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Course Literature In The Field Of Tension Between Academic And Professional Practice: What Is Included And What Is Excluded?

Conference contribution
Authors Djamila Fatheddine
Miranda Rocksén
Charlotte Nilsson
Elisabeth Ohlsson
Published in ECER 2018, Bolzano
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Pedagogy, Didactics


In line with a dominant discourse about research based teacher education, this research investigates the literature in primary and secondary teacher education at one university in Sweden. The project started as a developmental project for investigating the scientific base in the education of primary and secondary school teachers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the course literature in teacher education programs in order to illustrate one aspect of the research base. Method Three initial teacher education programs were selected, one program for becoming primary school teachers, one for becoming lower secondary school teacher and one program for becoming upper secondary teachers. The study includes quantitative data about the reading lists currently used in the different courses and programs. Data was collected through the open learning platform during the autumn 2017 and a system for categorization was developed based on the characters of included texts. In the analysis, we used three concepts derived from Ricoeur; Explain, Understand and Fields of tension. The term Fields of tension is used by Ricoeur in order to highlight that the two concepts Explain and Understand exist side by side although they create tensions. The two concepts Explain and Understand originates from Diltheys division between different science traditions. The natural sciences is, according to Dilthey, connected with Explain while Understand can be attributed to humanities. In contrast to Dilthey and his dichotomous view, Ricoeur tried to interweave these two concept, as he meant that they are dependent on each other. In our conceptualization of these two terms, we have chosen to consider Explain as representing those texts in the reading lists that are more closely related to the vocational aspects, such as textbooks. These textbooks provide instructional support and descriptions of aspects of the classroom practice serving as a teacher's guidelines explaining how teaching ought to be conducted. Furthermore, we use the concept Understand regarding research literature such as peer-reviewed articles and dissertations. Expected Outcomes The study shows discrepancy between courses concerning the frequency of books published by major commercial publishers, original research literature like dissertations and peer-reviewed articles or official materials provided by the National Agency of Education. The result can be seen as an expression of a program of education positioned in Fields of tensions. The tensions exist on different levels. On a macro-level, the tensions consist between the fact that teacher education itself is an education that is at the intersection of vocational education and academic education. On a micro-level, the strains involve the teacher educators and their different backgrounds as either academic researcher or/and primary/secondary school teacher. The need for developing guidelines for the course literature is discussed in relation to the dominant discourse about research based teacher education. The study raises new questions regarding the terms of condition for the individual teacher educator in charge of selecting course literature as well as all those working in the courses. What is included and what is excluded, and on what premises? References Beach, D., Bagley, C., Eriksson, A., & Player-Koro, C. (2014). Changing teacher education in Sweden: Using meta-ethnographic analysis to understand and describe policy making and educational changes. Teaching and Teacher Education, 44(Supplement C), 160-167. doi: Dilthey, W. (2002). Selected works. The formation of the historical world in the human sciences. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. Ricœur, P. (1976). Interpretation theory: discourse and the surplus of meaning. Fort Worth, Tex.: Fort Worth, Tex.: Texas Christian Univ. Press.

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