A doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that negotiations about how to approach problems and tasks, and about how tools such as digital technologies can be used, provide an effective model for how an educational programme can prepare young people for the future.
In his doctoral thesis, Patrik Lilja explores how education and instruction can be organised to prepare students for the challenges of the future, as the conditions for production, communication and uptake of knowledge are changing.
One way is to organise education according to methods based on inquiry, a concept with a long history in the field of education and roots in the work of John Dewey – a renowned philosopher and educational reformer.
‘The basic idea is that learning is organised as a process where students ask questions, conduct studies, create various products, and discuss and reflect,’ says Lilja.
Based on a case study, he explored how the principles of inquiry are integrated in practice and how they affect classroom activities, learning and development. The empirical material comes from a field study of an upper-secondary programme in social science at a Swedish school where the students’ work has been organised in the form of problem-based learning and projects. The students carry out thematic projects spanning over several school subjects. The study covers two classes with a total of about 50 students, of whom about 20 were followed closely for a long time.
Patrik Lilja investigates different aspects of students’ work in four separate analyses. A central finding is that the programme is organised according to an ecology of negotiation.
‘This refers to a learning environment that allows students to interpret and find their own ways to approach tasks, to get involved in and actively discuss various issues. At the same time, they are required to consider the learning targets declared for each theme,’ says Lilja.
The point is not to transfer the learning process to the students but to give negotiations a central role. The negotiations may concern how to approach and plan tasks and how to use various tools, such as digital technologies. The students are expected to solve problems together – a process that requires both cooperation and information retrieval from many different types of sources, which they have to assess in terms of relevance and objectivity.
‘The role of teachers must be understood at multiple levels. They partly contribute to making room for the students’ initiatives and decision making by arranging situations where the students in groups need to negotiate and decide how to approach the tasks at hand. They also teach and join student discussions,’ says Lilja.
The thesis gives many examples of advanced work by both students and teachers. The school environment implies a great potential for students to develop complex competences and approaches of the types that are deemed relevant in the modern information and knowledge society.
For more information:Patrik Lilja, telephone: +46 (0)709-371986,
Annika Koldenius | idw
Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
Young people discover the "Learning Center"
20.09.2016 | Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering GmbH
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction