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  • 1.
    Christidis, Maria
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik.
    Integrated teaching for expanded vocational knowing: Studies in the Swedish upper secondary Health and social care program2020Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Integrated teaching is emphasized in Swedish upper secondary vocational education and training, for managing sociocultural and historical changes related to: a) increased demands on future competent health care workers, b) educational reforms, c) altered conditions for vocational teachers’ work, and d) vocational contextualization of teaching and learning content. However, national curricula from 1970, 1994, and 2011 recommend integrated teaching as a solution without any specific concretization of what integration could or should contribute with. Thus, the aim of this thesis was to explore the realization of integrated teaching and the vocational knowing made available by integration for students at the Swedish upper secondary Health and social care program, and partly for nursing students in higher education and training. The research questions attended to how integrated teaching is realized, and what vocational knowing is made available by integration.

    Theoretical point of departure was Cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), complemented with New literacy studies (NLS). The methodological framework included ethnographically inspired case studies, interviews, specifically semi-structured interviews and life-history interviews, and a systematic review. Research material was collected in 2012 and 2018. Analysis was performed with selected concepts from CHAT, and in one study also with concepts from NLS. In one study, i.e. the systematic review, GRADE CERQual was used for an assessment of confidence in the review findings.

    Study results showed that integrated teaching, regardless of composition and format, made available a vocational, a general, and an expanded vocational knowing. Also, vocational contextualization of school subjects was shown to be significant as an additional teaching and learning content and as mediational means between school and workplace.

    In conclusion, integrated teaching was shown to respond to the sociocultural and historical developments by making available for students an expanded vocational knowing. Also, vocational contextualization was shown to make possible for students learning knowing relevant for their future profession.

  • 2.
    Christidis, Maria
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Stockholm University.
    Vocational knowing in subject integrated teaching: A case study in a Swedish upper secondary health and social care program2019In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657X, Vol. 21, p. 21-33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this case study was to investigate what vocational knowing was made available in subject-integrated teaching of four vocational subjects in a Swedish Health and Social Care Program (HSCP). The study was composed of two separate data collections, both ethnographic. The first data collection was performed in autumn 2012 on a theme unit called VIPS, with a group of students (16+), in a Swedish HSCP. Data comprised observations, field notes, and audio recordings of planning and teaching of the theme unit, informal discussions with teachers and students, handouts, a theme booklet, and student assignments. The second data collection was performed during spring 2018 in which life-history interviews focused on documentation were conducted with the teachers involved in the theme unit from 2012. Data comprised audio recordings and time lines. A theoretical framework and analytical work were performed with concepts from Cultural Historical Activity Theory, and from New Literacy Studies. The results indicate that the object in the teaching activity comprised vocational knowing in three areas: psychosis, ethics, and communication, and vocational literacy. Vocational contextualization of teaching was a necessary component that made available vocational knowing that contributed to the students' professional development.

  • 3.
    Christidis, Maria
    Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik.
    Ämnesintegrering på vård- och omsorgsprogrammet utifrån ett verksamhetsteoretiskt perspektiv2014Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The study investigated subject integrated teaching and vocational knowledge in one Health and Social Care program. The material was collected ethnographically, during a period of a school semester (5 months), and analysed according to the Activity-Theoretical concepts actions, goals and tools.

    The results identified five goals for subject integrated teaching: the legitimacy of Swedish as a school subject; a focus on linguistic prescriptivism; the identity of vocational subjects; a predominant medical focus in vocational subjects; and a professional language. Further six recurrent tools were identified: a fictional book; a teacher-prepared hand-out; a teacher-constructed case report; teacher-examples from health care; and linguistic rules. There was a theoretical kind of vocational knowledge with focus on language issues, on medical aspects of care, and on a professional language.

    In conclusion, subject integrated teaching contributed with more than each of the specific subjects contributed with and simultaneously tensions between goals representing different subjects were found. However, tools were shared between subjects.

