Cand.polit. Hilde Wågsås Afdal's avhandling for graden ph.d.

Avhandlingens tittel er:

Constructing knowledge for the teaching profession. A comparative analysis of policy making, curricula content, and novice teachers' knowledge relations in the cases of Finland and Norway.

This study is conducted within the field of comparative research on higher education and explores how knowledge for the teaching profession is constructed in Finland and Norway.  The thesis shed light on important processes and relations involved in constructing teachers’ professional knowledge, and offer an analysis of (1) policy making processes, (2) organization of knowledge in teacher education curricula; and (3) novice teachers’ relations to professional knowledge. Teacher education in this thesis is limited to professional programs (five years in Finland, four years in Norway) educating primary school teachers.

The thesis is based on three folded empirical material: (1) Interviews with policy makers in Finland and Norway (2) curriculum texts for teacher education at institutional level (University of Helsinki and Oslo University College) and (3) interviews with novice teachers from Finland and Norway educated after the curricula mentioned above. Secondary data such as national policy documents regulations and former research have also informed the analysis.

The overall findings of this study show how construction of knowledge for the teaching profession involves contextually and societally embedded processes, and that a complex set of structures and relations are involved. The analysis of these two particular cases allows for the comparison of academically versus politically steered policy processes (representing two different steering approaches: state supervision versus state steering), conceptual coherence versus contextual coherence in the organization of knowledge in curricula texts, as well as the examination of knowledge affiliation among novice teachers in Finland and Norway, respectively. This means that the epistemic profiles of the teacher education programs were reflected in the novice teachers’ knowledge relations. The overall study shows that the construction of knowledge for the teaching profession is constituted by deep and complex epistemic structures, and suggests that transforming teacher education involves far more comprehensive and time-consuming processes than merely changing policy and curricula texts.

Sammendrag på norsk/ summary in Norwegian,  les her:

Publisert 25. okt. 2012 16:35 - Sist endret 23. nov. 2012 11:03