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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

Synthesizing research on teaching quality

Alternative title: Synthesizing research on teaching quality

Awarded: NOK 8.9 mill.

Scientific progress in research on teaching quality has been slowed by thematic fragmentation, weak integration of small- and large-scale studies, competing theoretical and methodological approaches, and an inadequate infrastructure for collaborative research. To overcome the current stalemate, new studies should be balanced with more synthesizing efforts. Innovations in video-based classroom research have created promising opportunities for collaboration between researchers in the joint analysis of data, and for reusing data by letting new researchers study the video material produced by primary researchers in classrooms e.g. secondary analysis. SYNTEQ proposes a model of programmatic research stages that will produce added value to extant research on teaching quality by strengthening: (1) the integration of qualitative and quantitative video data / student surveys, (2) the reuse of video data in secondary analyses / syntheses and collaborative research, thereby creating (3) new potentials for conceptual validation, instrument development, and (4) theoretical and methodological development relevant for comparative classroom studies. SYNTEQ is designed as a project where researchers involved in secondary analysis partly overlap with the primary researchers. In workshops and expert panels the project will develop and test standards and guidelines for research communication and metadata across various approaches to inquiry such as ethnography, conversation analysis, grounded theory and different coding manuals - all represented among the SYNTEQ scholars. These activities draw on the primary research from: (1) the LISA project with video observations from about 100 Norwegian lower secondary classrooms in language arts, mathematics and social science (N= 500 lessons) and (2) roughly similar data coordinated within the new Nordic Center of Excellence Quality in Nordic Teaching from about 120 classrooms per country in all five Nordic countries (N= 600 lessons).

In an era where education has become a key factor in shaping global economic and social development, teaching is being recognized as a key aspect impacting students learning. However, research on teaching quality has been slowed by thematic fragmentation, a multitude of small-scale studies and competing theoretical paradigms/methodological approaches. SYNTEQ will reframe research on teaching quality by developing programmatic and collaborative research for secondary analyses of classroom video studies. It combines a validation of observation manuals, the development of a safe and flexible eInfrastructure for secondary video-based analyses and a synthesis of a large corpus of primary data and analyses from Nordic classrooms - in the most important school subjects at lower secondary level. The project integrates correlative multi-level analyses and qualitative process analyses of classroom interaction that provide complementary evidence for theory development. The researchers behind SYNTEQ represent an excellent mix of expertise in the relevant methodological and substantive areas, and the project is supported by international leading educational researchers. The added value of SYNTEQ comes from bundling the primary research of teaching quality in the Nordic countries, the timely reanalysis of the empirical material on teaching quality and an embedded validation of observational manuals, thus multiplying the potential for theoretical and methodological development. This synthetization and integration is going to strengthen the development of a long-term research agenda that will take a leading role in international research on teaching quality.

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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren