02 SES 09 A, Research in Action
Norway faces a major challenge in view of its ageing population. There is an increasing proportion of elderly people in society. In 2013, 13% of the population were over 67, and it is expected that by 2050, this figure will increase to 21%. (Statistics Norway). Given this prediction, there will be a greater need for health professionals. In 2035 it is expected that this shortage will have increased to 57,000 health professionals. (Statistics Norway). These forecasts are cause for concern, and can provide an opportunity for imaginative problem-solving in order to improve the future welfare service to the elderly.
Our society is experiencing major developments within the field of digital technology. The health professions, like the vast majority of other professions, are required to reorganize and accommodate for the use of digital aids and other technologies. This trend has occurred at a fast pace, which can be challenging for vocational teachers to adapt to developments within industry and society. It is therefore necessary to foster co-operation between training schools and industry in order to be able to provide relevant vocational training to health professionals.
The trend in Norway's population growth is very similar to that experienced in Japan, where welfare technology tools have been developed over many years. Various digital solutions have emerged, including work on developing robots that assist older people at home by performing routine tasks, and by conducting a conversation with the elderly person, thereby mitigating feelings of loneliness.
In Sweden, Dennis C Søndergaard has developed a Welfare Technology Nordic Toolbox which shows how companies and local councils can collaborate, and what welfare technologies can be used in specific instances; he believes that Nordic co-operation is vital.
Several European countries are working on developing welfare technology tools; The Netherlands has built modern districts for patients with dementia, using welfare technology tools.
The "Vocational Teachers' Promise" is intended to raise teacher competence in different areas of study. Oslo Met University has been assigned the task of developing a further education course for vocational teachers in new technology and digital skills. The course is called ATECO 6100. It commenced on May 5th and concluded with an exam on 18th December 2017.
"How to develop continuing education courses for vocational teachers, with an emphasis on welfare technology and digital skills, in order to raise their professional skills?”
Other research questions to be examined:
- What digital skills do vocational teachers need to develop on the course?
- How can work placement in various industries/organisations help to develop comprehensive professional knowledge in new welfare technologies?
The course is developed for vocational teachers in High School and is designed as an interdisciplinary project emphasizing the use of digital skills and learning about new technologies within the various health professions. We are three university lecturers from Oslo Met University who have collaborated to develop this course. I bring my background in ‘Health and Child development’ to the project, and would like this project to focus on welfare technology and its applications. Welfare technology is a new topic in the curriculum for health professionals.
The content of the course ATEKO 6100 will consist of mapping and analysis, and the use of technology within different professions. In order for the students to gain insight into this in an occupational environment, it is necessary that they are placed for 3 to 5 days in relevant companies/organisations within their field of study. The focus for study during this period will be on new technology and digital competence in the profession. A blog-format will be used to share individual placement experiences.
Methods and Methodology I have chosen to use Educational Action Research as a research method. Many definitions of pedagogical action research emphasize reflection on learning and work, collaboration in the research process, systematic, sequential implementation of the research process and documented development of education / teaching and learning (Carr and Kemmis 1986, McNiff 2002, 2017, and Hiim 2010). In this case students participate in, perform and systematically reflect on the work processes and key functions of teaching as a profession. The research will be a systematic, professional, practical-theoretical work-development process, with the purpose of improving educational activities and acquiring new knowledge. This is done through surveys, and documentation of current processes by systematic logging, combined with qualitative in-depth interviews. I will now present our action research project, where I show how we develop the course through participatory observation, logging, blog, quantitative survey with questionnaire, and qualitative survey with in-depth interviews of 2 students. There are 12 vocational teachers from different subjects on the course. I began with a questionnaire about the expectations the students had for the course. I have run several observations on the course. I collected data through systematically observing and listening to the experiences of the students and my teaching-colleagues throughout the course. I recorded the observations as a log. I read the students’ blog entries and their assignments. Colleagues held a meeting after each teaching session, where assignments and teaching methods were evaluated. I observed 12 students of the program presenting their industry placement experiences. I have recorded in-depth interviews with 2 students from ‘Health and Child development’.
Preliminary results and further work Analysis of the data from observation, interviews and questionnaire has provided the following results: vocational teachers have little knowledge of welfare technology; courses are therefore required. In order to educate vocational teachers for health professionals, it is important to be familiar with technological developments within the health profession. One student comments, "I learned very much about welfare technology when I was on placement at the care home.", and "I learned to use ‘Smart-House’ features, operate medicine robots and other technical aids that patients have at home." Through course-observations it is clear that 50% of the teaching cohort needs more training in the use of digital tools such as computer programs and apps. As one student notes: "Having good digital skills is important in relation to the tasks that the students face in their placement. They must be able to help and educate patients using digital communication methods, such as Skype and "Memoria"”. In the in-depth interviews, it emerged that vocational teachers very often acquired professional knowledge via each other. One says: "On the course I have learned to use various digital tools, which enables me to collaborate with colleagues regarding the use of 3D printers, and using VR glasses in my classes." In the future, it will be necessary to improve the training of vocational teachers in using VR glasses and other new technologies, to enable students in High School to simulate the many situations they will meet in the healthcare system. Furthermore, the use of welfare technology must be taught to vocational teachers, in order that they become more proficient in digital skills and the use of welfare technologies.
Litteraturliste : Carr,W.og Kemmis. (1986) Becoming critical: Educational knowledge and action research. London : Farmer Press. Dewey John (1974) Erfaring og oppdragelse . København : Christian Ejlers forlag Hiim Hilde, Else Hippe (2001) Å utdanne profesjonelle yrkesfaglærere Gyldendal Hiim Hilde(2010) Pedagogisk aksjonsforskning . Tilnærminger, eksempler og kunnskapsfilosofisk grunnlag. Gyldendal forlag Hiim Hilde (2013) Praksisbasert yrkesutdanning. Oslo Gyldendal Akademiske Helsedirektoratet,( juni 2012 ) « Velferdsteknologi, Fagrapport om implementering av velferdsteknologi i de kommunale helse og omsorgstjenestene 2013-2030» Kolb .D.A (2012) Erfaringslæring- prosessen og det strukturelle grunnlag. In K.Illris (Ed.) 49 tekster om læring ( pp.282-298) Fredriksberg: Samfunnslitteratur. Mc Niff,J og J,Whitehead (2006) All you need to know about Action Research. London: Sage Negt,O (2012) Sociologisk fantasi og eksemplarisk indlæring. In K Illris (Ed.)49 tekster om læring Fredriksberg : Samfundslitteratur Rolf,B (1989) Tyst kunnskap, Wittgensteins osegbarhet och Polanyis personliga kunnskap i Johannesen. Uppsala .Universitet Schwenke, E. og Larsen,A.K.(2011) Spenningsfeltet mellom "nytte" for bedriften og "frirom" for studenten: et samarbeidsprosjekt mellom skole og arbeidsliv for gjensidig påvirkning og ønske om forandring ( Vol.1 (2011)nr1, pp. S.1-14) Åbo NORDYRK ( side 1-14,13 sider ) Schøn,D (995) Knowing- in –Action: The new scholarship requires a new epistemology. Change, November to December 2734. ( 14 sider ) Søndergaard, Dennis C (2017) Nordens velferdsenter, Stocholm Winter, R. (1989) Learning from Experience. Principles and Practice in Action Research. London , New York, Philadelphia: Falmer Yrkesfaglærerløftet https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/a196e650447d459faa1b1e1879216f3e/kd_yrkesfaglarerloftet_web_01.10.pdf http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/welfare-robots-to-ease-burden-in-greying-japan-2039217.html
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