To develop teaching on social issues
At Karlstad University there is a project called: To develop teaching on social issues: content selection and transformation in social studies education in upper elementary school, year 4-6. The project runs over the period 2017-2020 and funded by The Swedish Institute for Educational Research.
Compared with, for example, doctors and lawyers the teaching profession stands on a weaker knowledgebase not only in Sweden but also in other countries (Carlgren, 2015; Shulman, 2013; Young & Muller, 2015). And it is unevenly distributed. (Swedish Research Council, 2015; Bladh, 2014). Our project will contribute to the strengthening of the profession regarding social studies education in upper elementary school years 4-6. Both national and international research shows that social studies usually have low priority, weakly substantiated and inconspicuous. (Brophy & Alleman, 2009; Englund, 1986; Kristiansson, 2014, 2016; Levstik, 2008; Stolare, 2014, 2015, 2016; VanFossen, 2005). This is worrying when social studies education has to match the curriculum's intentions - intentions which in many ways are challenged today. The project will discuss the possibilities of improving the social studies education by focusing on social issues.
A starting point is the ongoing international discussion on powerful knowledge (Moore & Muller, 1999; Moore, 2007, 2013) but at the same time will the project relate to the more value-based aspects of education (Klafki, 1997). The objective of the project is to develop ways to make informed choices and didactic transformations of social issues in social studies education in upper elementary school, year 4-6. Migration is the social issue which forms the basis for the development of teaching. Different teaching practices (teachers' didactic practices, classroom practices and pupils learning practices (Carlgren, 2015) will be investigated.
The project can be characterized as an iterative case study based on two in-service circles with a total of twelve teachers from different schools. When it comes to methodology, the project has been inspired by earlier didactic design research (Andersson, 2005), but also lesson- and learning studies research (Runesson, 2015), and PCK-research (Berry et al. 2015).
The members of the research group are:
Martin Stolare, project leader
Sara Blanck, Ph.D. student