The research group ROSE, Research on Subject-specific Education, is rooted in several academic disciplines specializing in different school subjects. ROSE researchers share a focus on subject-specific education in relation to teaching and learning (what in a European research tradition is termed ‘subject didactics’). ROSE monitors practitioner-relevant issues, such as how teachers and students jointly manage subject matter and teaching contents. Our common research interest involves questions about how different teaching practices influence and shape the subject matter content, from elementary school to higher education.
ROSE was awarded status as a “Strong Research Group” at Karlstad University in 2016, with a goal to support the development of the group towards research excellence (“Excellent Research Group”). ROSE encompasses senior researchers from a number of academic disciplines with research expertise in teaching and learning.
In our research program for 2017–2020, we focus on the content of teaching and how such content is perceived and understood by students and teachers. With the concept transformation as our basis, our research targets the ways in which subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge merge, something which lies at the core of all teaching and learning processes. Through such processes, school subjects are continuously created and reformulated, and ROSE researchers are interested in describing these processes of transformation. By conducting comparative analyses, one important purpose is to shed light on transformation as a concept and a phenomenon in relation to the concept of Powerful Knowledge (PK). Knowledge developed in different academic disciplines, tested and possible to re-contextualize.
In our joint ROSE research, we focus in particular on the following three areas:
1. The construction of school subjects through formal and informal transformations. Central to our studies in this subproject is how the construction of school subjects is transformed in formal contexts (with a specific focus on national testing), and in informal contexts, such as in fora teachers themselves use for professional development (e.g., Facebook groups). In addition, this subproject takes an interest in the potential effect of digitalization on subject construction.
2. The transformation of the concept of sustainability. Inthis subproject we investigate the ways in which sustainability, a cross-subject and multifaceted concept, is transformed in different school subjects. Studies of policy documents, textbooks, and expert views of different academic disciplines are conducted along with in-depth teacher interviews and classroom video observations.Comparative analyses of how sustainability is understood by actors at different institutional and educational levels, as well as by teachers within different subject traditions, are expected to reveal insights into subject transformation processes.
3. Migration and Powerful Knowledge. The subproject on migration and Powerful Knowledge focuses on developing teaching models designed to facilitate learning about migration in upper-primary school. An important methodological tool will be in-service training circles for teachers. In an iterative testing-process, teachers and researchers will work together in order to transfer relevant Powerful Knowledge on migration into productive models for teaching.