My research is conducted within different research projects. In below you can find some brief descriptions of them.
Facebook and teachers’ informal professional development in social network sites
(Swedish Research Council Dnr. 2015-01979)
The purpose of the project is to study teachers’ participation in social network sites; to what extent these sites become a catalyst for advancing their pedagogical content knowledge, and whether and how social media add value to the complex process of professional development. The point of departure in this project is Facebook groups by and for teachers in the school subjects of mathematics and/or Swedish: this approach makes it possible to conduct a comparative study in the two largest, although not disjunctive, sub populations within the Swedish teacher community. Since these teachers are also the focus of extensive formal professional development programs regarding subject content and subject didactics, it is highly relevant to follow their discussions on these forums over time.
The project has a descriptive and analytical approach, as well as a theoretical one. At the descriptive and analytical level, the aim is to develop knowledge in teachers’ professional growth when positioning themselves in social network sites, explicitly: an inquiry into collective pedagogical content knowledge[subject didactics] development. The theoretical aim is to develop knowledge of informal professional development in social network sites by relating the empirical findings to existing frameworks concerning, for example, communities of practice, professional development programs and workplace learning, and thus inform the research community, teacher educators and other stakeholders.
In this project I am the project leader and my fellow research colleagues at Karlstad University are Dr. Jorryt van Bommel and Prof. Christina Olin-Scheller, and Ann-Christin Randahl, University of Gothenburg. Jari Appelgren is our expert statician, and project assistant is Magnus Kallin. We have also an international reference group: Prof. Piet Kommers, Twente University, Caroline Liberg, Uppsala University, and Kenneth Ruthven, University of Camebridge.
Teaching with Learning Management Systems. Making new learning spaces in the digitalized classroom visible
(Swedish Research Council Dnr. 2019-03760)
This project focuses on the increasingly prevalent use of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in Swedish upper secondary schools. We focus on LMS systems that are used directly for teaching purposes and study how use of LMS changes the classroom as a space for learning. The purpose is to gain knowledge about how use of LMS is of importance for how teaching and learning are construed in classroom interaction. The project specifically highlights the school subjects Swedish, Mathematics and History. Research questions are: 1. How is teachers’ and students’ participation in teaching and learning trajectories accomplished when using LMS? 2. How is content of different subjects construed and represented when LMS are used? 3. What possibilities and constraints for teaching and learning, do the structures and content created on the LMS afford? Theoretically, the project draws on a media-ecological perspective and on conversation analysis (CA) to investigate how learning and teaching trajectories are accomplished in interaction involving LMS. The study has a video-ethnographic approach, which includes filming of students and teachers, log books, content analysis and interviews. Project findings will contribute to specialised knowledge of learning and teaching and the way in which subject content is shaped in relation to LMS. On a broader level, it will contribute to critical discussions about the terms for education and the role of the classroom in the digitalised school.
My fellow researchers in the project is the project leader Doc. Marie Tanner, Prof. Christina Olin-Scheller and Doc. Johan Samuelsson, Karlstad University. Our project assistant is Claes Hallqvist, and the international reference group are Dr. Camilla Kølsen Petersen, Syddansk Universitet, Prof. Ken Ruthven, Cambridge University, Prof. Fritjof Sahlström, Åbo Akademi och Prof. Neil Selwyn, Monash University.
Towards research-based teaching of algebra - diachronic and synchronic analyses of steering documents, curriculum materials and teachers' interactions with them
(Swedish Research Council Dnr 2015-02043)
Profound knowledge in algebra is important for the understanding of several mathematical areas, for example functions and statistics. Hence, it is a critical gatekeeper for further studies in mathematics. Algebra is often described as a generalization of arithmetic and the dominating view among scholars has earlier been that students must reach a certain cognitive level to understand algebra. This view has been challenged by for example cross-cultural studies and many countries including Sweden have revised their curriculum attempting to integrate algebra in school mathematics from the very beginning. Yet, the international evaluations such as PISA and TIMSS, show that Swedish students’ results in algebra have not improved but rather the contrary. International research also shows that it is difficult to implement new ideas in mathematics teaching without consideration of the prevailing teaching tradition. Therefore, the overall purpose of this study is to add to the knowledge about implementation of algebra in school mathematics by investigating the Swedish case from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives.
