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Final thesis models in European teacher education and their orientation towards the academy and the teaching profession
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Teacher Education, ISSN 0261-9768, E-ISSN 1469-5928, Vol. 37, no 2, 144-155 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study concerns different final thesis models in the research on teacher education in Europe and their orientation towards the academy and the teaching profession. In scientific journals, 33 articles support the occurrence of three models: the portfolio model, with a mainly teaching-professional orientation; the thesis model, with a mainly academic orientation; and the action research model, related to both orientations. All models had some relationship with both orientations. The study discusses these findings, the different models' possibilities to integrate both major orientations as well as how a final thesis can be used to integrate theory and practice in higher education programmes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 37, no 2, 144-155 p.
Keyword [en]
teacher education, final thesis, teaching profession, models, academy
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89228DOI: 10.1080/02619768.2013.858692ISI: 000335088900003OAI: diva2:719768
Available from: 2014-05-27 Created: 2014-05-26 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mellan akademi och lärarprofession: integrering av vetenskapliga och professionella mål för lärarutbildningens examensarbeten
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mellan akademi och lärarprofession: integrering av vetenskapliga och professionella mål för lärarutbildningens examensarbeten
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Between the Academy and the teaching profession : integration of academic and professional goals in the degree project in Swedish teacher education
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study the relationship between the overall academic and profession-oriented goals for the degree project in Swedish teacher education. The methodology includes analyses of 26 syllabi, reviews of 33 scientific papers, interviews with 24 supervisors and analyses of 84 published degree projects.  The introduction of a degree project in teacher education in many European countries, as well as in academic professional programs in general, can be understood as being a part of a trend towards academization of teacher education programs.  At the same time, however, there is another trend in higher education, a “practical” trend, which upholds the importance of profession-oriented goals. While it is a main ambition in higher education to bring these two types of goals closer together and, if possible, integrate them, these two trends can interfere with each other. The interference can be seen as a new version of the long-running issue of theory versus practice in academic professional education. This study of the purposes, implementation and outcomes of the degree project shows that there are both possibilities and hindrances when it comes to integrating the academic and the profession-oriented goals. Firstly, the three degree project models in European teacher education, i.e. the traditional thesis, the portfolio and the action research model, all allow for the integration of the two kinds of goals. Secondly, five of the goals are conducive to an integration, namely those involving subject knowledge, data collection methods, documentation skills, analysis skills and distancing skills. However, as was mentioned above, the thesis also points to certain factors that may hamper such an integration. Firstly, the academic goals often tend to be seen as more important than the profession-oriented ones in a degree project. Secondly, there are eight goals that may make the integration difficult. Three of these are academic, namely academic level, priority of supervisors’ academic qualifications over their professional qualifications and academic writing, while five are profession-oriented, namely broad knowledge, experience-based knowledge, artistic knowledge, didactic skills and normativity. This thesis analyses the possibilities and difficulties involved in an integration using Bernstein’s concepts of vertical and horizontal discourse. As the academic goals belong to the vertical discourse, they can give teacher students an understanding of why professional activities are done in a particular way, and enable them to critically assess teaching situations, while the profession-oriented goals, which belong to the horizontal discourse, can give them an understanding of how to perform professional activities and introduce them to the practical aspects of teaching. A final conclusion of this thesis is that there are many ways in which academic and profession-oriented goals can be integrated in the teacher education degree project. A successful integration would result in a degree project that incorporates two different perspectives, an academic bird’s-eye-view and a narrower, more profession-oriented one with a closeness to the teaching practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2016. 82 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 119
Academic trend, higher education, horizontal discourse, practice trend, vertical discourse
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126559 (URN)978-91-7601-549-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-04, Humanisthuset Hörsal E, Biblioteksgränd 3, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-12Bibliographically approved

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Råde, Anders
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