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Elevers möjligheter att ta ansvar för sitt lärande i matematik: En skolstudie i postmodern tid
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Mathematics, Technology and Science Education.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Students opportunities to assume responsibility for their own learning with regard to mathematics. : A classroom-based study in a postmodern era. (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines the ‘individual perspective’ of the Swedish school system’s policy documents by studying compulsory schooling’s stated aim of developing students’ ability and opportunities to assume responsibility for, be actively involved in and influence their own learning.

Its main objective is to investigate the opportunities of compulsory school students to assume responsibility for their learning with regard to mathematics. In order to understand these opportunities, I have initially investigated how the school system in general and instruction in mathematics, in particular, are organised and carried out. I have also examined what forms student responsibility for, influence on and participation in their learning take in the context of instruction in mathematics. This study also intends to highlight questions related to understanding the social circumstances that affect students’ opportunities for assuming responsibility for their learning.

The empirical material used for this study was collected via interviews and observations. The study was conducted as a case study using students from early schoolyear classes to the ninth school year at a Swedish compulsory school, with the purpose of analysing education in mathematics throughout the course of the compulsory schoolyear one to nine education. In considering the question of how responsibility, influence and participation is presented in the Swedish school system, it was also important to study the way students, teachers and school heads express and implement the idea of students assuming responsibility for their education both in general and more specifically with regard to their learning in mathematics.

An important theoretical starting point for the study has been the phenomenological lifeworld concept. The concept has contributed to the study’s design and has provided the tools with which to examine student circumstances in an individual perspective. The adoption of a design theory perspective has also been important, especially in carrying out and analysing classroom-based observations.

The most common methods and forms of work used in the classroom involved individual work using a mathematics textbook. The textbook itself proved to greatly determine the course and nature of instruction in mathematics, with the teacher’s role being one of assisting and supporting the students to progress through the book. The study also reveals obvious changes taking place in schools at present – from having previously focused on group-based, collective activities, the trend is moving increasingly toward more individual forms of work, e.g. that which is labelled ‘individual study’.

The challenges faced by mathematics education in compulsory schools relate to the school’s position vis-à-vis the individual in relation to the group; how the exchange of experience between teachers can be made possible both within and across year levels in compulsory schools; and how mathematics education can reduce its dependence on textbooks and perhaps thereby strengthen the didactic roles and duties of teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för matematik, teknik och naturvetenskap,Umeå universitet , 2009. , 198 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 32
Keyword [en]
mathematics in schools, responsibility, influence, participation, case study, design theory perspective, lifeworld, dependence on textbooks
Keyword [sv]
skolmatematik, ansvar, inflytande, delaktighet, fallstudie
National Category
Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26608ISBN: 978-91-7264-866-1OAI: diva2:272715
Matematik, teknik och naturvetenskap, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2009-11-27, N 360 Naturvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-11-06 Created: 2009-10-16 Last updated: 2009-11-06Bibliographically approved

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