As a result of new governance and management policies in the 80th some decisions about curriculum planning were centralized, while others decentralized. Previously, regarding the lecturing time offered in the actual subjects, exact time allocation was made at the ministry level, but since the 90th it has been up to each institution to decide the amount of such time resources. However, a few years ago a debate arose in Denmark about the relationship between the extent of face-to-face interaction with tutors and the amount of time that student spent on their study activities beyond the actual time of face-to-face. Rather quickly the debate reached the national political level and politicians expressed their concern about lecturing time and whether the total study time, that students spent, was enough.
The Association of Danish University Colleges decided to deal actively with the skepticism and criticism, so it initiated a process by which the educational institutions should improve their communication with students about the expectations to students concerning time consumption and effort in studying. The so called Study Activity Model (SAM) was initially developed as a basis for such communication. The association phrased the aim of this model as a tool….:
“….. which can shape the study expectations of the students in relation to study intensity. The model clearly demonstrates which study activities, academic activities and learning types that are employed in professional higher education at a university of applied sciences, and also the student workload expected by the institution for each single study activity…..”
The SAM-model divides up four categories which is based on whether the study activity is initiated by the student or by the lecturer, or whether a lecturer or only students participate in the activity. Crossing the two axes of participation and initiation, all possible sorts of activities could be mapped within one of the four categories.
By means of the model the University colleges also wanted to emphasize the importance of more self-directed learning which appeared in some of the four categories. Especially the ones where students both initiate activities and work a lot of the time without the presence of a lecturer/tutor should be more prevalent throughout an educational programme.
In the wake of the SAM-model some research project were initiated, among others the project, on whichthis paper refers to: “Didactical challenges in self-directed learning spaces”.
What makes such learning spaces interesting for research is, that the power exercised by the educational system cannot be significantly reduced. Basically, it means that self-directed learning space are built on a paradox, which in brief terms may be phrased: How can educators (representing the system) design, manage and control self-directed learning spaces when such spaces are supposed to be self-directed from students perspective??
Subsequently this will make some dilemmas to occur in pedagogical practice. Thus the aim of this paper is to discuss the question:
What kinds of dilemmas occur for tutors and for students in self-directing learning spaces?
The theoretical framework is mainly inspired by works of both Basil Bernstein and Pierre Bourdieu. For the investigation of structuring principles, we draw on Bernstein’s concepts of classification and framing and his key term invisible pedagogies. Also Bourdieu’s conceptualization of relation between agent and structure offers a powerful perspective to this issue, including how different students are positioned in self-directed learning spaces and how they – by virtue of different capital forms – respond to the ‘invisibility’ in such spaces.
Barrows, H.S. & Tamblyn, R.M. 1980. “Problem-based learning: an approach to medical education”, Springer, New York. Bernstein, B. 2000, “Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique”, Rev. ed. edn, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham. Bernstein, B. 1974. “Class, codes and control”, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London. Bourdieu, P. 2001. ”Af praktiske grunde”. Kbh.: Hans Reitzel. Bourdieu, P. 1997. “The Forms of Capital” [reprint from 1986]. I A.H. Halsey, H. Lauder, P. Brown og A.S. Wells (red.), Education. Culture, Economy, and Society. Oxford University Press: 46-58 Bourdieu, P. et al. 1999. “The Weight of the World. Social Suffering in Contemporary Society”. Cambridge: Polity Press. Bourdieu, P. & Wacquant, L.J.D. 1996. ”Refleksiv sociologi: mål og midler”, 1. udg. Kbh.: Hans Reitzel. Christensen, G. 2010. ”Pædagogikken mellem individualisering og strukturering” Nordic Studies in Education02 / 2010 Dahl, P. N 2008. ”Studenter-afstemt vejledning og kommunikation” i Krogh, L. m.fl.(red.) projektpædagogik – Perspektiver fra Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg Universitetsforlag Dolmer, G. 2015. ”Studieaktivitetsmodellen: erfaringer og refleksioner”, Systime profession, Aarhus. Dysthe, O. 2003. ”Dialog, samspil & læring”, 1. udg. Aarhus: Forlaget Klim. DPU 2008.”En didaktisk analyse af uddannelserne ved Københavns Erhvervsakademi Prinsesse Charlottes Gade”, Aarhus Universitet (ikke udgivet) Krejsler, J. & Halkier, L. 2004. ”Pædagogikken og kampen om individet: kritisk pædagogik, ny inderlighed og selvets teknikker”, Hans Reitzel, Kbh. Maton, K. 2014. Knowledge & knowers : “Towards a realist sociology of education”, Routledge, London. Maton, K., Carvalho, L. & Dong, A. 2016. “LCT in praxis – Creating an e-learning environment for informal learning of principled knowledge” in Maton etc. (red.): “Knowledge building – Educational studies in Legitimation Code Theory, Routledge. Wendy Kicken, Saskia Brand‐Gruwel & Jeroen J.G. van Merriënboer (2008): “Scaffolding advice on task selection: a safe path toward self-directed learning in on-demand education”, Journal of Vocational Education & Training, Vol. 60, No. 3,
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