  • 4.
    Christidis, Maria
    et al.
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences.
    Lindberg, Viveca
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Lärares samverkan för yrkeskunnande: Engl. translation: Teachers’ Cooperation for Vocational Knowing2017In: Yrkesdidaktikens mångfald / [ed] Andreas Fejes, Viveca Lindberg, Gun-Britt Wärvik, Stockholm: Lärarförlaget , 2017, 1Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Based on a study of curriculum integration in Swedish upper secondary education, at a Health and Social Care Programme (Christidis, 2014), the issue of this chapter is how general subjects can contribute to vocational knowing in the interaction between teachers and students. Inspired by an ethnographic approach, classroom observations, interviews and documents formed the data, and for the analysis concepts from activity theory were used. Main results were that teachers’ and students’ experiences used in teaching focused three actors’ perspectives: those of nurse-assistants’, patients’ and relatives’. These were expressed in subject specific as well as interdisciplinary teaching of general and vocational subjects. Using subject integration made it possible for both teachers and students to explore connections between the subjects. Furthermore, subject integration contributed to one of the main goals of the Health and Social Care Programme: to develop a holistic view of the human being.

  • 5.
    Christidis, Maria
    et al.
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences. Stockholm University.
    Lindberg, Viveca
    Stockholm University.
    Subject-Integrated Teaching for Expanded Vocational Knowing and Everyday Situations in a Swedish Upper Secondary Health and Social Care Program2019In: Vocations and Learning, ISSN 1874-785X, E-ISSN 1874-7868, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 479-498Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to explore what subject-integrated teaching of vocational subjects, ethics and health care, contributed with in terms of vocational knowing. The case study was ethnographically inspired and followed a group of students (16 +) and their teachers in a Swedish Health and Social Care Program while they worked with a theme unit called Death for two weeks in autumn 2012. Data comprised observations, field notes, and audio recordings of the planning and teaching of the theme unit, informal discussions with teachers and students, handouts, a theme booklet, and student assignments. Analysis was based on concepts related to cultural historical activity theory, especially emphasizing rules, tools, actions, operations, and contradictions. Results showed three major objects emphasized in the teacher–student interaction and the tools chosen to support the subject-integrated teaching activity: vocational knowing related to vocational ethics, to everyday ethics, and argumentative skills. Manifestations of contradictions in the form of dilemmas related to the examples that teachers copied from a textbook. As these examples were mainly contextualized in everyday situations, and there are no formal ethical guidelines for nursing assistants on which teachers could rely on, teachers’ narratives were used to complement these examples. Students’ argumentative skills were emphasized and related to personal situations, in which ethical arguments for justification in vocationally relevant situations were made unclear.

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  • 6.
    Gericke, Niklas
    et al.
    Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Karlstad University,Sweden.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Defining epigenetic literacy: How to integrate epigenetics into the biology curriculum2023In: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, ISSN 0022-4308, E-ISSN 1098-2736, Vol. 60, no 10, p. 2216-2254Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to define epigenetic literacy and describe how it can be included in school biology. Epigenetics is a new field of research in biology with abundant societal consequences and conceptual implications on how genetics is understood. Epigenetics explains how genes are regulated, thereby clarifying cell differentiation, and providing an understanding of how the environment interacts with genes. Students are bound to encounter epigenetic knowledge and applications related to issues such as health, food, and exercise in the media and their everyday lives. Consequently, there is a need to develop epigenetic literacy. Nevertheless, epigenetics is missing in biology curricula and is almost unknown among teachers and students. Research on epigenetics in science education is scarce, and we do not know what and how to teach. Therefore, we conducted a policy Delphi study with a panel of experts to define an epigenetic literacy framework for teaching in secondary education in relation to Robert's Vision I and Vision II perspectives on epigenetic literacy. Participants were 41 recognized international experts representing 11 countries and five areas of expertise. The experts suggested that epigenetics should be introduced in the lower secondary genetics course (students aged 13–15 years), but also addressed in other relevant areas of biology. The study generated six content themes: epigenetics as a metaphor; epigenetics connecting nature with nurture; epigenetics as a dynamic process; epigenetic mechanisms; epigenetics and inheritance; and epigenetics and nature of science, and five sociocultural themes for contextualization: epigenetics and lifestyle; epigenetics and diseases; epigenetics and ethics; epigenetics and policies; and epigenetics and forensics. Taken together, these themes constitute the epigenetic literacy framework. Further, we uncover divergent meanings in the expert panel—as is typical of policy Delphi studies—and connect the framework to genetic literacy and learning progressions in genetics education.

