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LEARNING “THEORY AND METHODOLOGY OF SCIENCE” IN PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION – A CASE STUDY
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS). Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science. (CLKS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9722-2763
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science. (CLKS)
2017 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Learning “Theory and Methodology of Science” in Professional Education – A Case Study

Anniqa Lagergren, Kristina Holmberg

Halmstad University (SWEDEN)

Abstract

The aim of the project is to study students’ learning in a transformed course in Theory and Methodology of Science (TMS), a compulsory course in all teacher education programs in Sweden.

The students perceive the course TMS as difficult and abstract. At the same time it offers an important foundation for their continued education such as their final thesis and other research-related courses. Hereby it’s important for students to successfully pass, not only for the course itself, but also for subsequent courses. In a wider perspective, it is also sigificant for the development of the educational field, and to the students’ future workplaces. Our students should be able to understand and apply research for years to come. Heavy courses can also be problematic for economic reasons. Since few students are passing, they do not generate as much money as courses that many students pass. There are also examples where teachers are asked by the management to lower the requirements to increase the pass rate.

As teachers we have put a lot of effort into the course to support and help students learning. Despite this, only 35% passed the exam in spring 2016, which gave rise to the learning experiment we designed and studied this fall. The pedagogical idea is based on a problem-oriented learning, participatory learning and self-organized learning. This means that the students themselves are largely responsible for the organization of their learning. Teachers work with lectures and seminars, as well as coaching and scaffolding. The course is designed as an authentic empirical research project where both quantitative and qualitative data is used as a starting point. Students work in teams. They organize their work in the project by them selves and write a common research rapport. Through the reformed course, learning is combined with a great student responsibility, where students meaning making, socialization and co-learning are central. Hence, the most important research group work takes place is the project-office-rooms where the students’ main course work is performed. The organization of the course involves that students themselves designates project managers and that they take responsibility for their joint work, week by week. They can also request extra support from the teachers, if necessary.

The result of the study shows that 86% of the students received a passing grade. The aspects that matter most to the success are: 1) common spaces, the project office, which creates opportunities to exchange knowledge and experience IRL, 2) problem-oriented learning, participatory learning and self-organized learning, increasing participation and motivation, 3) Collective responsibility for knowledge formation during the project period, and 4) Authentic approach of the course, which by its design as closely as possible should simulate real research projects.

Keywords: professional education, teacher education, course design, participatory learning, problem-oriented learning, self-organized learning, democracy

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
professional education, teacher education, course design, participatory learning, problemoriented learning, self-organized learning, democracy.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-34074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-34074DiVA: diva2:1108106
Conference
Proceedings of INTED2017 Conference 6th-8th March 2017, Valencia, Spain
Available from: 2017-06-12 Created: 2017-06-12 Last updated: 2017-06-12

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