14 SES 12 A, Teachers' Perspective and Classrooms
In late 2018 a network of small, rural primary and lower secondary schools (n: 24) from Western Norway partnered with education researchers from an urban-based higher education institution. The purpose of the joint work is to allow, based on empirical data, the professional development of the teachers and teaching. The central idea of the paper is to investigate the potential of rural teachers’ collaboration with researchers have the potential to bridge the gap between rural and urban school development needs. Researchers (Kvalsund 2017, Solstad 2016) have pointed out that educational policy and reform is defined since the 1990`s in the Norwegian context through its urban contextualization enclosing urban-based research and literature. Against this situation, research on school development work has shown that these schools are hung off the driving force of national urban development programs (Postholm et.al. 2017).
As a result, it is not only the rural placement of the schools that makes various forms of cooperation difficult. Those schools are characterized by the fact that they do not have the capacity to access and to make current research results fruitful for local school competence development.
To achieve the goal, to develop data-based ideas for classroom development, both teachers and researchers are carrying small-data bases research projects. Briefly, the project is based on the idea that teachers learn to collect empirical data on the experience of quality dimensions of good teaching (Meyer et.al.,2017). Later on, the data is interpreted through the teachers in collaboration with the researchers. Hence, it can be expected that teachers get first-hand experiences of research and these experiences have the power to change their confidence with research-based classroom development.
The research in this project is interested in in learning about how the collaborative approach, that is mainly driven by the teachers bridges the urban rural divide regarding both teacher’s professional development and research. We operationalize this wider research problem through the following research questions:
- How do the teachers, that are participating in the research circles experience their position and role in the competence development project?
- What are their experiences of the collaborative project?
The data comprises of 8 semi-structured pre-categorized focus group interviews (n: 4-5) with primary and lower secondary school teachers recruited from project school. The informants have been participating in the research circles (rq1,2) as well as they are recruited from non-participants (for rq3). The interviews were conducted throughout fall/ winter 2020. Subsequently, interview transcripts have been prepared. The interviews have not been translated into English in order to get as close as possible to the voice of the informants. To operationalize the RQ`s the interviews addressed the following topics: teachers prior and current attitudes towards research, their prior and current use of research for classroom development, teachers use of data regarding curriculum development, application and assessment. To get a clearer understanding of teachers experience and ideas about the positional and value change of research they have been asked to make comparisons between their then and now. Finally, the teachers have been asked to elaborate freely about their experience of being part of this shared development project. In the analytical work, qualitative content analysis (QCA) (Kohlbacher, 2008, Mayring, 2002, 2015) was applied for all the national sub-projects. Qualitative content analysis (QCA) is part of procedures for systematically text analysis interpreting texts rule governed and comprehensible in order to evaluate (Mayring, 2002
Due to the still pending analyses, no statements can be made regarding the research questions. However, it is to be expected that already existing knowledge about teacher collaboration and teacher’s data literacy will be confirmed, deepened and unravelled.
Kvalsund R. (2019) Bigger or Better? Research-Based Reflections on the Cultural Deconstruction of Rural Schools in Norway: Metaperspectives. In: Jahnke H., Kramer C., Kvalsund, R. (2017). Social learning in Norwegian classrooms and schools: Educational research in perspective. In R. Maclean (Ed.), Life in schools and classrooms: Past, present and future. Singapore: Springer, pp. 21–55. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-3654-5_3. Meyer, M. A., Meyer, H., & Ren, P. (2017). The German Didaktik tradition revisited. Theorizing Teaching and Learning in Asia and Europe: A Conversation between Chinese Curriculum and European Didactics, In Chi-Kin Lee & Kennedypp (eds.). Theorizing Teaching and Learning in Asia and Europe: A Conversation between Chinese Curriculum and European Didactics. London: Routledge, 179-216. Postholm, M.; Dahl, Th.; Dehlin, E.; Engvik, G.; Irgens, E.; Normann, A. & Strømme, A. (2017) Ungdomstrinn i utvikling: Skoleutvikling, lesing, skriving og regning. Funn og fortellinger. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Solstad, K. J. (2016). Nedlegging av skular: grunnar og konsekvensar [Closing schools: reasons and consequences]. Bedre skole, 3, 28–32. Retrieved from https://www2.utdanningsforbundet. no/upload/Tidsskrifter/Bedre%20Skole/BS_3_2016/7724-BedreSkole-0316-Solstad.pdf Kohlbacher, F. (2008). The Use of Qualitative Content Analysis in Case Study Research [89 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(1), Art. 21, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0601211. Mayring, P. (2002). Qualitative content analysis – Research instrument or mode of interpretation? In M. Kiegelmann (ed.), The role of the researcher in qualitative psychology. Tuebingen, Verlag Ingeborg Huber, 139–148. Mayring, P. (2015). Qualitative Content Analysis: Theoretical Background and Procedures.
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