  • 7.
    Jordal, Malin
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Eriksson, Henrik
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. University West, Sweden.
    Salzmann-Erikson, Martin
    University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Mazaheri, Monir
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Escorting Students into Responsibility and Autonomy (ESRA): A Model for Supervising Degree Project2021In: Advances in Medical Education and Practice, E-ISSN 1179-7258, Vol. 12, p. 1165-1173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Several models for how to support students and provide them with the skills needed to write their degree projects have been proposed. However, few attempts have been made to present a general model for students’ academic work based on reasoning and communication skills rather than memorizing and mimicking their supervisors during their independent degree project.Objective: In the present paper, we propose a well-structured model that assists supervisors in promoting students’ responsibility and autonomy, while at the same time maintaining a high level of support.Presentation: We present a step-by-step protocol based on a partnership model with a contractual style that focuses on students’ academic work with their own texts through a process of alternating between abstract and concrete writing. This protocol, which is called the ESRA (Escorting the Students into Responsibility and Autonomy) model, can be utilized regardless of the content, specific aim and scope of the individual student’s degree project.Discussion and Conclusions: We argue that this model promotes high levels of engagement and assumption of responsibility among students, while also offering a feasible structure for ensuring the steps to empowerment and autonomy. Use of the ESRA model is suitable when a constructive interaction between students and supervisors is desirable as a tool to achieve the learning outcomes of the degree project. Thus, the proposed model is one step toward giving a new generation of nurses the skills and ability they need to adapt in the changing world of the 21st century and to make promoting health a core mission of their profession.

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  • 8.
    Lindberg, Viveca
    et al.
    Department of Humanities and Social Studies Education, Stockholm University.
    Jounger, Sofia Louca
    Division of Oral Diagnostics and Rehabilitation, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and Scandinavian Center for Orofacial Neurosciences (SCON).
    Christidis, Maria
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences.
    Christidis, Nikolaos
    Division of Oral Diagnostics and Rehabilitation, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and Scandinavian Center for Orofacial Neurosciences (SCON).
    Literacy as part of professional knowing in a Swedish dental education2021In: BMC Medical Education, E-ISSN 1472-6920, Vol. 21, no 1, article id 373Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Academic reading and writing are seen as self-evident literacy competences in most contemporary higher educations, however, whether students also are introduced to professional literacy of relevance for dentistry during their education is a question. The purpose of this study is to analyze one of the Swedish dental programmes, with respect to its design, in relation to possible content of relevance for academic and professional literacy. Secondarily, to identify and analyze Swedish dental students' writing in an academic setting, i.e. what these students are expected to read and write, and how they write.

    METHODS: Data, for this ethnographically inspired case-study, was produced by observations and audio-recordings of lectures, copies of teachers' handouts and of volunteering students' notes, and a multiple-choice-test. Data-analysis was made in five steps, starting with macro-level data, i.e. curriculum and syllabuses, followed by the syllabuses for the two observed modules, the teacher-provided material, analysis of the students' notes, while in the fifth and final step, the results from the previous steps were compared, to find patterns of what students were expected to read and write, and what in the teacher-provided multimodal material that was emphasized in teachers' talk.

    RESULTS: This study showed that students were engaged in several types of literacy events, such as reading, finding and watching videos on their learning platform, writing, and following instructions. The study also showed that there is a recurrent academic content comprised of anatomy, physiology and pathology, while the professional content comprised of patient communication and anamnesis. Further, an integrated content was found and was initiated in teacher-constructed PowerPoints and by student-questions. Note-taking patterns varied between individual students, but the general pattern for this group of students were the use of complementary notes. This type of note-taking was used to make available further descriptions of the teacher-constructed text in PowerPoints, but also an independent text describing pictures shown on teachers' PowerPoints or the blackboard.

    CONCLUSION: Findings from the present study reveal that students either copy text from teachers' PowerPoint-slides, re-formulate text from teachers' PowerPoint-slides, or write complementing text to teachers' PowerPoint-slides. Further, the students individually choses type of note-taking based on situation. The study also revealed that the academic literacy - in the two modules during the fifth and sixth semesters of a dental education analyzed - mainly has a professional basis for reading, writing, and communication purposes. The study also showed that academic and professional literacy are closely connected through recurrent integration.

