ERG SES G 11, Learning and Education
In 2012 a municipality in Denmark launched an ambitious training program for teachers. The aim of the training was not only to develop the teachers competencies, but also to establish new ways for teachers of collaborating at the schools, enabling an on-going development of the teachers practices through team collaboration. A main objective was to make effects lasting after the project deadline. However, insights from international training and research projects suggest that this is a very difficult task (Christiansen & Günther, 2011; Shear, Gallagher & Patell, 2011; Henriksen, Buhl, Misfeldt & Hanghøj, 2011). In fact, Maurer has estimated that 70% fails, in terms of even changing practices within the given period (Maurer, 2010). Being aware of the difficulty of the task, the training drew on central insights from research. It was based on the teachers existing practices, which Fixsen has pointed as a crucial factor (Fixsen et. Al. 2005, p. 70). It also involved an organizing of active collegial relations between teachers, which is essential in order to provide lasting effects (Sølberg, Bundsgaard & Højgaard, 2013).
The specific training program design drew on inspiration from ‘action learning’ as described by Plauborg, Vinter Andersen & Bayer (2007). This method is developed as an alternative to traditional course based in-service training, and has an underlying assumption that solutions of practical problems requires a practical understanding, which can be gained iteratively and in collaboration with colleagues through attempts of solving it. In the training program conducted, the action-learning concept involved the establishment of teams consisting of three – five teachers, a local supervisor and an external consultant.
In this paper, we focus on the local supervisor and his/her possibilities of participating in and supporting the implementation of the training program. The role of the supervisor is especially interesting since this role meant to handle a leading role in the on-going development after project deadline. In the training program, the supervisor handled a facilitating function in the collaboration among teachers, and the anchoring of the concept in the schools was attempted through this function. The supervising has another interesting dimension, since the local supervisor at the same time functions as a teacher and as a supervisor.
Our research is informed by theoretical insights inspired by a notion of logics developed by Nielsen (2012). Through the notion of logics Nielsen has shown that the collaboration of teachers can be driven by logics that are not necessarily coherent with the purpose of the activities to which they are engaged (Nielsen 2012). This notion implies that some everyday phenomenon’s in school-life are experienced as more urgent than others, thus producing certain priorities among the teachers (Nielsen 2012). In our research, we apply this notion to examine how the actors experience their role in in the action-learning training program and focus on the tacit expectations arising to the supervisor because of the active logic. Our objective can be articulated in the research questions below:
- Which logics can be identified among the actors in the implementation of action-learning?
- How does these logics influence the supervisor’s possibilities to participate in and support the training?
Through this notion of logics, we apply a view of the actors as subjected to certain logics, which allow them to interpret and act in specific ways and at the same time produces expectations from one actor to other actors. Through the expectations arising from the active logics among the actors, we explore how this influence the supervisor’s possibilities of meeting these expectations and thus participating successfully in the project and supporting the participating teachers.
Christiansen, R. B. & Gynther, K. (2011). Barrierer og potentialer for integration af it i fagene i folkeskolen i Slagelse Kommune. Odense: Læremiddel.dk Clarke, A.E. et. Al. (2009): “Developing Grounded Theory – The Second Generation”, Left Coast Pr I: Morse, J.M Stern, P.N. Corbin. J, B. Bower, B.s, Charmaz, K. & Clarke, A.E. (Eds.), Developing grounded theory: The second generation. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., Friedman, R. M. & Wallace, F. (2005). Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network (FMHI Publication #231). Henriksen, T.D., Buhl, M., Misfeldt, M. & Hanghøj, T. (2011). “Har projekter et liv efter deadline? Skoleudvikling fra projekt til forankring”. I: Cursiv, 8, 83-102. (2011). Joyce, B., Calhoun, E. and Showers, B. (1999). The New Structure Of School Improvement: Inquiring Schools and Achieving Students. Buckingham: Open University Press Maurer, R. (2010). Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail - And What You Can Do about It. New York: Bard Press. Nielsen, L. T. (2012): Teamsamarbejdets Dynamiske Stabilitet. En Kulturhistorisk Analyse Af Læreres Læring i Team. Ph.d.-afhandling, Aarhus: Aarhus Universitet Shear, L., Gallagher, L. & Patal, D. (2011). ITL research findings: Evolving educational ecosystems. ITL Research. Sølberg, J., Bundsgaard, J. & Højgaard, T. (2013): Kompetencemål i praksis – et tilbageblik på projektet KOMPIS. Mona Plauborg, H., Andersen, J. V. & Bayer, M. (2007): Aktionslæring. Læring i og af praksis. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag
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