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
Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology