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The purpose of the article is to examine the kind of knowledge that testing offers teachers as well as teachers’ perspectives on how national standardized tests can become meaningful for school practice. In the article, an analytical distinction between test knowledge and everyday knowledge is presented, and it is shown how teachers act differently in the complexities of these perspectives. Through the analysis it is pointed out how the various forms are in conflict with each other. At the same time, test knowledge draws on scientific connotations and thus a higher degree of legitimacy than the teachers' everyday knowledge. The article analyzes how teachers' actions between test knowledge and everyday knowledge are connected to their action abilities in educational practice and to their professional self-understandings. Finally, the article ends with perspectives on possibilities to support teachers' everyday knowledge of the students.
Three years after the introduction of a strategic plan for teaching and learning within a Norwegian university faculty, ten stakeholders (e.g. heads of departments, administrative leaders) were interviewed about how they understood and endorsed the strategy, aiming to identify and analyse factors that hindered and/or facilitated its successful adoption.
Findings indicate that the strategy had little impact on teaching and learning activities, but it triggered some pedagogical discussion. The study explores the nature of these discussions and considers whether discussion fostered significant networks which have the potential to enhance teaching and learning. Implications for the implementation of teaching and learning policies are discussed.
Based on data gathered from interviews with primary school students, this article explores how the schoolyard is produced as a social space. Drawing on French philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre, the schoolyard is analyzed as perceived, conceived and lived space. The analysis shows how spatial dimensions interact and form a spatial practice which produces and reproduces the schoolyard as a social space. There are tensions between the three dimensions. However, the overall pattern is that the three dimensions harmonize, and that social relations related to the lived dimension largely effect perceived and conceived space. In the discussion, some theoretical and methodological issues are highlighted.
This article examines how student teachers experience trying to work with aspects of gender and sexuality when doing their practicum periods in local schools, focusing on the relation between the student teachers and their mentors. It is based on written reports from 73 student teachers, which are analyzed through the concepts of norms, norm conflicts and power. The findings indicate that the mentors have quite different opinions about if and how one should work with such issues, and show how this in some cases puts student teachers in a difficult position between the demands of the university and the views and recommendations of their mentor.
This article illuminates the significance of images of femininity and masculinity in everyday school practice. Specifically, we examine role-plays concerning inter-relational dilemmas performed by 15-year-old students as a part of their work regarding the human body in science education. The results showed that the portrayal of girls, homosexuals and others who do not fit the masculine norm were presented as fragmentary in comparison with the characterisations of heterosexual boys. The images were reflections of boys’ actions and feelings. Our purpose is to discuss the possibilities that exist in order to re-symbolise and re-imagine femininity and masculinity.
This article is based on a study of what characterizes a teachers’ professional development in relation to assessment for learning. The study is a qualitative study of nine primary and lower-secondary schoolteachers, and follows how they systematically developed their competence on assessment for learning over a period of two years. The data consists of video-recorded classroom observations and of both oral and written teacher reflections captured throughout the two-year period.
The results show that the teachers’ development went through three distinct phases, from an instrumental approach to a more theoretical and reflective approach to assessment for learning. The article concludes that development of practice takes time and that sustainable development is affected by both actions and theoretical reflections.
The article explores some of the underlying factors leading to a toning down, and in some instances total exclusion, of the concept of teaching in the broader educational discourse, which as a result is alienating teachers as well as educational research with such foci. Therefore, what is argued in this article is that there is a need to re-invent teaching as a liberating force of education. The importance of teaching, we suggest, is that as a concept and practice it opens up for emancipation and change, while learning as it currently appears in educational discourse hinders both. We conclude the article by suggesting two important tasks ahead in order to re-invent teaching as a liberating force in education.
This article explores teacher questions and use of uptake in a Norwegian language art classroom during a literary conversation. This analysis draws on data from the PISA+ video study, and observations from one 9th grade language art lesson. The results show that the teacher asks many questions during this literary conversation, both open and closed. However, going deeper into the conversation and investigating how these questions are asked, the analyses suggested that questions that at first sight appear open are in fact not functioning as open-ended questions.
Evidence-based education and training policies are analyzed as a recurrent cycle of informed judgements, follow-ups, and effect evaluations. To make policy changes more transparent, it is suggested that politicians to an increasing extent draw on researchers in policy design and implementation, that intermediate follow-ups are conducted at predetermined points in time, and that resources for the evaluation of the policy’s effects are committed already when the policy change is decided upon. One conclusion is that inferences about causal relationships between policy and outcomes do not necessarily have to be based on randomized controlled trials; provided that the policy change is implemented such, not all in the target population are affected at the same time. Another conclusion is that further empirical research is needed to obtain more reliable estimates of the positive external effects of education and training policies, i.e., the positive differences between the social and the private returns to these policies.
When discussing children’s leisure-time centers in Sweden, talk about their activities is often couched in terms of meaningfulness. This appeal to «meaningfulness» can be seen as a useful but also a troublesome rhetorical resource. When educational authorities formulate institutional assignments, they must accommodate opposing views and yet meet certain political recommendations. An analytical perspective both informed by Michel Foucault’s writings on ‘governmentality’ as well as Michael Billig’s notion of ideological dilemmas will in this study be harnessed. Principally, this study investigates the ideological tension between democracy and authority, which the governmental authority, ‘The Swedish Schools Inspectorate’, must take care of in its linguistic work. This paper argues that the concept of meaningfulness is used in order to bridge various contradictions surrounding the democracy-authority dilemma.