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  • 9.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Construction of a Review About Epigenetics for Biology Teachers and Other Non-experts2021In: Science & Education, ISSN 0926-7220, E-ISSN 1573-1901, Vol. 31, p. 997-1026Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Epigenetics, the new research field at the cutting edge of biology research, needs to be introduced in biology education. The aim of this review is to support biology teachers and other non-experts to get an overview of the field, as a review in epigenetics has hardly been written for these groups. This review was done by finding documents describing central features of epigenetics, increasing the understanding of epigenetics’ contribution to perspectives in society, and to be a model for a review in a rapidly developing science field. As an example of societal perspectives, the old dispute about “nature” or “nurture” is discussed, epigenetics focusing on the role of “nurture’s” influence on “nature.” Consequently, epigenetics dispels biological determinism. As this review was intended to fill a gap in the literature, a theoretical framework for the construction of the review had to be invented. This was done in an iterative process during the construction of the review. Documents were searched for in the databases of ERIC, Scopus, and Web of Science, peer-reviewed, and had been published by a well-renowned publisher. The search time frame was January 2016 to December 2019, including document types books and book chapters, plus journal articles for ERIC; documents had to be written in English and published as open access. Searches were divided into pre-defined categories based on a newly performed Delphi study. Exemplar studies, which best described each category, are discussed in the light of frontline research. As implications from epigenetics are important for a variety of areas within society, the review is a contribution to the field of sociology of science, aiming to support science education at the very front of science.

  • 10.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstads universitet, Institutionen för hälsovetenskaper (from 2013).
    Epigenetics gives new knowledge about learning: The example physical education2018In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education / [ed] Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs, Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University , 2018, p. 367-374Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    New knowledge in biology accumulates fast. This has great implications, for example, for our views of learning. Brain research, as well as research in the new field of epigenetics, have been very intense during the last few decades, and will doubtless influence our view of learning. It is important to follow the development in biology, derive advantages from new insights, and to consider changed practices at school. This paper is an example of how an increased amount of physical education in the school timetable could increase performance in theoretical school subjects. This relation is discussed in the light of the recently discovered epigenetic mechanisms. Studies have revealed epigenetic modifications in the brain cells during learning. Learning, combined with physical activity, has revealed increased epigenetic modifications. Thus, it has been speculated that epigenetic mechanisms might explain improved results in theoretical subjects due to physical activity. This ought to have implications for the school timetable, and lead to more physical education at school. It is discussed that one of the easiest ways to improve results in theoretical school subjects could be to increase the amount of physical education in the school timetable.

  • 11.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    The Connection Between the Body and the Environment: a Changing View2020In: Science & Education, ISSN 0926-7220, E-ISSN 1573-1901, Vol. 29, p. 1093-1096Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The author of the book takes a broad scope of different perspectives to cover our constantly increasing knowledge in biology. This is an ambitious book, written by a sociologist with great knowledge in biology although with some exceptions concerning facts about epigenetic inheritance (see my comments on chapter five). The book is divided into five chapters, all focussing on the connection between the body and the environment, and how the view of this connection has changed over time. The title of the book, Impressionable biologies, points to another perspective of biology than the natural science one—expressed in the words of the author as—“defining biological matter as deeply imbued with social meanings, not just ‘malleable’ but durably ‘impressionable’” (p. 28). The text is sometimes too verbose, especially in chapters one and three, and sometimes not stringent, implicating difficulties to follow the line of argument. The level is rather advanced. Thus the book is best suited for university teachers and researchers in biology education.

  • 12.
    Okenwa Emegwa, Leah
    et al.
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Jansson, Bjarne
    Karolinska Institutet, Sverige.
    Utbildning inom högskolor, universitet och kriminalvården om mäns våld mot kvinnor och våld i nära relationer2021In: Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, ISSN 0037-833X, Vol. 98, no 4, p. 554-560Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    I ett tidigare temanummer av Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift 2019 (nummer 4) redovisas mäns våld mot kvinnor och våld i nära relationer både nationellt och globalt. I en av artiklarna betonades vikten av både grundutbildning för de som möter problemet i sin yrkesutövning men även behovet av lokala utbildningar i närområdet bland grupper där jämställdhetsarbetet är eftersatt. De yrken som omfattas av det nya examensmålet i Högskoleförordningen möter personer som utsätts för olika typer av våld mot kvinnor och våld i nära relationer. Införandet av det nya examensmålet är därför ett unikt sätt att bekräfta den högre utbildningens strategiska roll.

