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Teaching judging and judging teaching in teacher education.

Birthe Lund & Lars Lindhart,

Research topicThe concept of professional judgment and how to develop this within teacher education is the core focus in this paper. The aim of teacher education in Denmark is to qualify the students for a specific profession as teachers in the Folkeskole (the primary and lower secondary school). The teacher education is often criticized by students and politicians that theory and professional practice are not linked successfully  and, consequently, the teacher education is often changed, recently brought about by competence-based curricula.It is therefore relevant to gain new knowledge about how teacher education may influence the professional judgment and influence the concrete practice. Since educating professional judgment is value-laden, and there are disagreements about the role of the school and the understanding of the ideal teacher, values and moral issues deserves serious attention. However the change in teacher education has brought about competence-based curricula for separate subjects to be evaluated, and it is to be discussed how this will affect the foundation for professional judgments. Is the sum of these partial competences adequate?Theoretical and methodology frameworkThe actual study is based on international research in teacher education, learning theories , didaktik, educational philosophy as well as a Ph.d. study (Lindhart 2007), a qualitative study of three student teachers’ education and subsequent 1½ year of practice as teachers in primary and lower secondary school.

(Expected) conclusions/findings

According to this Ph.d. study the teacher students’ values are governing how they participate in the teacher education programme, choose assignment groups and interpret the content of the specific courses and of the teacher education programme as such. Accordingly, the values are framing the students’ overall acquired learning and their subsequent actions in practice. Consequently, it is of importance that values are tematised in the teacher education programme.

Given that the teacher’s ability to assess a situation is crucial for how she acts, how she perceives children, frames the situation and defines the problem, interprets the role of the teacher, and consequently her appearance as a teacher, judgement is a prerequisite for teacher competence.


Changes in teaching habits reported by folk high school teachers after having the opportunity to watch themselves teach on video

Eva-Marie Harlin

The study I will present examines changes in teaching habits reported by folk high school teachers after having the opportunity to watch themselves teach on video. It is a longitudinal study in which 43 student teachers participated in the first step during their teacher education. When the student teachers saw themselves teaching, they were surprised by certain habits and wrote that they wanted to change them. Two years later, eight of these teachers video once again recorded their teaching. Data was collected by qualitative interviews held on each teacher’s workplace, the folk high school where they were employed already during their teacher education. The interpretation and analyse are based on pragmatic philosophy and Mead’s concepts “I” and “me”. The idea is that when the teachers watch the video from their own classroom they have the possibility to see their “I” acting. Without this tool it is problematic to make this distance to yourself. The teachers do self-reflections and self-reports based on what they see on the film. In the interviews, the teachers interpret their “I” and thereby talk about their “me”. It becomes clear that the majority of the teachers in different ways have changed their habits. It is not only a question of new habits but also of the refinement of previous habits. Four categories of changed habits are presented; Shift in the opportunity to speak in favour of the participants; Reduced service orientation; Reduced control and Building relationships.

  • Paper
  • Presentation


How and Why Teachers Try to Make Students Think

Jonna Lappalainen

In my research project I examine how university teachers make students think. What kind of thinking is rewarded and practiced in higher education? Is it a kind of thinking that will be useful for the student in a future profession or is it a way of thinking that primarily is useful in academia? Might some forms of thinking not be recognized or accepted?I study the teachers’ practical knowledge: how individual academics actually proceed in their teaching to stimulate and activate students’ thinking. Their practical knowledge I investigate through a certain form of writing courses that has been developed at the Center for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörn University. In these courses the participants reflect, individually and in groups, and with help of theoretical literature, on specific concrete professional dilemmas related to the students’ thinking.Parallel to these courses I study different philosophical views of what thinking is (e.g. Plato and Hegel), and various philosophical critical analysis of the traditional views of thinking (e.g. Hannah Arendt and John Dewey). This conceptual investigation meets the empirical material both as course literature in the writing courses and as tools in my analysis of the documentation from these courses. The analysis will hopefully display what understanding and what visions of thinking thus manifest themselves in their practical knowledge.By taking departure in the individual teacher’s practice (rather than to assume general formulations of effectiveness and results) and at the same time set high philosophical and pedagogical requirements of the written formulations of their practical knowledge, these writing courses can generate deep insights about the own practical knowledge and the prejudice that might affect the views on and the work with students’ thinking skills.The expected result of my project is to develop a deeper understanding of how university teachers actually work with thinking, and a deeper understanding of the ideas that characterize what we understand with thinking today.


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