28 SES 09 B, New Myths for Education Practice? Dispositional Learning, New ICT devices and Social Competences
The intrinsic, principles-driven aims of education that were enshrined in many education systems of the past, have been supplanted by extrinsic aims that emphasise preparation for successful economic participation. Globalisation and the development of a knowledge economy have contributed to the growing centrality of the individual agent (increasingly, the ‘learner’), who is solely responsible for maximising his or her personal human capital. These influences are equally evident in a range of documents, including the OECD ‘DeSeCo’ research into key competencies (2003), The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007), and in the ‘new skills agenda’ of the European Commission (2016). The attributes evident in these and other documents and pronouncements also include those that incline the individual to be a ‘good citizen’ and ‘lifelong learner’, and these may be termed, ‘dispositions’.
Ensuring that schools succeed in developing skills, competencies and dispositions calls on teachers to adopt new pedagogical practices. In the Australasian context, innovative new school buildings and refurbishments of existing facilities have been designed, built and promoted for their ability to bring about precisely the kind of pedagogical practices that will achieve these aims of ‘21st-century learning’ (Ministry of Education, 2011). Whether, however, new and innovative building designs will actually enable ‘new’ pedagogies, or influence learning and learning outcomes, is not fully established in research (Blackmore, Bateman, Loughlin, O’Mara, & Aranda, 2011; Imms, 2016).
Still, ‘modern’ approaches to pedagogy are influenced by a range of factors, including the competencies and skills agendas such as is seen in the three documents mentioned above, and now, increasingly, the provision of innovative spaces of learning. What is of interest in the context of this presentation, is to understand the relationship of new learning agendas to innovative school facilities design. Three questions frame this presentation: What is ‘dispositional learning’? How do innovative learning environments support the development of skills, dispositions and key competencies? What are the outcomes of dispositional learning, can these be assessed, and how do they relate to economic futures? These questions are answered largely by reference to New Zealand examples that draw on a range of documentary analysis, qualitative field work and practitioner voice. An underlying premise of this presentation however, is that the shifting of skills, competencies and dispositions to the very forefront of education has international relevance.
Three overlapping qualitative studies working within a paradigmatic bricolage of phenomenological hermeneutics and critical theory, inform this presentation. Denzin and Lincoln (2005) and Steinberg and Kincheloe (2010) wrote of bricolage as an amalgam of elements drawn from various sources and research traditions. Denzin and Lincoln’s (2005) qualitative researcher is a bricoleur, who ranges freely, but carefully and intentionally, across a wide range of approaches to research, deploying practices that are pertinent to the particular research task at hand. These practices may be emergent, and not always worked out beforehand. Steinberg and Kincheloe (2010) argued that this amalgam of approaches coheres with the indeterminacy of the contemporary 21st century world. A critical reading of hermeneutics, they suggested, creates the bridge between the bricolage of theories that reject boundary setting and Cartesian rationality on the one hand, and critical theory on the other.