    Detta temanummer syftar till att både generellt sprida och öka kunskapen men framför allt att bidra till ett kunskapsutbyte mellan de olika lärosätena. Här ges en möjlighet att ta del av varandras erfarenheter, idéer och pedagogiska grepp. Vår förhoppning är att temanumret skall var en källa till inspiration i det fortsatta viktiga arbetet med att minska mäns våld mot kvinnor. Glädjande har många värdefulla och intressanta artiklar inkommit som representerar hur man arbetar med ämnet både för blivande fysioterapeuter, socionomer, sjuksköterskor och för personalen inom kriminalvården.

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  • 13.
    Okenwa-Emegwa, Leah
    et al.
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Högskolan i Gävle, Sverige.
    Paillard-Borg, Stéphanie
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Wallin Lundell, Inger
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Linköpings universitet, Sverige.
    Stålberg, Anna
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Åling, Maria
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Ahlenius, Gabriella
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Eriksson, Henrik
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Högskolan Väst, Sverige.
    Våga fråga och agera!: Undervisnings- och lärandeaktiviteter om mäns våld mot kvinnor och våld i nära relationer i sjuksköterskeprogrammet vid Röda Korsets Högskola2021In: Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, ISSN 0037-833X, Vol. 98, no 4, p. 671-683Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    År 2017 infördes ett nytt nationellt examensmål ”visa kunskap om mäns våld mot kvinnor och våld i nära relationer” enligt SFS 2017: 857, i högskoleför-ordningen (SFS 1993:100) för vissa utbildningsprogram, där sjuksköterske-programmet är inkluderat. Syftet med denna artikel är att presentera hur det nationella examensmålet har implementerats i sjuksköterskeprogrammet vid Röda Korsets Högskola. Först ges en översikt avseende relevanta undervis-nings- och lärandeaktiviteter och hur de organiseras genom programmets utbildningsplan. I de avslutande reflektionerna presenteras den didaktiska Våga fråga och agera! -modellen. Modellen är en sammanfattning av Röda Korsets Högskolas tillvägagångssätt, det vill säga en stegvis progression i utbildningen från fakta, statistik, normer och värderingar, till att studenterna lär sig hur de kan upptäckta tecken på våld i komplexa kliniska situationer samt vikten av att ha mod att agera. Avslutningsvis är det vår uppfattning att ett tydligt upplägg är viktigt för att uppnå intentionerna med det nationella examensmålet, nämligen: Våga fråga och agera!   

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  • 14.
    Raaijmakers, Harald
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Walan, Susanne
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Christenson, Nina
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Developing museum-school partnerships: art-based exploration of science issues in a third space2021In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 43, no 17, p. 2746-2768Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A third space can be unlocked through collaborative efforts between out-of-school organisations (like museums) and schools. By bridging museum and school contexts, blurring boundaries between disciplines and shifting between multiple perspectives on a subject, a third space, can contribute to meaningful science education. However, resources that support collaboration between museum educators and teachers are required. The educational design of a third space between museums and schools can enable an experience informed by context-based, interdisciplinary, and value-centred teaching strategies. This study conceptualises and validates the Alma-Löv-Programme (ALP), a museum resource designed to support students’ interdisciplinary, and value-centred learning in a third space. It applies an art-based teaching strategy that encourages student groups to address science issues depicted by contemporary art. Comparison of the Alma-Löv-Programme design guidelines to the design instantiations of the established Framework for Museum Practice showed that they are largely consistent. However, noted distinctions indicate several factors that may be important for preparation and exploration of a third space. The findings can inform the design of activities and programmes by educators in the out-of-school sector.

  • 15.
    Silow Kallenberg, Kim
    et al.
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences.
    Sigvardsdotter, Erika
    The Swedish Red Cross University College, Department of Health Sciences.
    Om Sverige, svenskhet och de Andra i samhällsorientering för nyanlända2019In: ARKIV. Tidskrift för samhällsanalys, ISSN 2000-6225, E-ISSN 2000-6217, no 11, p. 71-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Samhällsorienteringskurser erbjuds nyanlända flyktingar för att ge dem grundläggande kunskap om Sverige och det svenska samhället. Syftet med Kim Silow Kallenberg och Erika Sigvardsdotters artikel är att analysera de bilder av Sverige, svenskhet och de Andra som framträder i kursernas undervisningsmaterial. Utifrån en narrativ ansats undersöks både berättelser och tystnader i materialet, där det som inte är uttalat förstås som en aspekt av berättelsen om Sverige och svenskheten. Materialet är både informativt och normerande, det beskriver både vad som är vanligt och vad som är önskvärt. Skrivningar om omständigheter där utrikesfödda kan bli förfördelade saknas i hög grad, samtidigt som sammanhang där utrikesfödda skulle kunna diskriminera eller skada någon annan beskrivs utförligt. Materialet kan därför tolkas som att det i första hand utgår från majoritetsbefolkningens perspektiv och behov, trots att det riktar sig till nyanlända.

