Dr. Hamid Asghari is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Educational Studies at Karlstad University. In his research, he is interested in the teachers’ life stories and investigating the significance of teachers’ life experiences for their meetings and the education of students. In his doctoral thesis, vocational teachers in the industrial-technology programme explain what industrial technical knowledge is for them, which knowledge is more important than other knowledge, what is the purpose of the knowledge and in which areas the knowledge can be used. Results show five recurring themes in the teacher profiles. The themes are: Being a caring adult for vocational students, teaching them the required basic knowledge for the education, teaching them respect and discipline, teaching them the value of struggling on and not giving up, and showing them the possibility of international employment. Moreover, the teaching goals and strategies emerging from the life stories show that the teachers can be said to educate different types of industrial workers. As a result of these findings, vocational education can be seen as more than a preparation for working life. Vocational teachers with different life experiences create different relationships with their students in order to enable them to manage school and to succeed in life. Because of the continuously changing job market, vocational teachers have completed various forms of education and worked in various industries during different time periods of their lives. It appears that they educate their students and prepare them for a future life at work based on these experiences.
In another study, it investigates the different themes that emerge from the teachers’ professional life stories regarding the term professional skills. Through life story interviews with four vocational teachers, dr. Asghari shows that professional skills for industrial teachers do not only involve the tangible work done in the profession (for example, welding, turning or milling), but there are also other skills that vocational students should acquire to become successful professionals. The themes illustrate different aspects of professional skills. They are: knowing how solving real technical problems, knowing of modern, and computerized machines as a basis for CNC-technical education, knowing that can be used for production in manual cutting machines, knowing of manual machines as a basis for CNC-technical education, knowing of mathematics as a basis for CNC-technical education, knowing which can be used for engineering studies, knowing of creating a sense of industry related capability, knowing that is related to childhood experiences and knowing of the unwritten rules. Dr. Asghari further shows that there are possible relationships between vocational teachers’ life experiences and the themes of professional skills appearing in their life stories.
In a study conducted by dr. Asghari and dr. Birgit Schaffar-Kronqvist, they focus on the way in which three Swedish and two Finnish industrial teachers positioned themselves in relation to other so called characters in the events depicted during the conversation. Their analysis of the stories shows four positions: a good worker in relation to other friendly workers, helpful and loyal workshop workers, a dejected worker in relation to uncomfortable workshop work, an underestimated worker in relation to unsympathetic employer relations, and a loyal industry worker in relation to a creditable industrial technical education. These four positions show that industrial workers did not expect their companies to provide alternative possibilities for staying employed. They found solutions on their own and with access to a public educational system that provided further adult education. In the light of Article 23 of the UN Convention on Human Rights, we discuss how vocational teachers should provide their students with wider civic knowledge about their rights and about possible forms of influencing structures from the labour market.
In a study conducted by dr. Asghari and dr. Nina Kilbrink, the focus of the study is on two vocational teachers’ stories of grade assessment. The teachers teach in the Industrial Technology programme in two different upper secondary schools in Sweden. From the vocational teachers’ stories emerge different categories of assessment criteria that show different considerations, as compared to the national knowledge requirements, when grading students with one of the five pass grades. The categories for passing grades are: the grade awarded as a prize rating, the grade awarded as being an okay-guy, the grade awarded in advance and the grade awarded as a last chance. The categories show that the vocational teachers, in their assessment documents, do not always comply with the requirements that the syllabus and steering documents put on the knowledge assessment. The teachers in the study use different forms of knowledge measurements when grading their students with passing grades. The forms are based on their social relations with their students.
In another study, dr. Asghari, Associate Professor Stig-Börje Asplund and dr. Nina Kilbrink are interested in the identity constructions that emerge from the stories about technical education at upper secondary vocational school. Stories of technical education are studied from three perspectives, a student perspective, a teacher perspective and a supervisor perspective. Students, teachers and supervisors are the groups of individuals who participate with different roles in technical education at upper secondary vocational school. The three different perspectives contribute to a broader understanding of the totality of technical education and, to the different identity constructions that are emerging from the stories.
Dr. Annelie Andersén and dr. Asghari are conducting a study on tutorial situations that are told in speech or writing by supervisors. The study results in prominent teachers/supervisors identities. The supervisors in the study are teacher educators, upper secondary school teachers who work with the tutorial model Reflective Supervision in Nursing (RHiO) within the nursing program as well as vocational teachers at upper secondary schools who supervise vocational teacher-students. The study shows that the teachers/supervisors identify themselves: as mentors and role models, as reflective interlocutors and as supervisors who are assessor and inspector. In addition, the study shows that the teachers/supervisors primarily position themselves towards the students they supervise, but also the persons who are being supervised can position themselves in relation to their own supervisors.