This presentation draws from qualitative research of the past few years that has specifically examined learning environments primarily in relation to the dramatic modernisation of school and educational buildings (now termed ‘Innovative Learning Environments’ or ‘ILE’ in New Zealand). This research has considered examples of such learning environments in Denmark and England, but has principally focussed on New Zealand examples. Beginning in 2013, the first of these studies considered the concept of 21st century learning and its influence on teacher reflective practice, pedagogy and school leadership. The second study, growing from the first, occupied 2015, and is termed, ‘being a teacher in the 21st century’. Both are well reported in a number of publications, the most significant of which is Benade (2017). The third is a current study, focusing on effective pedagogy in innovative learning environments. The general design has been multiple case study, involving nine schools (seven in New Zealand, one in Denmark, one in England) and three university sites (one in New Zealand and two in Denmark). Participant recruitment has been purposive, and data gathering has included some 40 observations of 45 minutes to 100 minutes each. Since 2013, multiple principals and teachers have been interviewed across six schools, and teachers from three schools participated in focus groups. Student focus groups across three sites (one senior secondary; two senior primary/elementary) were also conducted. This fieldwork was conducted in accordance with the requirements of ethical research conduct (under two separate university approvals). Of some interest in the framing of this presentation, has been the intentional inclusion of ‘practitioner voice’. Three participants from three Auckland ILE schools – a primary school principal, a primary school assistant principal, and a secondary school deputy principal – have articulated in writing key policy and pedagogical decisions and practices relating to dispositional learning in their schools. A key to having success with this strategy of engaging practitioners required that the chosen practitioners be critically self-reflective in their own work. An important rationale for cultivating this researcher-practitioner partnership is to demonstrate the dialectical relationships that can exist between teaching and research. Paulo Freire, for example, claimed, “there is no such thing as teaching without research and research without teaching” (1998, p. 35). In an endnote to this claim, he added, “in their ongoing education, teachers consider themselves researchers because they are teachers” (p. 133).
The globalised knowledge economy requires schools (and universities) to shift their emphasis from presenting finite and defined courses of study that have clear end-points (such as school-leaving certificates or graduation) to providing ‘learners’ with the skills and competencies that empower them to be ‘lifelong’ learners. The key competencies and development of various soft skills and dispositions are thus integral to developing lifelong learners and their passion for ongoing learning. The trend to lifelong learning is accompanied by shifting responsibility from society to the individual. Knowledge becomes capital in the hands of individuals who are now more or less desirable by virtue of their knowledge, adaptability, flexibility and portable skills. Linking personal investments in education and individuals’ earning power, appeals to politicians and policymakers (Brown, Lauder & Ashton, 2011). These authors have, however, roundly critiqued the link between ‘learning and earning’, demonstrating that the empirical evidence merely upholds the idea that the rich get richer. It is expected that this phase of research will confirm that teachers in the 21st century are required to balance the competing tensions of an education aiming to produce students able to be citizens who can lead a meaningful and satisfying life in the current century, against the traditional demands for a scholastic education that requires teachers to teach to predetermined standards. Within this tension are those teachers who now work in large ILE settings with large groups of students and teachers, sharing space and working collaboratively. This presentation will reflect, through practitioner voice, how in some of these schools, teachers might be enabled to navigate these competing tensions and paths, while recognising the role played by the agentic qualities of material space.
Benade, L. (2017). Being a teacher in the 21st century: A critical New Zealand research study. Singapore: Springer Nature. Blackmore, J., Bateman, D., Loughlin, J., O’Mara, J. & Aranda, G. (2011). Research into the connection between built learning spaces and student outcomes Literature review, paper No. 22 June. State of Victoria (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development). Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au Brown, P., Lauder, H. & Ashton, D. (2011). The global auction: The broken promises of education, jobs and incomes. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2005). The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 1–32). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. European Commission. (2016). A new skills agenda for Europe: Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness. Retrieved 4 August 2017 from http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1223 Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of Freedom: ethics, democracy and civic courage. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Imms, W. (2016). ‘New generation learning environments’: How can we find out if what works Is working?’ In W. Imms, B. Cleveland & K. Fisher (Eds.), Evaluating learning environments: Snapshots of emerging issues, methods and knowledge (pp. 21–34). Rotterdam, The Netherlands/Boston, MA: Sense Publishers. Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand Curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media Limited. Available from http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum Ministry of Education. (2011). The New Zealand school property strategy 2011–2021. Retrieved from http://www.education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/Primary-Secondary/Property/SchoolPropertyStrategy201121.pdf Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2003). Definition and selection of competencies: Theoretical and conceptual foundations (DeSeCo): Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/pisa/35070367.pdf Steinberg, S., & Kincheloe, J. (2010). Power, emancipation, and complexity: Employing critical theory. Power and Education, 2(2), 140–151. doi:10.2304/power.2010.2.2.140
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
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
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
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.