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Project work, independence and critical thinking
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment, Avdelningen för Pedagogik. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Arbete i skolan (AiS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7494-6980
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies how students do projects in a Swedish upper secondaryschool. The students have to produce products and at the same time provethem self as independent in relation to the teachers, and negotiate therequirements of the project setting and the written instructions within thegroup. The study focuses on what comes out as problematic for the students,how they solve these dilemma situations and what resources are used in orderto do so.A choice was made only to analyse student group interaction in parts ofthe project process where the teachers were not physically present thus fillinga research gap.The empirical material was collected during three years in sex secondaryschool classes through filmed sessions of groups or pairs working with theirproject.Each of the four articles primarily focuses a special dilemma; structure,independence, instructions and critical thinking. By combining Goffman’sframe analysis with the concepts of risk and uncertainty from a Risk – societyperspective, issues related to what it means to do project work asindependent, critical 21st-century learner are illustrated and discussed.The choice to look only at situations in which students have to managewithout the aid of a physically present teacher illuminates several practicalconsequences like an unwillingness to go to the teacher and ask questions andan increased concentration on and interpretation of the written instructions. Adevelopment of Miller and Parlett’s (1974) discussion of student approach tocues are suggested. The concept of the cue choosing student are constructedin order to better respond to demands from an individualised interactionsociety. The study also emphasises how the students have to balance differentframeworks in order to be both authors and assessed students. Byimplementing a risk society perspective new ways of analysing andunderstanding independence and classroom interaction is suggested and arecontextualization of critical thinking proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2014. , p. 216
Series
Gothenburg studies in educational sciences, ISSN 0436-1121 ; 353
Keywords [en]
project work, independence, individualisation, critical thinking, frame analysis, risk, uncertainty, Risk-society, Goffman
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-12138ISBN: 978-91-7346-793-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7346-793-0 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-12138DiVA, id: diva2:725230
Public defence
2014-06-13, Aulan Högskolan Kristianstad (7:314), kristianstad, 09:19 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2016-04-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Unstructured information as a socio-technical dilemma
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unstructured information as a socio-technical dilemma
2008 (English)In: Handbook of research on digital information technologies: innovations, methods, and ethical issues / [ed] Hansson, Thomas, Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference , 2008, p. 482-505Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter employs video data together with screen captures for presenting cases where the students try to match questions to search expressions, make decisions about whether they are allowed to visit a certain site, and examine how the students make decisions about relevance and credibility. Information always appears to be unstructured to the students and restructuring of information poses a socio-technical dilemma involving appreciation of an ideological and ethical nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2008
Keywords
Communication and technology, educational technology, information technology
National Category
Computer Sciences Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-89 (URN)978-1-59904-970-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-01-21 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
2. So I sat down with my mother: onnected orientation and pupil´s independence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>So I sat down with my mother: onnected orientation and pupil´s independence
2009 (English)In: Education and technology for a better world: 9th IFIP TC 3 World Conference on Computers in Education, WCCE 2009, Bento Gonçalves, Brazil, July 27-31, 2009. Proceedings, Boston: Springer , 2009, p. 282-291Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish educational policy underlines the importance of independence. In this paper we use socio-cultural theory and Foucault to explain how pupils´ independency is transformed into something else in their work. Our results derive from analyses of filmed sessions and entries in the pupils´ logbooks. Our findings demonstrate that the pupils´ definitions of independence differ from those of the course plan in several aspects: i) the use of certain resources is not considered to show lack of independence, ii) doing things yourself is considered being most independent and iii) to follow instructions, even if this means violating your unique personal thought, is considered a prerequisite for passing/getting good grades and as such a necessary adaption to the school context, sooner than a sign of dependency. Consequently we argue that pupil independency should be regarded as a phenomenon chiseled out within a community of practice rather than a personal capacity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Boston: Springer, 2009
Series
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238 ; 302
Keywords
Independence, Project work, Foucault, Instructions, Community of practice
National Category
Pedagogy Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-5192 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-03115-1_30 (DOI)978-3-642-03114-4 (ISBN)
Conference
IFIP TC 3 World Conference on Computers in Education
Available from: 2009-10-12 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2014-07-02Bibliographically approved
3. Instructions, independence, and uncertainty: student framing in self-regulated project work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Instructions, independence, and uncertainty: student framing in self-regulated project work
2014 (English)In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, E-ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 13, no 6, p. 646-660Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study presents an approach to student interaction in self-regulated project work. By combining frame analysis and socio-cultural risk theory, the authors explore the importance of students' framing activities as a basis for their understanding of tasks. The increase in self-regulated work in Swedish schools can be seen as being in line with developments in Europe towards more individualisation. The authors argue that their data provide examples of how the global discourse imposes itself on local discourses. This mode of work, as it appears in the material presented in this article, exemplifies how complex assessment ideas have penetrated the school context. The authors emphasise the concepts of uncertainty, risk and complexity in analysing the framing process, and claim that the focus on these concepts is essential in analysing self-regulated work, contributing to better understanding of self-regulated learning processes.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-12309 (URN)10.2304/eerj.2014.13.6.646 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. A long and winding path: requirements for critical thinking in project work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A long and winding path: requirements for critical thinking in project work
2013 (English)In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657X, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 61-74Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Be prepared for assessment, be independent, creative, connected, and critical — students doing assessed self-regulated project work face extensive demands. Such work requires considerable capacity to undertake source criticism and think critically. In this article, I examine how secondary school students relate to demands concerning source criticism and critical thinking. Drawing on Goffman's frame analysis and social/cultural risk theory, I discuss how various conceptions of “what's going on” are connected to choices to be made. Various frames that can be related to an overall notion of an opaque and ubiquitous assessment regime simultaneously come into play. In examining dilemmas and analyzing various ways of framing them, I will try to illuminate and understand the obstacles students experience connected with demands for source criticism and critical thinking in project work. Although student handling of these demands can be questioned in relation to how a critical approach is traditionally described, I claim that what we observe can also be interpreted as a rational adaptation to a different framing of what school and education are really about, that is, being a “good student” by doing what is most rewarding in terms of how the school system displays appreciation.

Keywords
Critical thinking, Frame analysis, Grade point average perspective, Risk, Self-regulated work, Source criticism
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-9988 (URN)10.1016/j.lcsi.2012.11.001 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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