Candidate Anniken Randers-Pehrson
Title of dissertation:
Spaces of learning and the making of artifacts. A curricular based study in the field of arts- and design related education in Norway
The dissertation is concerned with teaching and learning within the context of the Norwegian school subject kunst og håndverk, as is a compulsory arts- and design related subject matter. The study generate research-based knowledge about teaching and learning in arts- and design related education. Research related to this particular field of education is sparse. Through the thesis, knowledge is generated according to the research question: What constitutes the work with subject matter content in design-oriented education, and how can this knowledge contribute to the understanding of spaces of learning are produced within educational situations in secondary school?
Processes of teaching and learning are in this study viewed through a theoretical framework of social practice. Case study reflects the design strategy, and methodologically the study has (micro-) ethnographic approach. Video observation of three task-periods in the subject matter on different schools makes up the main source of evidence, but products made by students are also part of the analysis. The analytical perspective is qualitative.
Findings suggest that teaching and learning within design-oriented education in secondary school are constituted by ideas and expectations related to the making of pretty, well-made artifacts reflecting the individual student through a personal touch. This reinforces ideas about design-oriented education as rooted in traditions and it suggests an understanding of contemporary education in this field as a hybrid form of curriculum. Findings also suggest three concepts rooted in everyday practice that can be used to propel informed reflection upon design-oriented education. The concepts are; spaces of possibilities, spaces of mastery, and spaces of meaning making. Each of these concepts/spaces reflect vital aspects of design-related teaching and learning, and each of these spaces contribute to a further understanding of what kinds of educational spaces students are participating in.
The dissertation contribute to curricular knowledge of design-oriented education, and further what kinds of learning-spaces students participate in during such educational situations. The thesis gives new perspectives upon how to address and reflect upon challenges due to everyday practices within the frame of design-related education.