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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

Learning in the 21st Century: Capitalizing on students' strengths - compensating for desired capabilities

Awarded: NOK 10.8 mill.

Learning in the 21st century deals with how school should relate to the digital worlds of youth in a way that promotes student motivation and achievement. Since the digital exposure can be both negative and positive, we approached the task by looking at ways to capitalize on the positive, and compensate for negative influences. This, however, demands that we make clear our conception of school, because it is only on that basis we can distinguish between ?good? and ?bad?. We assume that school still plays a crucial role in terms of the development of young people?s qualification, their socialization and subjectification in the 21st century. The idea of capitalization versus compensation takes on different forms in different contexts. In the context of students? volitional dispositions, we see that around 30% of Nordic students experience a conflict between their academic ambitions and their digital activities and habits. Furthermore, analyses show that there is a very large negative association between this sense of conflict and their ability to concentrate on work related tasks. Work is presently being done to design an intervention that hopefully will strengthen students? meta-conative abilities and thereby their academic behaviors in order to overcome the present conundrum. In the context of different school subjects, the capitalization/compensation dimension takes on a multitude of forms. In the school subject Norwegian, it is important to develop students? ability to write argumentative texts. Students themselves develop this ability not only at school, but also increasingly by partaking in discussions in social media. Based on this we compare texts produced in and out-of-school as a basis for the design of an intervention aimed at strengthening students? argumentative text production, particularly in social media channels. In the school subject English, we study individual students? learning trajectories in terms of the perceived importance of different encounters with the English language. Understanding the role and importance of these different encounters can help teachers develop more integrative pedagogic approaches that take into account students? out-of-school activities.

PRAKUT area 4: Given the complex relationship between educational cultures and the net-culture, and based on the assumptions that (a) school has to take into serious consideration the net-culture of the youth, and (b) that the school needs to retain its m ain educational purposes of developing disciplinary knowledge and skills, socializing and person-building, the main purpose of the project is to develop and test theoretically-grounded and applicable approaches of bridging between the two cultures. Hence, both measures which intend to capitalize on students digital skills and knowledge, and compensatory measures are addressed. Consequently, the project attempts to answer the following main questions: 1. In what ways are the net- and the school-culture d ifferent, as experienced and viewed by the net generation itself, and the teachers? 2. What are some exemplary cases of bridging between the two cultures? 3. What novel educational goals can be achieved by net-related activities when incorporated into the school, and how can out-of-school learning be successfully framed by educational purposes? 4. In what ways can social media expand the reach of educational learning, particularly in relation to changes in social views and norms, changes in stands on soci al issues, and changes in attitudes towards democracy and tolerance? 5. How can principles and guidelines based on the findings to research questions 1-4 be actually and successfully applied to whole schools and individual classrooms in the service of the enhancement of educational learning? These questions are to be answered by means of 4 studies tailored to these 5 questions. The significance of the project is by its conceptualization of what constitutes bridging between the 2 cultures without the sch ool compromising its main mission. The significance of the project is enhanced by the series of proposed studies and by the empirical testing of the successful applicability of the formulated models.

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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren