Studies I and II revealed a pattern where initial gender differences, although remaining stable after a year of learning, thereafter follow different developmental paths. While boys' ideal L3 selves declined by the end of grade 9, girls' ideal L3 selves became stronger. Although a similar pattern was found for L2 English selves, the gender gap here was not as marked.  In Study III the hypothesis that, as a result of negative cross-referencing between ideal L2 and ideal L3 selves, L2 English would have a negative effect on L3 motivation was tested in a sample of 9th grade students (n= 101). Analysis of the data indicates that students are aware of the ideal L2 English self in L3 learning situations and support was found for the hypothesised negative effect on L3 motivation, with the impact being stronger among boys. In Study IV the hypothesised processes of negative cross-referencing were examined in a series of in-depth interviews with four participants selected using a maximum variation sampling strategy. Analysis of the data revealed that when cross-referencing takes place, some students seem to invoke counteracting resources. In the discussion of the findings it is suggested that, rather than interference, competition may provide a conceptually more coherent descriptor of the processes of cognition that take place in the working self-concept when more than one possible language self is active. The implications of the findings for theoretical development are discussed in relation to both qualitative applications of the L2 Motivational Self System (Dörnyei, 2005), and the proposed ID component in the Dynamic Model of Multilingualism (Herdina & Jessner, 2002). Finally, the educational implications of the findings are discussed and a series of proposals for classroom interventions are put forward
  • Abraham, Getahun Yacob (författare)
  • Education for Democracy? : Life Orientation: Lessons on Leadeship Qualities and Voting in South African Comprehensive Schools
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This study takes as its starting point how teachers understand, interpret and teach social development aspects of Life Orientation in South African comprehensive schools. The specific focus is on lessons on leadership qualities and voting for third grade learners in four schools, each dominated by either Black, Coloured, White or mixed groups of learners. Field work with an ethnographic approach and a qualitative strategy was used to gain access to empirical data. Policy and curriculum documents, guidelines and textbooks were used. Classroom observations in four classes and interviews with 14 third grade teachers were conducted. Theoretical concepts of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction are applied. Ulf P Lundgren’s Frame Factor Theory is used to study school organization. Basil Bernstein’s Pedagogical Devices are considered when examining the different levels of pedagogical activities. To be a teacher in South Africa one needs to attend at least two years of teacher education after completing high school. Teachers in the classes studied underwent their teacher education during apartheid years. Due to limited in-service training, they sometimes experience problems of understanding and interpreting the learning area, which they usually tackle by consulting documents, colleagues or school authorities. The learners’ understanding varied based on their family background and type of school they attended. There were enormous differences in material, financial and organisational resources between classes and schools. The resources for teaching leadership qualities and voting were not, however, different between the classes. The lessons were teacher dominated and direct transmission was used as a method. The way teachers facilitated the lesson on leadership qualities and voting varied but all showed some democratic shortcomings. Apart from answering questions, learners were neither invited nor encouraged to participate to further their understanding of the theme. Limited aspects of leadership qualities were discussed, individual leaders’ roles were emphasised and the teachers picked candidates for class leaders in three of the classes. It was also evident that the class environments were not suitable for critical or creative thinking and democratic upbringing. The schools reproduced norms, values, languages and cultures of the different groups. Officially, teachers emphasised the common national South African identity. This emphasis on national identity could disguise the injustice some groups experience in society.
  • Alatalo, Tarja (författare)
  • Skicklig läs- och skrivundervisning i åk 1-3 : Om lärares möjligheter och hinder
  • 2011
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This study focuses on teachers’ opportunities and obstacles to perform skillful reading and writing instruction. It’s about the ability to accurately identify where students are in their reading and writing process and to help them develop good reading skills. It is also about the ability to recognize signs of difficulties that students may have in their written language development and to know what efforts are needed to help them advance their reading and writing skills. The research is based on teachers’ own statements and survey responses on the external conditions for teaching and on their approach, attitudes and knowledge in reading and writing. The empirical material consists of interviews, surveys and test data. The interview study was conducted with eight teachers. The questionnaire was answered by 249 teachers, while the knowledge test was conducted of 269 teachers and 31 special education teachers. Many of the teachers in this study have lack knowledge in the structure of language and common Swedish spelling rules. Furthermore, it appears that a large part of them are unaccustomed to explaining, in detail, students’ reading development and find it difficult to systematically describe the aspects of daily literacy instruction. The overall picture is that many teachers teach without having tools to reflect on how their education really affects students’ reading and writing. These shortcomings make it difficult to conduct effective literacy instruction. Once students have learned to decode or if they have reading difficulties, many teachers seem to one-sidedly focus on getting students to read more. The consequence could be that those who would need to practice more on the technical basic of reading or comprehension strategies are left without support. Lack of variety and individuality in fluency and comprehension training can challenge the students’ reading and writing development. The teachers in the study, who have the old junior school teacher and elementary teacher education, have the highest amount of knowledge of reading and writing (the test). Good education can provide student teachers with professional skills that they may develop further in their careers. Knowledge of the meaning of phonological and phonemic awareness as well as knowledge of how to count phonemes seem to be important for knowledge of reading and writing (the test). Knowledge of basic reading processes can be obtained by systematic and structured work with students’ linguistic development, and through continuous dialogues with experienced colleagues on how and why questions. This is one important way to work also in teacher training. When essential professional skills are established in the teacher education, in practice students will obtain the school’s learning goals.
  • Asp, Margareta, 1958- (författare)
  • Vila och lärande om vila. En studie på livsvärldsfenomenologisk grund
  • 2002
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Avhandlingsarbetets syfte var att utifrån människors levda erfarenheter av vila, utveckla en tentativ teori om vila och om lärande avseende vila. Den kunskapen har utgjort grund för att beskriva hur förutsättningar för lärande avseende vila kan skapas. En modell för lärande avseede vila har utvecklats, i vilken en ömsesidighet mellan innehåll, lärande och förutsättningar för lärande beaktas. Studien genomfördes med en livsvärldsfenomenologisk ansats och med intervju som datainsamlingsmetod. Analysen genomfördes enligt en beskivande fenomenlogisk metodologi, i syfte att beskriva fenomenets generella struktur En generell struktur av fenomenet vila, implicerar en dualitet mellan vila och icke-vila. Essensen i vila utgörs av en harmoni i vilja, känsla och handling Vilan gestaltas i och med att en inre verklighet avseende behov och längtan överensstämmer med den yttre verklighetens beskaffenhet. Till vilans essens relateras innebördselementen: vilorytm i livet, stämningar av skönhet och trevnad, bejakad utan bedömning, frihet från bekymmer och tvång, samvaro med gemensamt intresse, att dröja, lustfylld stimulans och lustfylld utmaning. Essensen i icke- vila är disharmoni i vilja, känsla och handling. Upplevelsen av disharmoni tär på krafterna och blir allt påtagligare ju längre icke-vilan pågår. Att lära sig vila innebär att bli medveten om sitt behov av att ha en livsrytm som ger utrymme för vila, att tillåta sig att leva i en sådan rytm och att finna eller skapa källor där kraft kan hämtas. Modellen för lärande avseende vila består av tre dimensioner: lärande om vila, lärande i vila och lärande genom vila. Lärande om vila kan relateras till idëer om livsvärld, levd kropp, tid och rum, cirkularitet och intentionalitet. Lärande genom vila kan relateras till hälsa och lärande i vila kan relateras till etiska och estetiska aspekter.  
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