01 SES 02 C, Voices, Dialogue and Dialogical Approaches to Professional Learning
Teachers are important players in the educational field. Despite the fact that in contemporary European society, “[v] ariation in learner achievement is predominantly a product of individual and family background characteristics“, teachers are of special importance for educational careers, as they are „the most important determinants” within educational institutions (European Commission 2012, 15). Teachers, their competences and their actions are crucial due to their huge influence on pupils’ learning progress. The European Council stresses their role as “key factors in achieving successful learning outcomes” (Council of the European Union 2014). Besides the teachers’ knowledge and values, their actions are a central issue for their pupils’ professional and personal development (“it is what teachers know, do, and care about that matters”, European Commission 2012, 15).
How teachers act has huge potential but also poses “a certain risk for pupils”, as it can have long lasting effects on their personal development and educational careers and thereby influence their future opportunities (Helsper 2000, 152).
The research question focused on in this presentation is how do teachers influence personal development and educational careers of their pupils? And: Which risks and opportunities do teachers’ actions pose to their pupils?
Teachers themselves cannot fully control their influence, as they cannot assume that they achieve what they intended to achieve with their actions (Combe & Kolbe 2008, S. 857). Their influence on their pupils does not (only) depend on their aims but also on a number of other factors. A very important one is the interpretation of their actions by their counterpart. Therefore, knowledge on the counterpart’s perspective is needed. The research projects presented in this contribution aim at a better understanding of the pupils’ perspective on teachers’ actions. The newly gained insights regarding how pedagogical practice is perceived by children and teenagers, what influence teachers’ acts of recognition have on them and why teachers’ role is of dramatically varying relevance for individual pupils, allow for a much more sensitive and goal-oriented teacher support for every pupil.
This research on teachers’ influence on the personal development und subsequently on the educational careers of their pupils is based on theories of recognition which state that to develop an own identity human beings are dependent on experience of recognition (Honneth 1992; Butler 2003). In this contribution, recognition is considered as a human need and the author proposes the theory that recognition is an act of addressing. For children and adolescents, recognition is so important as they are in a state of being and becoming. School therefore is a central institution and a place for different recognition practices.
This paper presentsthe results of two independent empirical studies which both focus on the pupils’ perspective: One looks at practices of recognition in the everyday life of pupils and their influence on the personal development of children and adolescents. The other deals with factors of influence on educational careers and aims at finding conditions for successful educational careers. Both studies offer similar findings on risks and potentials of pedagogical actions. These findings offer important insights into how teachers’ actions are perceived by pupils and how they influence their personal development and future lives. On this basis, risks and opportunities of teachers’ actions are discussed.
Both studies which are presented in this paper take a qualitative approach. Moreover, both focus on the pupils’ perspective in order to be able to learn from listening to (and analysing) pupils’ voices. This paper presents conclusions which can be derived from two studies which were conducted independently: The study on conditions for successful educational careers used autobiographical narrative interviews (Schütze 1983) for data collection. Altogether, 22 interviews (theoretical sampling, cf. Glaser/Strauss 1967) with young adults were conducted in Western Austria. Ten of them were analysed in detail using Bohnsack’s (2003) documentary method. The documentary method focusses on (collective) frameworks of orientation of the interview partners. It helps to explicate implicit patterns of meaning, tacit knowledge which is documented in the interviewees’ depictions and which forms the basis of everyday practice and helps to give “an orientation to habitualized actions independent of individual intentions and motives” (Bohnsack et al., 2010, p. 20). Moreover, with its focus on comparative analysis and on collective orientations, the method helps to find out more about individual and collective ways of dealing with factors of influence as well as about structural aspects determining the course of educational careers. Data analysis and interpretation with the documentary method end with the development of a multidimensional typology, in this case a typology which explains success and failure in educational careers. The second study, which deals with the importance of recognition for the personal development of pupils, is based on over 150 texts written by 10- to 18-year-old Austrian students about memorable school experiences. Narratives are fundamental to human life and take a special role in our construction of identity. For that reason, the design of the study is inspired by collective memory work which has been developed by Frigga Haug (1990). The data was analysed using Grounded Theory Methodology (Strauss & Corbin 1996). To understand the complexity of the practices of recognition, the GT Analysis is enlarged with Situational Analysis (Clarke 2012). Therefore, according to Situational Analysis (Clarke 2012) a series of maps was generated. This approach allows for analysing complex social worlds like educational situations. Clarke’s account of situation refers to the situatedness of knowledge, produced by individuals or groups that are embedded in different networks. These networks have a decisive influence in the relational process of knowledge production.
