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Vittorino da Feltre: Humanistic pedagogy in Italy during the early renaissance
Vittorino da Feltre (1378‑1447) can be regarded as a pioneer of humanistic education and pedagogy. The article describes da Feltre's pedagogic activities as the school master of La Giocosa, owned by marquis Gonzaga in Mantua, Italy. Some of the economic, political, and social preconditions for humanistic pedagogy during the first decades of the 15th century are also discussed. Finally, the article places da Feltre's educational ideas and practices in the academic and cultural context of the early Renaissance in Italy.
Assessment and grading are largely researched dimensions of teacher profession. There are though some aspects of grading that have not yet been studied to any great extent. How teachers inform their students of grades awarded can be considered as one of those aspects. This study is inspired by a phenomenological hermeneutical perspective and provides analysis of video recorded material of a grade conference taken from Swedish upper-secondary school. The aim of the study is to shed light on how the grades are communicated and understood. The results show that grades have a wider meaning for the teacher and the student than pure assessment of student’s knowledge. Grades stand, for instance, for maintaining a good relationship between the teacher and the student.
In this article we present and discuss a method used during 2000 by Myndigheten för skolutveckling [the Swedish National Agency of Education] called “Dialogue for School Improvement”. Dialogues were initiated by the Agency to be implemented between representatives from the Agency and from the municipalities. We analyse three kinds of data: official documents from the Agency; the municipalities’ internal evaluations: interim reports and final reports and finally interviews with people involved in the dialogues. We had three questions in mind:
(i) Why use dialogue as a way to handle school improvement?
(ii) How can a dialogue be described?
(i) How can the dialogue be understood in terms of a policy instrument and as a disciplinary practice?
Briefly summarised, the dialogue method can be described as a complex policy instrument with disciplinary techniques concentrating on agreement, negotiation and networking while also entailing techniques related to power and money.
The folk high-school is a unique Nordic contribution to global education. The purpose of this study is to explore antecedents of Norwegian folk high-school teachers’ fostering of student effort. We tested a structural model based on social exchange theory by using cross-sectional data (questionnaire). The study provides strong support for the importance of relational trust for social exchange and, indirectly, for teachers’ fostering of effort involved in lifelong learning. Goal-oriented leadership – emphasised by the new forms of educational management – seems to play a minor role for teachers’ fostering of effort in the folk high-school context.
“What if we make the wrong choice?” The two-tier study structure and students’ rationales for educational decision-making
As a corollary of the Bologna process, the two-tiered study structure introduced increased freedom of choice for enrolled and prospective university students. This article investigates how Danish university students, within the two-tier system, perform the choices determining their educational and professional futures and focuses on rationales for educational decision-making. The data sample was generated through a series of focus group interviews with undergraduate students. Two predominant rationales were found: “the optimisation of opportunities” and the “quest for closure, security, and employability” rationales. Paradoxically, the two rationales do not exclude each other but co-exist in student contributions to the group talks.
Changes in the education in pre-school teacher’s tasks and roles and preschools content requires learning the will and ability to change in the kindergarten sector. Today's and tomorrow’s pre-primary teachers need change and development expertise. It may seem as if this has been too little emphasized both in the programs undertaken and in practice field. The article discusses what action research can contribute to presenting a study that has been associated with the practice in pre-primary teacher education. The result from the project shows us the tasks that the students in their practices can promote aspects of change and development competence of both the students and in the relevant authority funding.