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Space for active learning: Envisioned and practiced school design.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Umeå University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
Umeå University.
2019 (English)In: NERA 2019, 6-8 March, Uppsala, Sweden: Education in a globalized world, 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a case study of trends and transitions in the context of Nordic school design. The aim is to explore how local stakeholders in Sweden (principals, school leaders and architects) involved in school building projects envision a ‘good’ learning environment and what perceptions of teaching and learning that underlie their visions. By including various groups of stakeholders, we also aim at exploring how their views relate to each other. Drawn on the results, we discuss their ideas in relation to wider discourses on teaching and learning in late modern society with focus on local – global transitions.

The study draws on a relational understanding of space (Massey 2005; McGregor 2004), and the idea that physical, social and pedagogical dimensions of learning space are generated together and continuously in process. Furthermore, we understand learning spaces as areas where power relations, control and agency are performed. In line with this understanding the analysis draws on Bernstein’s concepts ‘classification’ and ‘framing’ (Bernstein 2000).

We conducted semi-structured interviews with stakeholders at different levels (municipality level, school level) involved in projects concerning construction and reconstruction of school buildings. At the level of municipalities, interviews where held with 8 officials/school leaders and 3 architects. At the school level, interviews where held with 9 principals (n 20). Interview data was analysed inspired by Critical Discourse Analysis as advocated by Wodac and Fairclough (1997).

We identified two main discourses about how learning space shall be constituted, that differed in terms of classification. One which celebrated clear boundaries and separations between different places/localities, i.e. strong classification in physical space, and one which celebrated more blurred boundaries and separations in physical space, i.e. weak classification between localities. Furthermore, the framing came in different forms in the two discourses - more strong framing of student-teacher relations and communication in the first discourse and more weak framing in the second discourse. Thus, strongly classified physical space seemed to entail (or operate with) strong framing of communication and behaviour (clear and explicit rules and principles for classroom practices), and weak classified physical space seemed to entail (or operate with) more weak framing of practices (the rules and principles for learning being merely implicit). No matter of what discourse or profession they represented, the stakeholders advocated a pedagogical approach directed towards ‘active’ learning and saw the student as an ‘active learner‘.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156827OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-156827DiVA, id: diva2:1292452
Conference
NERA
Available from: 2019-02-28 Created: 2019-02-28 Last updated: 2019-03-06Bibliographically approved

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https://www.nera2019.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2019/03/abstract-book-nera-2019-03-06.pdf

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Rönnlund, MariaBergström, PeterTieva, Åse

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