The studies presented allow for a better understanding of how teachers can support their pupils’ personal development and educational careers. Among the results are significant insights regarding the conditions under which teachers and their actions play an important role for their pupils’ careers. Moreover, key findings on the complex issue of recognition show its effects on pupils’ personal development. Addressing their pupils is an important part of teachers’ daily educational practice. It bears many risks but also high potential for children and adolescents. A teacher’s positive intention is not a guarantee for positive effects. So it is particularly important for teachers to be in dialogue with their pupils. A pupil who took part in one of the studies presented puts it this way "[The teacher] should ask more often, how we are doing in all this!". Observation and being in dialogue with pupils should be the basis of focused educational practice in order to make it productive for pupils’ personal development and educational careers (Reisenauer & Ulseß-Schurda 2018). The results of both studies confirm that teachers’ actions can be highly relevant for their pupils and their development. However, the results also answer the questions of why this potentially high relevance varies dramatically from case to case. A typology of orientations within the educational field explain how teacher’s actual influence depends on the individual pupil’s framework of orientation, on their aims and their perception of who and what can support their goal achievement (Gerhartz-Reiter 2017).
Bohnsack, Ralf (2003): Rekonstruktive Sozialforschung. Opladen (8. Aufl.). Bohnsack, Ralf / Pfaff, Nicolle & Weller, Wivian (Eds.)(2010): Qualitative Analysis and Documentary Method in International Educational Research. Opladen & Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich Publishing. Butler, Judith (2003): Kritik der ethischen Gewalt. Adorno-Vorlesungen 2002, Institut für Sozialforschung an der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Clarke, Adele (2012): Situationsanalyse. Grounded Theory nach dem Postmodern Turn. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Combe, Arno & Kolbe, Fritz-Ulrich (2008): Lehrerprofessionalität: Wissen, Können, Handeln. In: Helsper, Werner & Böhme, Jeanette (Hrsg.). Handbuch der Schulforschung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, S. 587-875. Council of the European Union (2014): Council conclusions of 20 May 2014 on effective teacher education. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52014XG0614(05)&from=EN (12.01.2017) European Commission (2012): Supporting the Teaching Professions for Better Learning Outcomes. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri= SWD:2012:0374:FIN:EN:PDF (12.01.2017) Gerhartz-Reiter, Sabine (2017): Erklärungsmuster für Bildungsaufstieg und Bildungsausstieg. Wie Bildungskarrieren gelingen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Glaser, Barney/ Strauss, Anselm (1967): The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago. Haug, Frigga (1990): Erinnerungsarbeit. 1. Aufl. Hamburg: Argument-Verlag. Helsper, Werner (2000): Antinomien des Lehrerhandelns und die Bedeutung der Fallrekonstruktion - Überlegungen zu einer Professionalisierung im Rahmen universitärer Lehrerausbildung. In: Cloer, Ernst/Klika, Dorle & Kunert, Hubertus (Hrsg.). Welche Lehrer braucht das Land? Weinheim: Juventa, S. 142-177. Honneth, Axel (1992): Kampf um Anerkennung. Zur moralischen Grammatik sozialer Konflikte. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Lipowski, Frank (2006): Auf den Lehrer kommt es an. Empirische Evidenzen für Zusammenhänge zwischen Lehrerkompetenzen, Lehrerhandeln und dem Lernen der Schüler. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik (52), 51. Beiheft. Reisenauer, Cathrin & Ulseß-Schurda, Nadine (2018, in press): Anerkennung in der Schule.Über Anlässe, Abläufe und Wirkweisen von Adressierungen. Bern: Hep-Verlag. Schütze, Fritz (1983): Biographieforschung und narratives Interview. In: Neue Praxis, Heft 3, 283–293. Strauss, Anselm & Corbin, Juliet (1996): Grounded Theory. Grundlagen qualitativer Sozialforschung. Weinheim: Beltz, Psychologie VerlagsUnion.
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