Teachers' Digital Didactical Designs - Motives, Goals and Practical Implementation of one-to-one computing in Swedish Schools
The aim of this paper is to understand and describe, at different levels, how digitalization of K-12 education is carried out in practice in Sweden. Therefore we studied principals, teachers and pupils experiences and narratives about the implementation of one-to-one computing.
- How do principals lead and guide the process of implementing one-to-one computing in K-12 education? What are they trying to achieve?
- How do teachers design for teaching and learning in the one-to-one computing classroom? What are they trying to achieve?
- What are the pupils’ experiences of one-to-one computing in school?
Activity theory (Leontiev, 1986) has been used for analysing the empirical material on different levels (e.g. triangulation) where motives, goals, actions and the actual operationalization in the classroom are important perspectives.
To study the research questions interviews with school leaders, classroom observations, teacher interviews and student group interviews have been applied in grade 2-12. Focus of the principal interviews (No. 6) was on their intentions with the one-to-one implementation and their leadership during the process. For the teacher interviews (No. 27), focus was on their teaching design (e.g. intentions and planning) and the actual operationalization of their design in the classroom. The interviews with principals and teachers lasted around 60 minutes. The pupils were interviewed in groups of 3-5 pupils in each group (in total 15 focus groups). The approach of stimulated recall (Haglund, 2003) was used for investigating pupils expericences of different teaching designs. The interviews with pupils lasted around 18-35 minutes.
Four themes emerged from the triangulation of principal interviews, classrooms observations, teacher interviews and pupil interviews: 1) striving for pedagogical participation for increasing pupils’ achievement and approvement, 2) designing assignment for creating self-propelling pupils, 3) using variation as a method for creating motivated and active pupils, 4) designing assignments for creating variation and indivdualization by pupils’ choice.
The four themes illustrates a chain of actions affected by each other – from expressed motives and goals on different levels, down to the teaching design implemented in the classroom. The themes also illustrate a hiearachy from the principals view of the digitalisation of the school and his/her motives of the 1:1 initiative from a pedagogic leader persepctive. This in turn, affect the participating teachers own expressed focus and goals for their teaching design and thus, the pupils actual use of the tablets in the assignments given during the schoolday.
Relevance for Nordic educational researchA growing body of research, reports on the difficulties of implementing one-to-one computing into K-12 education, and the Nordic countries is not an exception. The contribution of this study demonstrates a chain of actions on different levels regarding possibilities and challenges in the take up and use of one-to-one computing. The results from this study contribute to an understanding on how the digitalization process of K-12 education is carried out in practice in Swedish schools.
The 45th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), 2017