10 SES 13 A, Professional Development and Dialogue
This presentation is examining improvisation as a phenomenon within the context of Teacher Education.
Improvisation in teaching contexts is defined as knowing how to act in immediate situations that occur in the classroom (Mason & Spence, 1999, p. 2). Improvisation is about being present in class, to dare to step out of the write-down plan for the lesson based on input from students, in order to achieve better outcomes for the collective (Wiliam, 2014, p. 7). The best way to learn this is by building a rich variety of experiences, a repertoire (Mason & Spence, 1999, p. 5).
The research literature on improvisation in higher education connected to music, dance, drama and organizational theory is rich (Alterhaug, 2004; Sawyer, 2011). Sawyer argues that improvisation should be acted upon as a natural part of the Teacher Education curriculum and practice. As a teacher, you have to balance between planned and improvised activities (Dezutter, 2011 p. 27-34). Sawyer uses the phrase “disciplined improvisation” when describing what characterizes a teaching sequence. The systematic and planned teaching sequences has naturally been (disciplined), but at the same time there should be room for spontaneity (improvisation) that always occurs in the meeting between the students and the subject (Sawyer, 2011, p. 14). Teaching sequences should be planned in such a manner that it opens up for spontaneous proposals related to a topic within a subject. Sawyer claims that the art of good teaching is about balancing structure and improvisation, and that the best teaching is based on disciplined improvisation because this always happens within spacious structures and frameworks. Class management involves both structure, the development of sustainable relations with students and facilitating a high learning pressure through student participation.
Alterhaug (2004) and Jarning (2006) draw parallels between improvisation skills in teaching and in jazz music. In the musical meetings improvisations happens on themes that are known and proven. They both points out that great jazz improvisations always is aware of a common repertoire that has been the subject of practice over time. Transferred to our context it will be a current goal to recognize that improvisation activity also is important and inevitable within a variety of contexts that requires training and practice (Alterhaug, 2004, p. 98). A trained and familiar repertoire for a teacher or a student teacher requires practice and can then serve as a basis for dynamic interactions in the classroom (Dezutter, 2011).
Shulman (1986, p. 14) defines the repertoire as the teacher's total arsenal of resources. It consists of various forms of representations arising both from research and from cleverness learned and developed through practice. An experienced teacher is through education and experience gained various types of repertoire. In lesson planning the experienced teacher disposes a comprehensive didactic repertoire. In the relational encounter with the learners, she also has a rich repertoire to take off. In addition, the experienced teacher has gained an educational and academic content understanding through education and work with subjects, and she knows how the teaching meets the pupil where it is and can plan so that there is room for student input (Shulman, 1986). A spacious structure of teaching gives the teacher the opportunity to develop a classroom environment that encourages taking risks (Dezutter, 2011).
During a period of four semesters, a group of students has studied, rehearsed and reflected upon various aspects of improvisation related to the subject “pedagogy and pupil knowledge”. In order to investigate the impact on the student teachers a qualitative inquiry has been conducted.
The research question is: How is improvisation used as a concept in
teacher students reflections on own practical experiences?
Alterhaug, B. (2004). Improvisation on a triple theme: Creativity, jazz improvisation and communication. Studia Musicologica Norvegica, 30(3), 97-117. Dezutter, S. (2011). Professional improvisation and teacher education: Opening the conversation. Structure and Improvisation in Creative Teaching, 27-50. Holdhus, K., Høisæter, S., Mæland, K., Vangsnes, V., Engelsen, K. S., Espeland, M., & Espeland, Å. (2016). Improvisation in teaching and education—roots and applications. Cogent Education, 3(1). doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2016.1204142 Jarning, H. (2006). Dewey square: Lærerarbeid, didaktikk og improvisation. I: K. Steinsholt & H. Sommerro (red.). Improvisasjon. Kunsten Å Sette Seg Selv På Spill. Oslo: N.W. DAMM & SØN AS. Kvale, S. (2015). I S. Brinkmann, T. M. Anderssen & J. Rygge (red.), Det kvalitative forskningsintervju (3. utg., 2. oppl. ed.). Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk. Mason, J., & Spence, M. (1999). Beyond mere knowledge of mathematics: The importance of knowing-to act in the moment. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 38(1-3), 135-161. Postholm, M. B. (2010). Kvalitativ metode: en innføring med fokus på fenomenologi, etnografi og kasusstudier (2. utg. ed.). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Sawyer, R. K. (2011). Structure and improvisation in creative teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14. Sorensen, N. T. (2014). Improvisation and Teacher Expertise: A Comparative Case Study. Van Manen, M. (1993). I K. M. Thorbjørnsen (red.), Pedagogisk takt: Betydningen av pedagogisk omtenksomhet. Nordås: Caspar forl. og kursvirksomhet. Wiliam, D. (2014). Formative assessment and contingency in the regulation of learning processes. Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
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Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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