10 SES 02 C, Research on Professional Knowledge & Identity in Teacher Education
In this paper we will present a substudy in the large scale project Teacher Qualification for the 21st Century (TEQ 21) (2018- 2022), funded by Research Council of Norway`s FINNUT programme. The TEQ 21- project is investigating the development of three key transdisciplinary goals which are integrated as important areas in the educational programmes for the master`s degree (implemented from 2017) at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMET)’s. The transdisciplinary goals which are studied in the TEQ 21- project are all related to needs for developing 21 st. –century skills as active learning, critical reflection and problem-solving (Greiff el al, 2014). The three areas are: teachers’ professional diversity competence (DIV- competence), teachers’ professional digital competency (DIG- competence ) and teachers professional research & development competence (R&D-competence). The substudy we will present in this paper is related to the development of R&D-competence. A R&D -based teacher educational programme aims to educate student teachers in specific ways of thinking and acting that stems from the principles and methods of scientific works (Griffiths 2004) and is featured by facilitating learning activities to develop R&D-knowledges and skills throughout the study. The main objectives developing R&D-competence in teacher education are twofold. The most nearby objective is related to attain knowledges and skills to develop and implement a master project. The long-term objective is to develop competence to implement a research based professional practice and to be a professional actor in research and developing processes at schools.
The The TEQ 21- project and the substudy is in its very beginning and a starting point is to reveal the student teachers` perceptions of core concepts of the project. To attain this the substudy is based on two sets of data: a survey and group interview data with student teachers as informants.
The research questions:
- Which conceptual understandings of R&D-competence prevail among student teachers?
a) What modes of knowledge can be identified as constructing R&D-competence?
b) In what ways do the student teachers conceptions of R&D competence reflect intersubject and interarena learning activities?
The goals of developing the three transdisciplinary goals is rooted in a multidisciplinary teacher education design at OsloMet (Bjørke & Braut, 2009). The design is featured as inter-subject learning activities in and across campus and practice placement as learning arenas. Learning activities which are related to develop R&D-competence is based on a stepwise plan of learning activities on campus and in practice placements each year of the study. The learning activities emphasized developing R&D-competence are reading academic texts and literature reviews, writing academic texts, learning R&D-methods and designing R&D- projects.
Theoretical perspectives underlying the TEQ 21- project understand development of professional teacher competence as learning process which involves different modes of knowledge. Teachers’ professional competence is characterized by handling a wide range of different issues related to learning and teaching (Darling Hammond 2008, Erault 2004, Grimen 2008). To handle this complexity the construction of professional competence depends on an integrated relation between theoretical, cultural embedded and practical and experience-based embodied modes of knowledge which also comprise relational competence and ethical considerations of the teaching process (Carlgren 2012, Grossmann 2008, Klette & Carlsten 2012, Shulman 1986).The manifold modes of knowledges are interacting in different learning acitivities and cultural settings on campus and in practice placement and challenges a more traditional dichotomous understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge as the base of knowledge in teacher education.
The main research question of his subsbtudy is to prevail the student teachers` conceptual understandings of R&D-competence in teacher education. It is in our interest to explore this question widely but we also parallelly want to narrow the information to map the core concepts of the TEQ 21-project. In this respect the main question is nuanced with two subquestions, requesting modes of knowledges and intersubject and interarena learning activities. To answer these questions there are two sets of data in this subproject, which also are part of the overall primary dataset of the TEQ 21-project. One dataset consists of survey data (Bryman, 2008, Miles & Huberman, 1994) where the student teachers of the second year of the teacher education programme are informants. Before answering the student teachers are given a plenary information about the TEQ 21-project and the three transdisciplinary goals, which also can be recognised in the structure of the educational programme. A link to the survey will be available for all through a common learning platform (CANVAS). The quantitative data set will be supplemented by together four group interviews (Morgan, 1997, Kvale, 2001) to collectively explore the research questions. In two of the group interviews the informants are student teachers of the first year and in the two others the informants are student teachers of the second year of the teacher education programme. The informants will be randomly selected among the student teachers in the course studies of the first and second year of the programme. The group inteviews will be carried out by two of the researchers in the TEQ- 21 who are both connected to the course studies as teacher educators. These roles demand awareness as it they challenge the distance to the field of research and there is need of sensitivity in the interview process (Ulvik 2017). The main analytical approach is abductive: a theory-driven but empirically informed analysis which is moving between the deductive and the inductive approach (Alvesson & Skjöldberg, 1994, Tavory & Timmermans, 2014). The theoretical bases for the analyses will comprise existing knowledge of teachers’ professional competence and especially the revelation of different modes of knowledge. Empirical phenomena will further constitute relevant analytical categories.
Expected outcome of this substudy is to get an increasing understanding of how student teachers perceive the role of a research based teacher education. The data will get opportunities to search for differences in the perceptions from the first to the second year of the study. The analytical approaches will hopefully give intimation to clear up the sub research questions. We intend to get å slight picture of the interaction and identification of different modes of knowledge and how the interaction is featured. A reasonable expectation is also an improving understanding of the role of multidisciplinary learning processes and relations between campus and practice placement as learning arenas. The complexity these issues represent is in this substudy limited to the requests of the research question and the subquestions. We however intend to approach the data in ways that give us possibility to discuss new knowledge in line with current research and theoretical perspectives related to the field of professional teacher competence.
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