  • 16.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Primary Teachers’ Reflections on Inquiry- and Context-Based Science Education2017In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 2, p. 407-426Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inquiry- and context-based teaching strategies have been proven to stimulate and motivate students’ interests in learning science. In this study, 12 teachers reflected on these strategies after using them in primary schools. The teachers participated in a continuous professional development (CPD) programme. During the programme, they were also introduced to a teaching model from a European project, where inquiry- and context-based education (IC-BaSE) strategies were fused. The research question related to teachers’ reflections on these teaching strategies, and whether they found the model to be useful in primary schools after testing it with their students. Data collection was performed during the CPD programme and consisted of audio-recorded group discussions, individual portfolios and field notes collected by researchers. Results showed that compared with using only one instructional strategy, teachers found the new teaching model to be a useful complement. However, their discussions also showed that they did not reflect on choices of strategies or purposes and aims relating to students’ understanding, or the content to be taught. Before the CPD programme, teachers discussed the use of inquiry mainly from the aspect that students enjoy practical work. After the programme, they identified additional reasons for using inquiry and discussed the importance of knowing why inquiry is performed. However, to develop teachers’ knowledge of instructional strategies as well as purposes for using certain strategies, there is need for further investigations among primary school teachers.

  • 17.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Swedish Red Cross University, Department of Health Sciences. Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Students' reflections on participation in a science and technology school competition2018In: Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference: Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education / [ed] Odilla Finlayson, Eilish McLoughlin, Sibel Erduran, Peter Childs, Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University , 2018, p. 273-282Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Different kinds of efforts have been made in many countries to stimulate students' interest in science and technology, for example through school competitions. Few studies, however,have investigated the effect of school competitions in science and technology. This study centres onhow students participatingin the science and technology school competition The Technology Eightexperienced the outcomesof taking part inthe competition. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen 15-year-old students. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed based on contentand resulted in four categories: Social effects, Attitude to competitions, Stimulated interest in science and technology and Gained knowledge. The students enjoyed participating in the competition and found that it had a positive effect on the social situationin the classroom. Competitions were also appreciated and seen to encourage students to work harder. However, the competition didnot have much effect in changing interest in science and technology. Finally, the students found it difficult to express how the competition had contributed to gainingmore content knowledge in the subjects, but they emphasised the practical aspects of learning.

  • 18.
    Walan, Susanne
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Mc Ewen, Birgitta
    Karlstad University, Sweden.
    Teachers’ and principals’ reflections on student participation in a school science and technology competition2018In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, E-ISSN 1470-1138, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 391-412Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The European Union asks for renewed pedagogies in schools according to teaching strategies and necessary competences for the twenty-first century, instead of the often-used transmissive pedagogies. The national Swedish competition in science and technology for grade eight, The Technology Eight, provides an opportunity for teachers to work with instructional strategies in line with suggested pedagogies.

    Purpose: To investigate teachers’ and principals’ reflections on the competition in schools.

    Sample: Seventeen secondary school teachers and three principals from districts in the south-western part of Sweden participated in the study. All teachers had long experience of the competition, and their classes had reached at least the regional finals during the last year.

    Design and methods: Semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and then analysed using content analysis. Focus was put on why the teachers decided to participate, how the teachers integrated the competition in their education and roles of the principals.

    Results: There were various reasons for participating in the competition. Teachers reported development of twenty-first-century skills such as better cooperation between the students. They also noticed an increased interest in science and technology and how learning in the subjects was stimulated. Furthermore, the teachers found participation in the competition to be positive for them too. They integrated the competition in ordinary education and gained teaching ideas as well as found connections to the curriculum. Participating in the competition seemed to be a tradition in most of the schools. The principals’ role was to facilitate the organisation around the competition and to provide social support.

    Conclusions: Participation in a school competition was considered as an instructional strategy with several positive outcomes. Use of this strategy can be supported by earlier suggestions to use pedagogies that are opposite to transmissive methods, enhancing students’ development of important skills for the future.

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