Teachers' Learning in a Learning Study
ISAIJLS Volume 39, Number 4, ISSN 0020-4277
The point of departure in this study is the question: do teachers who develop theoretical knowledge of the variation theory change the way(s) they offer their pupils the object of learning due to the theoretical framework. The aim of the study is to describe this development, i.e. to find if and how teachers developed theoretical knowledge when planning instruction, and in what way(s) this has an impact on the pupils' learning outcome when using contrasts in the instruction. The theoretical framework is strongly content related, and by analysing the learning object's critical aspects the teachers are guided to focus on the content in this particular way. The question "what does it take to develop knowledge about the object of learning?" has to be answered by the teachers before choice of teaching method is made. The research method used is Learning Study, a fusion between lesson study and design experiment. The teachers (6) have carried out nine research lessons in three Learning Study cycles (containing three lessons each). The pupils belong to three different classes and are between 9 and 11 years old. The result shows how the teachers gradually use the variation theory when planning instruction and how the learning outcomes shown by the pupils improve. The developed theoretical insight seems to affect the teachers' ways of seeing the object of learning, such as subtle changes of how to organize the critical features of the learning object, are discerned. In every learning study cycle contrasts are used in one lesson, and in the analysis of the effect of the contrasts, the two remaining lessons are used as control groups. The results show the impact of contrasts in the pupils' learning outcomes. The need to complement a lesson study with a theoretical perspective on learning is that the teachers are then given the opportunity to make use of the theory when planning instruction individually, not only in a lesson study. There again, the Learning Study model seems to be a powerful model with which to develop teachers' understanding of the theoretical framework. (Contains 3 tables and 7 figures.)
Holmqvist, M. (2011). Teachers' Learning in a Learning Study. Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, 39(4), 497-511.