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Lärares arbete och kunskapsbildning: Utmaningar och inviter i den vardagliga praktiken
Linköping University, Department of Educational Science (IUV). Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to enlarge knowledge concerning teachers´ knowledge creation in their everyday practices. Of central importance are questions concerned with what a teacher’s daily work looks like, to what areas does the knowledge a teacher develops in her/his daily work belong and what is their content. The major area of interest involves how the day-to-day knowledge is created as well as which type of teaching that dominates. The study is based on ethnographic fieldwork. That implies the use of a wide range of data from different sources, in my case, participating observations, different kinds of interviews and informal conversations. I followed two senior level teachers over time, one for half a year and the other for almost a whole year. Teachers´ work. The results show that teachers’ work is immediate, unpredictable, intensive and oriented by action. The relational character of the work is in focus however. Teacher’s work on building relationships with their pupils is continuously ongoing the whole time and everywhere. Relationships are created and upheld. The teaching, which is the teachers’ main task, does not take the pure form that one could assume but in many respects consists of relationships, even if at a first glance this does not appear to be the case. I have found that beyond a teacher’s actions there is often a relationship-based explanation. Yet another task that takes another form than that one could imagine and that is continually present in the everyday work is that which I call work related to grade-setting. Teachers´ knowledge. I have discovered a number of dimensions of teachers’ practical knowledge that can be considered as ”new”. These originate principally from two main areas: Pupils and teaching. The pupil-related knowledge consists of four categories: individual knowledge, “reading” knowledge, relational knowledge and care knowledge. The teaching-related categories of knowledge are: tactical didactic knowledge, subject-didactic knowledge, meta-knowledge and survival knowledge. I regard all these forms of knowledge as contextual. They are also personal as they are created by the teacher in a unique environment. My impression is that the forms of knowledge are also use-oriented and that most of them comprise a social dimension. Teachers´ knowledge creation. My findings show that teachers´ knowledge creation in everyday practice takes place within three areas, relational work, practical didactic improvement and work related to grade-setting. What I mostly find in the teachers is knowledge creation of an extremely refined manner. They test, adapt, change and improve both for their own sake and for the pupils. I use the term refinement learning for this process. Most of the knowledge creation in teachers takes place through interaction foremost with individuals, but even with texts and objects. This is explained by the profession’s relational character. The situations the teachers are involved in are never exactly the same but demand modifications to strategies previously used. Learning is here seen as invite-initiated and is best understood from a situated perspective. The interplay processes alone however cannot explain the knowledge creation that occurs. The teachers’ reflections about their teaching, which lead to new lesson elements is one example. The creation of knowledge can then best be explained from a constructivist perspective even if it also has its origin in interactive situations. Here, learning is more self-initiated. Knowledge creation can be regarded as necessary, as all the situations the teacher is involved in require solutions. They can also be regarded as natural situations as the teacher is obliged to promote both the pupils’ learning and development. This forces them to formulate explanations in all possible ways and means so that the pupils understand, as well as their creating a favourable environment so that both learning and development are encouraged. Thus teachers’ knowledge creation arises when they are working. They must learn in order to be able to handle the job itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för beteendevetenskap och lärande , 2007. , 279 p.
Linköping Studies in Pedagogic Practices, ISSN 1653-0101 ; 2Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 113
Keyword [en]
context, ethnography, knowledge creation, learning, teachers´knowledge, teachers´work, teaching
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11231ISBN: 978-91-85715-63-3OAI: diva2:17640
Public defence
2007-04-20, Key 1, Key-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2008-03-19 Created: 2008-03-19 Last updated: 2009-03-11

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Wedin, Ann-Sofi
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Department of Educational Science (IUV)Faculty of Educational Sciences

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