The study is embedded in Bernstein’s theory about classification and framing of educational knowledge. Moreover, a specific analytical frame is developed from recent research on school algebra. The project consists of three studies, the results of which will be related to each other.
My fellow researchers in the project is the project leader Prof. Kirsti Hemmi Uppsala University/ Åbo Akademy, Dr Kajsa Bråting and Dr. Johan Prytz, Uppsala University, Dr Johanna Pejlare, Gothenburg University, and PhD Students connected to the project: Lars Madej and Kristina Kaplan both Uppsala University.
Room for formative teaching: effects of teachers' professional collaboration on student learning (an ULF project: U2017/01129/UH)
Teaching makes an impact when teachers systematically relate subject content to the classroom situation and student learning. Formative approaches, i.e. planning based on learning objectives and adaption of teaching based on student results, rely on competence, time and organisation. At the same time, studies have shown that few schools have sustainable infrastructure supporting pre- and post-teaching activities. This longitudinal effect study combines school development expertise with a focus on subject-specific education. The aim is to investigate teachers’ collegial cooperation effect on: i) student learning; ii) teachers’ work models; iii) the supportive and developmental capacity of school management. The project draws on research on professional learning communities and subject-specific education, focused on formative teaching and powerful knowledge. By developing a collegial forum for collaboration based on a number of teams in which teachers prepare and follow up on lessons and test formative models, we can study the effect of collaboration on student results, teaching and school organisation. The aim is to generate generic knowledge of relevance to the further development of practice-based research on subject-specific education and school development. The project is innovative as regards theory and design, since it combines school development expertise with research on subject-specific education.
Project leader: Prof. Kenneth Nordgren, Karlstad University. Fellow researchers: Dr. Anette Forssten Seiser, Kau, Prof. Ulf Blossing, GU, Dr. Martin Kristiansson, Kau, Dr. Susanne Duek, Kau, Dr. Daniel Bergh, Kau.
Learning by imitative and creative reasoning
My doctoral thesis was mainly conducted within the LICR research program. It addresses the persistent problem that ineffective rote learning by imitation dominates the teaching and learning in mathematics classrooms. The overall purpose of hte project is to study if, how, and under what conditions tasks and teaching sequences designed to enhance students' own reasoning may lead to more efficient learning.
A suggestion for a solution to the rote learning problem is proposed by Brousseau's Theory of Didactical Situations, claiming that learning is more efficient if students construct their own task solutions instead of imitating given solution procedures. The LICR program (presently, 2015) consists of some 15 more or less closely related research studies of different relations between 1) task properties, 2) teacher-student interaction, 3) students’ task solving reasoning and 4) learning outcomes
Prof. Johan Lithner, Umeå University is the project leader, and more information of the LICR project you can find on the UMERC web site here.
School climate, academic achievement in mathematics, and mental health- a longitudinal and multilevel study on Swedish students in grade 7-9
In this study connections between students' learning outcome in mathematics and psychological health amongst students in grade 7-9 are studied. During the past 30 years we have noticed two trends: Students learning outcome in mathematics decreases, and a negative trend in adolescents mental health have been reported. In this study investigates if there are a correlation between these trends, and what factors on individual, class, and school level that modifies the correlation.
In this project Dr. Daniel Berg, Karlstad University is the project leader, and the senior adviser is Prof. Curt Hagqvist, Karlstad University
Teachers' use of textbooks - a comparative study of discipline bound differences
The aim of this study is to investigate the role of the textbook in contemporary Swedish schools. Textbooks is one of the main conveyers of the curriculum. The design of this study is quantitative. The questionnaire consisted of 24 questions including more than 100 items and was distributed to 1500 teachers in Sweden. The sample is representative for teachers in compulsory school, and academic programs on upper secondary school.
In this project I work together with Docent Niklas Gericke and Dr Michal Drechler, Karlstad University.