Samvinna framhaldsskólanemenda: Liður í lærdómi til lýðræðis

Gerður G. Óskarsdóttir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Lýðræði í skólastarfi hefur borið hátt í alþjóðlegri umræðu um og eftir síðustu aldamót í kjölfar verkefna Evrópuráðsins og Evrópusambandsins um lýðræði í menntun og borgaravitund. Áhrifa þeirra gætir í íslenskum aðalnámskrám frá 2011. Í aðalnámskrá framhaldsskóla frá 2011 segir meðal annars að starfshættir skólanna skuli mótast af lýðræðislegu samstarfi. Samvinna nemenda um lausn viðfangsefna námsins er einn af lykilþáttum lýðræðislegra náms- og kennsluhátta. Markmið greinarinnar er að varpa ljósi á tíðni, umfang og skipulag samvinnu framhaldsskólanemenda í kennslustundum og viðhorf nemenda til hennar. Byggt er á vettvangslýsingum á 130 kennslustundum (167 klukkustundum) í níu framhaldsskólum og viðtölum við 17 nemeßndahópa úr rannsókninni Starfshættir í framhaldsskólum. Gögn voru greind í ljósi fjölþjóðlegrar stefnumörkunar og námskrár þar sem lögð er áhersla á lýðræðislegt samstarf. Niðurstöður um tíðni leiddu í ljós að einhvers konar samvinna fór fram í 47 kennslustundum (af 130 stundum) eða 36% heildarstundanna. Við athugun á umfangi kom fram að samvinna átti sér stað í 17% heildarkennslutímans (fjöldi mínútna talinn). Allnokkur munur kom fram milli skóla og námsgreina. Í einum skólanna var um 34% heildartímans varið í samvinnu en aðeins um 3% tímans í öðrum. Meiri tíma var varið í samvinnu í íslensku og erlendum tungumálum en í öðrum námsgreinaflokkum. Ekki kom fram munur á umfangi samvinnu milli byrjendaáfanga og framhaldsáfanga. Nemendafjöldi í námshópi eða uppröðun húsgagna virtist ekki skipta meginmáli í þessum efnum. Við greiningu á skipulagi voru skilgreindir þrír flokkar samstarfs: a) Hópvinna eða samvinnunám skipulagt af kennara og nemendur unnu síðan að lausn viðfangsefnis sameiginlega í einstökum hópum (59% heildartímans sem fór í samvinnu); b) Hópvinna sem kennari sagði fyrir um, en nemendur í einstökum hópum skiptu með sér verkum og unnu síðan að mestu einslega (25%); c) Valfrjáls hópvinna þar sem kennari sagði að nemendur mættu vinna saman í hópum og meirihluti nemenda kaus að gera það (16%). Jafnframt var sjónum beint að hópskipan, hlutverki í hópi, hópstærð og markmiðssetningu. Viðhorfum nemenda til samvinnu er fléttað inn í umfjöllunina.
In international discourse from the turn of this century, special attention has been drawn to democracy in education, following policy initiatives from the European Council (2010) and the European Commission (2017) on democratic schooling and citizenship education. Student collaboration in various forms, which is the focus of this paper, is a key concept in definitions of democratic teaching approaches, as a means of learning “in democracy” and “for democracy”. These influences can be traced in Icelandic curriculum guides from 2011, where democracy and human rights are listed as one of the six fundamental pillars of education at preschool, primary and secondary levels. This emphasis on democratic student collaboration is, indeed, not a new phenomenon. It can be traced to Dewey (1916) or even further back. In the literature, a distinction has been made between cooperation and collaboration: On the one hand, formal cooperation, often referred to as thorough planning by the teacher where group goals and individual accountability are highlighted; on the other hand, more informal collaboration, rather used as an umbrella phrase for various forms of students working together. The terms collaboration, coworking and group work are used alternately, and on an equal basis, in this paper. On this foundation, it was presumed interesting to investigate student group work in Icelandic schools. Thus, the aim of this paper is to shed light on the scope and organization of upper secondary students’ collaboration in the classroom, as well as their attitudes towards working together. This study is part of a larger research project: Teaching and Learning in Icelandic Upper Secondary Schools (students aged 16 to 19), aimed at obtaining a holistic view of the Icelandic upper secondary school (see Gerdur G. Oskarsdottir et al., 2018). The data were collected by 15 researchers in nine upper secondary schools around the country, selected as a stratified sample from a total of 31. Firstly, this study was based on classroom observations in 130 academic and vocational lessons of varied length, a total of 167 hours; and secondly, on interviews with 17 student focus groups, including 56 volunteers, 18 years or older. Data were analyzed in the light of international policy making on democratic collaborative endeavour. The results revealed some kinds of collaboration between two or more students in 36% of the lessons observed (47 of 130). The proportion of time for collaboration (the number of minutes counted) was 17% of the total time observed (28 hours of 167). However, there was a difference among individual schools and school subjects. In one of the schools, 34% of the total observed lessons was devoted to some kind of collaboration, but only 3% in another school. Within seven categories of subjects, group work was most often detected in the mother tongue and foreign languages, or in over half of the lessons observed in these subjects. No difference was revealed between beginning and further courses in this respect. The number of students in classes or arrangement of furniture in classrooms seemed not to have been an issue. Students’ attitudes towards coworking were both positive and negative in individual focus groups, and therefore their opinions could hardly be linked to individual schools. Three main concerns were expressed by the students: the arrangement of students into groups, complaining that the teachers “almost always” decided the members of each group, too large groups resulting in free riders or freeloaders, and small talk. Three categories of organization of student collaboration in the classrooms were analyzed: a) collaboration or formal cooperation organized by the teacher, followed by students working together on solving an assignment, divided into a few groups (59% of lessons provided for some kinds of group work); b) collaboration prescribed by the teacher, but students in individual groups almost immediately distributed the work among themselves and then worked on it individually (26%); c) optional group work; that is, the teacher said they could work together if they so preferred (15%). Further investigation revealed the average size of groups as three to four students. Usually the students chose the group to join and decided the processing of the work. Thus, it was rare that the teachers arranged students into groups or decided the role of individual members of groups, these being characteristic features of formal cooperation. Free riders seemed to be a problem which was seldom addressed. Accordingly, it can be concluded that students’ collaboration was not thoroughly organized, and many students’ negative attitudes towards working together could be based on that experience. Finally, it is emphasized that fundamental components of democratic collaboration can only be learned through practice.
Original languageIcelandic
Title of host publicationNetla – Veftímarit um uppeldi og menntun
PublisherMenntavísindastofnun Háskóla Íslands
Pages21 s.
ISBN (Print)978-9935-468--15-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

Other keywords

  • Framhaldsskólar
  • Framhaldsskólanemar
  • Hópvinna
  • Lýðræði
  • Samvinnunám
  • Skólastarf

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