In a case study, a total of forty study guides from one vocational teacher education programme have been analysed by dr. Annelie Andersén, dr. Asghari, and dr. Maria Petersson. The aim of the analysis is to answer what central content is highlighted, how the goals are examined, and what course literature is used in vocational subject didactics in a selected vocational teacher education programme at a Swedish university. The results answer questions on what the subject didactics contain in three different courses. Vocational teacher educators plan their teaching with regard to the goals of vocational subject didactics, but the interpretation of goals varies among different educators and within different vocational subjects. The result also gives some indications of what could be general differences and similarities within and between different didactics teacher groups and/or vocational subjects. The analysis of the study guides also shows that educational background and the form of employment of educators seem to be of importance.
Through a survey, dr. Asghari and dr. Ingrid Berglund conduct a study in which they examine the admission of vocational teacher-students in vocational subjects, the students’ implementation of internship in vocational teacher education and the students’ relationship with their future profession as a vocational teachers. 140 former vocational teacher-students answered the survey and the result shows that the majority of those who applied for vocational subjects have also been admitted to the subjects. The majority of those who responded to survey have had more than 16 years of professional experience of the main occupational field before they began their vocational teacher education at universities. The majority of former vocational teacher-students taught the subjects they had been admitted to during the internship period. They also had an internship supervisor with specific vocational skills in the subjects that they themselves were admitted to during their internship. The vocational teacher-students, who did not teach the subjects they had been admitted to, did not have the opportunity to apply their university studies in teaching. They also did not have the opportunity to get teaching competence assessed by teacher educators at the schools. They could not either shape their own teaching identities when they taught in other subjects than those subjects they had been admitted to.The majority of former vocational teacher-students work as vocational teachers after completing vocational teacher education. As current vocational teachers, many of them have not had the opportunity to develop skills at their workplaces (schools) in order to be able to teach within vocational subjects they did not have a teaching qualification in.
Dr. Asghari works at the Department of Educational Studies, Karlstad University. He is a course leader for the course School as System and Idea - Vocational Education,15 ECTS credits and teach various courses within the teacher program. He is also a supervisor for a number of students in their degree projects.
Dr. Asghari has some research cooperation with Dr. Marzanna Pogorzelska, senior lecturer in comparative education at Opole University, Poland. Pictures of his lecture at the Institute of Pedagogical Sciences at Opole University are available here: http://inp.uni.opole.pl/2016/12/09/relacja-z-wizyty/
Andersén, A., & Asghari, H. (2016). Identitetsframträdande och positionering i handledares berättelser. I H. P. Prieto & C. Roos (Red.), Kapet (elektronisk) (Vol. 12, ss. 87-102). Karlstad: Karlstads universitet.
Andersén, A., Asghari, H., & Petersson, M. (2018). Yrkesämnesdidaktik på universitet: Mål, innehåll, arbetssätt och examination. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 8(3), 98–123.
Asghari, H. (2012). Relationen mellan tidigare livs- och yrkeserfarenheter och undervisning på industriprogrammet i två yrkeslärares livsberättelser. I M. Karlsson & H. Pérez Prieto (Red.), Livsberättelser: Mening och identitet i tid och rum (ss. 7-20). Karlstad: Karlstads universitet.
Asghari, H. (2014). Från uppväxt till lärargärning: En livsberättelsestudie med åtta yrkeslärare på industritekniska programmet. Doktorsavhandling, Karlstad: Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap, Pedagogiskt arbete, Karlstads universitet.
Asghari, H. (2017). Technical knowledge in industrial-technology program as it emerges from three vocational teachers’ life stories. I Z. Jasiński (Red.), Education. Opole university annual (Vol. 2, ss. 155-165). Opole, Poland: Instytut Nauk Pedagogicznych Uniwersytetu Opolskiego.
Asghari, H. (2018). Defining professional skills from teachers’ life stories. I L. M. Herrera, M. Teräs & P. Gougoulakis (Red.), Emergent issues in vocational education & training - voices from cross-national research (ss. 23-59). Stockholm: Premiss förlag.
Asghari, H., & Kilbrink, N. (2018). Två yrkeslärares berättelser om bedömningshandlingar på industritekniska programmet. Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 8(1), 23–43.
Asghari, H., Asplund, S.-B., & Kilbrink, N. (2018). Identitetsframträdanden i teknisk gymnasial yrkesutbildning. I A. L. Hultman, M. Tanner & C. Olin-Scheller (Red.), Berättelser (ss. 95-104). Karlstad: Karlstads universitet.