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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

Learning, Assessment and Boundary crossing in Teacher Education

Alternative title: Læring, vurdering og grensekryssing i grunnskolelærerutdanningen

Awarded: NOK 12.1 mill.

Reforms of teacher education in Norway from 2010 have emphasized the development of methodological competence for student teachers when working on research and development (R&D) assignments in their third year of study designed to improve their own practice. Subsequently, from autumn 2017, further reforms required all students undertaking primary/lower secondary teacher education (GLU) to follow a master's degree programme culminating in a practice-based and professionally oriented master's thesis. LAB-TEd, Learning, Assessment and Boundary crossing in Teacher Education, has a two-fold aim: to develop collaboration between universities (teacher educators), schools (teachers and school leaders) and student teachers in order to build capacity for practice-based, professionally-oriented research of the kind required by the 2017 GLU reform; and to research these processes using an innovative methodology that will uncover obstacles and barriers to change that will be more widely useful across the system in Norway and, potentially, internationally. Overall, therefore, the project itself is conceptualized as R&D in the tradition of formative interventions, elaborated by Yrjö Engeström, an advisor to the project. The professional context for the intervention will be teachers' practices in four school subjects: English, natural science, mathematics, and physical education. Additionally, LAB-TEd will seek to understand the challenges in creating assessment criteria for academic work at masters' level that is practice-based and professionally oriented. In developing such criteria, the project will also explore new models of supervision. Further, LAB-TEd will seek to test and explore the specific methodology it deploys, informed by cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT). The partners, teacher educators in schools and at university and student teachers, have during LAB-Ted's first year developed a close collaboration on development and research about the theses in GLU. LAB-Ted has emphasized to develop a cooperation where all involved can feel ownership of the project and that their voice are important for the results. Tripartite collaboration in supervision, and theses meaningful for the school and the upcoming teachers' practice have been prioritized. The first 20 cohort of GLU students (C1) engaged in LAB-TEd completed their master's thesis spring 2022. 18 students (K2) complete their master's theses in the academic year 2022/23. LAB-TEd is led by Rachel Jakhelln (UiT The Arctic University of Norway) and May Britt Postholm (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in cooperation with the mentor of LAB-Ted, Viv Ellis (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia).

The project Learning, Assessment and Boundary crossing in Teacher Education (LAB-TEd) will seek to encourage learning across boundaries (Engeström, Engeström, & Kärkkäinen, 1995), in teacher education creating a mediating social space through which collaborative practices can be developed and learning processes examined. The research will take a Developmental Work Research (DWR) approach developed in the frame of cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) (Engeström & Engeström, 1986) to the challenge of the 2017 Norwegian 5-year GLU teacher education reforms (Ministry of Education, 2016a,b). DWR participatory data analysis workshops – known as Change Laboratories (Engeström, Virkkunnen, Helle, Pihlaja, & Poikela, 1996) – will both stimulate and study the process of change in developing the new GLU, five-year teacher education programmes by drawing together higher education institutions, their school partners, and student teachers. The primary units of analysis under examination in LAB-TEd will be the coordinated groups of university teacher educators, school teachers (mentors) and student teachers who come together to work on the R&D assignments and the Master’s theses, now a requirement for all GLU teachers under the 2017 reforms. The research will focus on two university-school partnerships in two regions of Norway -Tromso (UiT) and Trondheim (NTNU). Lab-Ted will seek *to create assessment criteria for GLU teacher education that are professionally-oriented;* to understand how the work with the student teachers' R&D assignments and master’s these contribute to high-level competence in research in teacher education and in practice in schools;*to develop new models for supervision of student teachers when they work on their R&D assignments and Master’s theses; * to create knowledge about the usefulness of CHAT in stimulating change and development both in teacher education and in schools.

Funding scheme:

FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren