Scope and relevance of the IMTE project

The reforms in teacher education in many countries have been numerous for the past years. Internationally, research results in this field of education is ambiguous, is suffering from being under-examined, and appears to be in a state of confusion. According to Boyd et al (2009), “there are fierce debates over the best way to prepare teachers… Most agree, however, that we lack a strong research basis for understanding how to prepare teachers” (p. 416).

In Norway, it seems to us, recent reforms seem to be framed by political issues and beliefs and by international research in other fields than teacher education per se, e.g. PISA, rather than by being informed by research about teacher education in itself (Munthe & Haug, 2009). A recent OECD report on teacher education in OECD countries points out that although these countries face a differentiated set of challenges in their education of teachers, there is broad consensus that “teacher quality” stands out as the one single most important school variable for student achievements in all countries (OECD, 2005).

The recent Norwegian reforms in teacher education (Stortingsmelding-11, 2008-2009) seem only to some degree oriented towards what we perceive as the essence of a professional teacher education: The enhanced quality of pedagogic and curricular classroom teacher practice and the enhanced quality of the interaction between this practice and the other subject areas of teacher education programmes.

For the research group, consisting of experienced teacher educators and researchers and assisted by an international advisory group, the present application reflects a shift in focus from the general development of the individual student towards becoming a teacher, to a stronger focus on quality aspects in contents and forms of activities in practicum as well as the quality in interaction between what goes on in the classroom and in teacher education subjects and curricula.

We are particularly interested in what could be described as the dynamics of teacher education, conceived of as the processes and interactions involved in flexible and improvisational knowledge construction, performance and production.

Research Focus 

We have chosen to study and develop a teacher education practice at Stord/Haugesund University College (SHUC), which focus on one overarching concept that we consider to be crucial in the development and study of dynamic aspects of teacher education and hence in the development of students’ pedagogic identities. This overarching concept is improvisation connected to

– the student teachers spontaneous, although well prepared, handling of pedagogic and pedagogic content knowledge (Shulman, 1987) in and across teaching practices and in interactions with pupils,

the student teachers spontaneous as well as premeditated handling of examples of contents, activation forms and artefacts in and across practices and interactions with pupils

the student teachers spontaneous handling of formative evaluation and the corresponding reflective practices of students, practicum teachers and other teacher educators

It is the purpose of this project to carry out a sequenced and systematic research and strategic development programme in teacher education. This will be done in active, on-going cooperation with end-users and through a well-informed research approach.

The research will be building on SHUC’s strategic priority area 2012-2015 ‘the development of professional, creative and innovative competencies within schools and kindergarten’. Furthermore, the activities will be integrated into SHUC’ two master programmes in teacher education, MA in Arts Education and Learning Processes and MA in ICT in Learning, in such a way that master students and research staff will form thematic research groups focussing on studying different aspects of improvisation as a generic teaching skill and quality in different educational contexts. The outcome of this research will be the provision of widely distributed and communicated analyses, theory development, reports and publications, and a conceptual tool-kit for understanding the dynamics of improvisational performance in key activities in teacher education.

Background 

Today, practicum experience for student teachers is often framed towards socialisation into the existing school and classroom practice (Blossing et al., 2010; NOKUT, 2006 p. 57). True, the recent teacher reform for primary and secondary schools asks for greater awareness of enhanced quality in 2

 

pedagogic subject content practice and for an increased participation of students as important agents in new and innovative classroom practices (Stortingsmelding-11, 2008-2009 p. 10). However, it seems to us, that Norwegian teacher education still lives in a confusing world of beliefs about its contents, as well as its organisation and implementation. Our research-based knowledge of what it takes to implement a quality based teacher education is limited and research about the effects of teacher education in relation to end-user quality in different classrooms and for different age groups, is close to being non-existent. The 2005 OECD study points out that a point of agreement among the various studies is “that there are many important aspects of teacher quality that are not captured by the commonly used indicators such as qualifications, experience and tests of academic ability” (p. 27).

These days, debates about teacher education are accompanied by debates about whether or not Norway has succeeded in building a compulsory school, which is being experienced as relevant for pupils at different levels. The alarming findings indicating a consistent decrease in school motivation and engagement amongst pupils from stage 5 onwards (Topland & Skaalvik, 2010 p. 33), mirrors corresponding findings about the increase in school dropouts in Norwegian as well as international education.1

1 “A Nation of Drop Outs Shakes Europe” is the alarming headline of The Wall Street Journal, Europe, of March 25 th. 2011 , retrieved April 07 from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704076804576180522989644198.html

The concept of “relevance” is closely connected to the development of society and culture and to the growth and strongly increased access to multimodal expressive means in media and in communication. Günther Kress’s work draws our attention to the fact that the development and interrelations in contemporary texts of different modes of communication have significant effects on forms of learning and knowing, something which clearly has bearings on pupils’ experience of schooling in terms of relevance and thereby motivation and engagement (Kress, 2003, 2010).

The debates about teacher education and discussion about the contents and forms of activity in the education of the young, should, as wee see it, be closely related. By choosing improvisation as our overarching concept for our research we ask how teacher education can be shaped and developed towards being experienced and evaluated as relevant for teacher students, and also to what extent teacher education can prepare students to become innovative and improvisational agents for dynamic knowledge production in schools and classrooms in the 21 century.

The research group 

The research group at SHUC consist of experienced teacher educators and researchers from different fields of teacher education at SHUC. All of them teach at master level and some are advisors to Ph.d students. As educators we are and have been influenced by pragmatism (Dewey), Bildung theories (Klafki), socio- cultural theory (Vygotsky), phenomenology (van Manen and Dreyfus, H.), and socio semiotic views (Kress) on the nature of learning and knowledge acquisition. A common denominator for our beliefs is that learning in teacher education takes place in holistic and complex socio-cultural contexts, which include the activities of students and teachers in a variety of teaching and learning environments and social situations (Dysthe, 2001; Säljö, 2001). It is in this complex context relations to future occupations are formed and developed, teacher skills and knowledge moves towards becoming professional, and a fresh teacher student can acquire his “Bildung” and become a knowledgeable and critical co-actor in his own personal development and education by transforming his/her semiotic resources. Different forms of contents, activities and reflection in teacher education lend themselves to be interactive and improvisational by nature. They are interactive with the student teacher’s individual abilities and dispositions, and they are interactive with specific pedagogic content subjects and with specific learning situations.

The SHUC research group will be complemented by professor Liora Bresler, University of Illinois (UoI), who in her current service as Adjunct professor at SHUC, not only directly will take part in the research activities, but who also provide an important link to other experienced UoI researchers who will be members of the projects International Advisory Board.

Theoretical perspectives 

Horizontal and vertical discourses in knowledge construction

In our understanding of what is at risk in teacher education we are inspired by Basil Bernstein’s (2000) distinction between horizontal and vertical discourses in knowledge formation and his thinking about 3

 

education as a balance between a potential reservoir of knowledge and strategies in a community and the individual repertoire as a single member of such a community (p. 158). Bernstein is concerned with quality in knowledge production and warns that the knowledges of horizontal discourse may “lead to segmentally structured acquisitions”, and that “there are no necessary relations between what is learned in different segments”. A segmental pedagogy of horizontal discourses, Bernstein argues, as usually found in everyday life, is directed towards acquiring a common competence rather than a graded performance (p. 159). To us it seems that Bernstein’s concepts of verticality and horizontality might be relevant for understanding important aspects of teacher education. Bernstein’s ideas about horizontal and vertical discourses in knowledge formation and the relationship between the common reservoir and the individual repertoire, is, as we see it, directly relevant for the current situation in Norwegian teacher education. In our view a tendency to increasingly insert segments of horizontal common knowledge into professional teacher education programmes threatens to undermine graded professional performance. When conceiving of teacher education as a many- segmented educational framework, the danger of isolation between segments becomes apparent. According to Bernstein, a situation with isolation of different segments in an educational framework needs to be actively counteracted in order to:

…“develop the social base for either repertoire or reservoir…The greater the reduction of isolation and exclusion, then the greater the social potential for the circulation of strategies, of procedures and their exchange. Under these conditions there can be an expansion of both repertoire and reservoir…Under these conditions the relation between a member’s actual and potential practice becomes dynamic (p. 158).

To study and develop the relationship between repertoire and reservoir in teacher education, we have chosen to focus on what we describe as dynamic aspects of teacher education, crystallized in our choice of improvisation as an overarching and generic teaching quality. Dynamic aspects of teacher education are connected to situations where students prepare themselves by observing living classroom practice, are active and situated agents in teaching practice or in different situations in teacher education subjects, or are involved in reflective discussions about quality with teacher educators and mentors; in short, the active involvement in the common base where students are embedding a career and where they develop what Bernstein (2000) describes as pedagogic identities.

Bernstein’s analytical and general framework of horizontal and vertical knowledge discourses are mirrored in Linda Darling-Hammond’s (2006) analysis of what is needed to remedy the construction of 21st century teacher education. She underlines the concepts of “coherence” and “integration” as critical components of teacher education programmes.

By choosing as our research field what we describe as dynamic aspects of classroom pedagogy at micro level and the interaction between practicum and teacher education subjects and their agents centred around the concept of improvisation, we hope to stimulate and increase the individual repertoires of future teachers as well as the common reservoir for teacher education as a community of practice (Wenger, 1998).

Improvisational performance as a generic teaching skill

We are interested in studying improvisation as a generic teaching skill in order to show how improvisation can be developed across different segments of teacher education as an example of a vertical knowledge structure in teacher education (Bernstein, 2000). We consider this kind of construction well suited to address the challenges involved in complex teacher education programmes for the 21 century (Darling-Hammond, 2006), where an increasing isolation of horizontal knowledge segments threatens to reduce the development of individual “repertoires” and the common reservoir of vertical knowledge structures.

The concept of improvisation is prevalent in music and the performing arts, but is also something we all do in our everyday life. Improvisation is crucial in the formation of new ideas in all aspects of human experience. Its scientific significance is connected to its role in knowledge production as well as its significance as a mirror of individual abilities in communicative situations and settings (Bailey, 1992; Berliner, 1994; Nettl & Solis, 2009; Steinsholt & Sommerro, 2006)

Discussions about improvisation as a generic teaching skill is not new in academic discourse about teachers and teaching. Beginning in the 80 ties, several educators have explored improvisation within 4

 

a metaphor of teaching as performance emphasizing the artistry of teaching, (e.g. Eisner, 1983; Sarason, 1999; Timpson & Tobin, 1982). Eisner (1979) argued early in his career that teaching is an art in four ways, pointing out the 1) similarity of a classroom to an aesthetic art space, 2) teaching skill as the ability to respond during a course of action, 3) the teachers ability to avoid routine and respond creatively to the unique contingencies of each classroom, and 4) the teachers ability to achieve emergent ends rather than predetermined ends. Sawyer (2011) pays tribute to the theories of these scholars and the aesthetic dimension of teaching, but argues that the teacher as a performing artist metaphor has severe problems (p. 4). The focus on “art” he says, neglects the large body of structures that underlie teacher expertise. Sawyer argues that the teaching as performance metaphor needs to be extended towards a metaphor underlining teaching as an artful balance of structure and improvisation. What is needed he says is to shift the focus to

improvisational performance. Skilful improvisation always resides at the tension between structure and freedom. Of course, expert teachers have deep intuition and are talented performers, but their performance is rooted in structures and skills. The improvisation metaphor emphasizes that teachers and students together are collectively generating the classroom performance; in this way, it is consistent with constructivist learning principles rather than the transmission-and –acquisition model implied by earlier performance metaphors (Sawyer, 2011 p. 5).

Improvisational performance as a generic teaching skill then, can be described as a learnable skill to respond, invent, control–to and in–sequences of expressions and situations in educational contexts. As such improvisation gives the improviser the freedom to choose adequate responses and freedom to use and orchestrate one’s own repertoire in an informed and balanced way. In education, as in other life situations, the extension of teachers repertoire is a key to professional use of this skill, be it in dynamic dialogues with students, in the choosing of examples of teaching items, in the midst of dynamic teaching activities or in reflective discussions with peers.

Improvisation in teacher education points in the direction of a broad concept of “improvisation”, not only as the dynamic ability to interact artfully with peers, but also to interact spontaneously in any interaction and context with an educational, teaching oriented and reflective purpose.

Hence, what can be studied within the framework of improvisational performance in teacher education becomes a study of what constitutes improvisational skills, what the nature, potential as well as limitations of such skills amounts to in different educational contexts, how this ability is developed as a vertical discourse and knowledge construction, and how the application of improvisation affects and influences specific educational situations and learning goals as well as the individual repertoire of students teachers to be and the common reservoir of teacher education knowledge.

We believe, for example, that improvisation as a teaching skill can be observed in the way “examples” are used as a pedagogical means on a large scale. An important research aspect of such a view is to study the role and orchestration of examples in educational contexts and how their nature and use influence learning, interaction, as well as power relations (Foucault & Gordon, 1980). What we would ask is whether the repertoire of student teachers as well as that of their educators can be understood as a catalogue of “examples” that can be professionally, socially and culturally made relevant for students by teachers through improvisational performance, and to what extent the skills involved can be considered as a kind of vertical discourse and knowledge construction in the teaching profession.

The concept of “improvisation”, or rather improvisational performance, as an overarching concept for this project is also relevant for “feedback” in education. The reasons why the concept of “feedback” is central in many educational debates (e.g. Hattie & Timperley, 2007) seems to be that recent research on formative assessment suggests that the most important factor in quality learning is the quality of the meeting between teacher and pupil. It is the interaction between the pupil’s dispositions and background and the quality in the teaching situation, which is the most influential factor in learning outcomes. Outer factors, such as organisation and systems of learning environment, seem to play a less important role (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Hattie, 2009). Black & Williams (2009) suggest a definition of feedback bordering the concept of teaching, by arguing that formative assessment has to do with understanding and the handling of spontaneous situations or moments of contingency in light of teaching and learning activities. In other words, formative assessment is 5

 

spontaneous by nature and the quality of it depends on the quality of the teacher’s professional competence. Teacher quality in this respect is connected to the ways teachers handle the learning dialogue spontaneously and to what extent the teacher is able to become aware of the pupils needs in their learning situation. In light of “improvisation in teacher education” as an overarching research theme this research group hopes to study feedback as a part of improvisational dynamics in classrooms in practicum as well as in teacher education subjects.

Inspired by improvisation in the arts, e.g. music, we also believe that studying improvisational performance implies that we need to focus on the way the professional performer thinks and operates. To be aware of and develop one’s skill and repertoire of improvisation, reflection is needed, not only on action, but also in action (Schön, 1983). We believe that reflective improvisation in action as well as on action touches the essence of professionalism in teaching and in teacher education.

Berk & Trieber (2009) links improvisation to 21st century teaching skills and claim that there are four major instructional reasons for using improvisation in the classroom:

(1) It is consistent with the characteristics of the current generation of students…(2) it taps into students’ multiple and emotional intelligences, particularly verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, bodily/ kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal; (3) it fosters collaborative learning …(4) it promotes deep learning through the active engagement with new ideas, concepts, or problems. (Berk & Trieber, 2009 p. 33).

 

By studying, focusing on and developing this skill, we believe that a learning trajectory geared towards the formation of a vertical discourse and knowledge construction in teacher education can be developed, studied and implemented. Our hypothesis is that the acquisition of such knowledge and skills will influence student teacher motivation, thought processes, emotional states and patterns of behavior, in short their self regulation, and enhance their self- efficacy in terms of their beliefs about their professional teacher and teaching capabilities.

Four Major Research Questions 

The analysis and theoretical perspectives sketched in the previous paragraphs are the basis for our overall aim for the present project. Our aim is:

To study and develop teacher education as a collaborative, dynamic and relevant practice, structured and guided by the concept of improvisational performance as a generic and overarching teaching skill. 

Three specific research questions (below) emanate from this overall aim and what we have described above as a dynamic vertical knowledge structure. Each of the specific research questions is meant to contribute to fulfilling our aim through careful empirical and theoretical studies, a re-conceptualization of teacher education practice and relevant theory building.

1) What constitutes improvisational performance in teacher education, and what do the nature, potential and limitations of improvisational skills amount to in different educational contexts? 

2) How can improvisational performance be developed as a key curricular concept, discourse and knowledge construction in teaching and in teacher education? 

3) How does the application of improvisational performance and knowledge affect specific educational situations and learning goals in TE? 

4) How does the application of improvisational performance and knowledge affect student learning and their self-regulation and self-efficacy? 

Methodological approach 

The present project is designed as a development- and action research oriented project. The action and interventions taken during the developmental processes will be based on a comprehensive literature review and observations of selected and relevant practices. The intervention will be followed up by multi-method investigations based on multi-level analysis and theory construction (Greene et al., 2005), focusing on student learning and change in teacher education practice. Thus, the methodological design of the project is based on a sequence of 3 studies, which we have labelled review, action, and impact, and which has a follow-up focus on the development of new theory, labelled synthesis: 6

 

Study I: Review

Literature review 

We will conduct a comprehensive literature review focusing on core concepts of this project, e.g. teaching and learning, teacher education, improvisational performance, knowledge and skills in education, practices in practicum and teacher education curricula, the use of examples in education, and feedback practices in education. The literature review activity will be integrated into the master programmes of Arts Education and ICT in Learning by involving teaching staff and students.

Informed by observation of relevant practices 

We will review and observe teaching practices in the teacher education on campus and in selected practice schools in order to collect practice examples with the potential of being best-practice examples in relation to the core concepts of the study. The practices will be observed carefully and analysed qualitatively and quantitatively by researchers and faculty teaching in the master programmes and by masters and phd students in the project.

Both the observations of recent practices in schools and the study of change in teacher education (see Study III) will be based on a qualitative perspective. Data will be collected both by the use of macro- oriented methods (e.g. field observations and interviews (Fossåskaret et al., 1997; Kvale, 2001; Wadel, 1991)) and micro-oriented interaction analysis of video data (Jordan & Henderson, 1995; Suchman & Trigg, 1991), both well known methods within action-oriented research.

In qualitative field studies the researcher is more or less active and present in the actual situation (Fossåskaret et al., 1997; Wadel, 1991), and the qualitative methods provide the researchers with tools for observing the activity from within both in regard to micro and macro level. The strength of these methods is first of all that they open up the possibility of conducting scientific investigation based on deep understanding of the cultural context, in this case the practice arena of teacher education and the disciplines arenas in teacher education programmes. Data gathering techniques include:

Observation: Lessons will be captured on video, transcribed and analysed by way of Interaction analysis (Jordan & Henderson, 1995). Interaction analysis is defined as a multidisciplinary method which in detail deal with the interaction, verbal and non-verbal, localized in an activity or a situation (Jordan & Henderson, 1995). Erickson (1992) claim that analysis of audio visual recordings of interplay situations is a means for observing and describing these kind of social interplay and learning situations, shaped by conscious or non-conscious patterns of action, as they genuinely occur in face-to-face situations. Similarly the method provides the opportunity for collective process where all the involved participants can be involved in interpretation and analysis. This way of analysis is especially suitable for identifying events that happen infrequently and unexpectedly or when the patterns in the interaction develop gradually over time and where non–verbal communication is important to fully understand the patterns of the interaction.

Interviews: Semi structured interviews with pupils, students and teachers and individual and focus group interviews will be conserved as part of the data triangulation. Focus groups will be used in situations where it is considered of special importance to include dialogue and group processes in the data set in a more structured setting than what can be achieved in natural observational settings. (Morgan, 1993: 8).

The qualitative data will be analysed by means of established methods for the analysis of qualitative data (Kvale, 2001; Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009).

Study II: Action research

The developmental part of the project is mainly action research oriented (Carr & Kemis, 1986; Smith & Sela, 2005; Tiller, 1999). The project will be user-directed where the involved participants, students, university teachers and practice teachers, in cooperation with the research group, will be responsible for deciding which actions to be taken. Action research is developmental in its nature. The final choice of methods comes as a result of situated considerations about problem and context. 7

 

A theoretical basis for practice-based action research is on the one hand the acceptance of the teachers and students as co-researchers, and on the other hand the researchers as participants in the practical activities. The overall aim of action research projects is to help people and organizations in investigating their own practice in order to change practice both at individual and organizational level. This developmental perspective suits this project well, which overall aim is to contribute to durable changes and providing help for the involved participants in processes of reflective self-assessment geared towards project goals.

During 2000-2007 extensive and holistic innovation projects were carried out in teacher education at Stord/Haugesund University College (SHUC) connected to both national (PLUTO2) and internal (HIL3) innovation programmes. In the action research design we will draw heavily on knowledge derived from these processes, especially criteria and models for organizing the collaborative processes involving students, university teachers and practice teachers. However, these models will be further developed through a collaborative process involving both the teachers, the students and the researchers, all seen in relation to the phases for action research lined up by Carr & Kemis (1986): planning, implementation, observation and reflection.

2 PLUTO – Program for lærerutdanning, teknologi og omstilling: http://ans.hsh.no/lu/pluto/www/

3 HIL – Heilskapleg innovasjon i lærarutdanninga:

Our scientific perspective in this action research design is to develop new knowledge and new theory through documentation of change in teacher education, both with regard to contents and teaching methods used in the teacher education subjects and in relation to the contents and organisation of practicum. The empirical context of our research will be activities both in teacher education and in the practice schools, facilitated by oral and written reflection, individually and collectively.

Study III: Impact

The impact-study will focus on change in teacher education as well as in student learning, based on mix-method pre-post test investigation.

Evaluating change in teacher education: 

In Study I the practice in teacher education at SHUC will be carefully investigated, both as regards teaching and learning activities on campus and in the students’ practicum. We will also study and analysis the arena for cooperation between the different agents in teacher education, teachers/professors, student teachers and practice teachers.

Practice in teacher education, pre- and post intervention, will be approached qualitatively by the use of the methods presented in the observation part of study I. We will in this part emphasize the use of video analysis. A selection of video-sequences from the pre-test will also be presented for discussion in the forums where the action-discussions take place (see study II). This will involve students, university teachers and practice teachers in stimulated recall sessions. In these analyses we will give special attention to the four major research questions in order to investigate and describe learning trajectories, vertical knowledge structures, the development of pedagogic identities and aspects of collaboration and innovation.

Document analysis of notes from the discussions in the meetings and the students’ written reflection texts based on experiences from their exercises in the classrooms, will be a part of the data set as independent data sources. During the initial phases of the project we will develop a set of quality criteria for improvisational performance in teaching together with students and teachers based on our findings in the Review study. These criteria will be the anchor of an oral and written reflective discussion between the involved actors, where the students will be given criteria-based tasks/assignments for goal-oriented exercises in the classrooms. This method was developed and validated through a former R&D project on assessment at SHUC (Engelsen & Smith, 2010). These data will be analysed explicitly for revealing prospective change in the students’ teaching competence and repertoires.

Student learning

In order to investigate the impact on student learning we will use internationally established instruments for determining students’ self regulation (SR) and self efficacy (SE) (Bandura 1994). 8

 

These provide indirect ways of measuring student learning outcomes. We argue the rationale for this approach below based on a concise account of relevant international research.

Self-regulation

Recent literature suggests that self-regulation of learning is closely related to academic achievement (Andrade, 2010; Pekrun et al., 2011; Zimmerman, 2000) and it seems to be learnable (Andrade, 2010 p. 95). Self-regulation implies flexible goal-setting, planning, monitoring of progress and the ability to adapt learning strategies to task demands, qualities closely connected to the use of improvisational performance in teaching, as described by Sawyer’s (2011) metaphor of teaching as an artful balance of structure and improvisation. Furthermore, there is research evidence showing that self-regulated learners do better in school than non-self regulated learners, who depend more on guidance and external factors such as teachers and peers (Andrade, 2010; Boekaerts et al., 2000; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Pintrich, 2000; Schunk & Zimmerman, 1998). There is also a large body of research which documents a strong connection between self-regulation (SR) and aspects of students’ engagement and their achievement (Andrade, 2010; Boekaerts et al., 2000; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Pintrich, 2000; Schunk & Zimmerman, 1998). Thus, the measure of students’ self-regulation is also a measure of academic and professional achievement, and hence, we also claim that this tells us something about improvisational performance. The same body of research document a strong connection between self-regulation and self-efficacy (SE). Boekaerts (2006) found that mastery-oriented students, who believe they have the competence to successfully carry out specific tasks, are independent and need less support.

Self efficacy (SE)

According to (Bandura, 1986, 1997) SE refers to self-beliefs about one’s capabilities to learn or perform behaviours at designated levels. SE influences motivation and cognition through enhancing interest in learning tasks, persistence, goal setting and use of cognitive and meta cognitive strategies, as well as choices students make about the course of action. Students tend to choose tasks about which they feel confident and competent and try to avoid tasks they do not feel confident about (Schunk & Pajares, 2002). SE is found to correlate with achievement outcomes and with effective use of learning strategies (Bandura, 1997; Pajares, 1996; Schunk & Pajares, 2002). Students’ self- efficacy influences persistence and the way they monitor their own learning process (Bouffard-Bouchard et al., 1991).

Instruments and analysis. There are several well-tested and validated instruments for measuring SE and SR. We propose to develop and pilot an adapted version of the self-efficacy and self-regulation section of the MSLQ questionnaire (Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire). This questionnaire is validated for college students both internationally and in Norway for the purpose of assessing college students motivational orientation and their use of different learning strategies, both in general and in relation to different subjects (Boekaerts et al., 2000; Pintrich et al., 1991). We will also consider testing the student self-efficacy by the use of the Achievement Emotions Questionnaire (AEQ) (Pekrun et al., 2011). The questionnaire will be validated for the Norwegian context and analyzed in accordance to the categories used by Pekrun et. al (2011): achievement emotions, perceived control and value, motivation, learning strategies, self-regulation vs external regulation and academic performance.

This study will be conducted as a pre-post study with the use of comparable control groups in other teacher education institutions following the procedures of ”Non-equivalent Control Group Pretest- Posttest Design” (Cozby, 2012). The results will be statically analysed by the use of ANCOVA, Analysis and Covariance.

The Empirical fields and the time schedule 

The project described in this application is empirical in its foundation and reflective and theoretical in its conception and development. The foreground is the empirical field of teacher education as practiced at SHUC and in connected practicum schools. This empirical field has three major arenas: 1) the institutional arena; 2) the practice arena, and 3) the “study room” of students and teachers. All of these arenas have their own structures, logics, stakeholders and gatekeepers. Participants will be students and teachers being involved in multi year teacher education programmes starting in the autumn of 2012. The participants will consist of teacher students, teacher faculty and practice school faculty. Given the geographical constraints in terms of travel and distance, practicum schools will 9

 

participate within the regions where practice normally is carried out, e.g. Stord Municipality and Hordaland County. During the whole process data analysis, discussions, and seminars will produce the empirical and theoretical basis for theory development and theory construction. The constant revision work will allow theoretical progress in close proximity with empirical findings. End-users will be invited into the process and into a continuing post project documentation period.

Dissemination of project results 

See the plan for dissemination attached in the grant online application form.

Project management and organisation 

The project is a collaboration between SHUC, the municipality of Stord, Hordaland fylke, the University of Bergen and University of Illinois. We will also lean strongly upon the international advisory panel, involving the following institutions: the Universities of Trondheim (NTNU), Stockholm and Aarhus.

The steering group: Dean Brit Theodorsen (leader), prof Kari Smith, university of Bergen, a representative from Stord municipality, the project leader and the research leader.

The project group: Project leader Knut Steinar Engelsen (Chair), research leader Magne Espeland representatives from the SHUC Master programmes and representatives from the practice schools, principals included.

The research group: research leader, professor Magne Espeland (Chair), professor II, SHUC, Liora Bresler, (Co-Chair), project leader, professor Knut Steinar Engelsen, two phd-scholarship-holders and involved researchers, Kjetil Sømoe, Kjellfrid Mæland, Sissel Høisæther, Gry Tuset.

International advisory committee: professor Kari Smith (Chair) (UiB), Professor Bjørn Alterhaug (NTNU), professor Staffan Selander (University of Stockholm), Associate Professor Sven Erik Holgersen (Aarhus Universitet) and professor Jennifer Greene, University of Illinois.

References 

Andrade, H. L. (2010). Students as the Definitive Source of Formative Assessment: Academic Self-Assessment and the Self-Regulation of Learning. In H. Andrade & G. J. Cizek (Eds.), Handbook of formative assessment. NY: Routledge.

Bailey, D. (1992). mprovisation – its Nature and Practice in music. Da Capo Press.

Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundation of Thought and Action. A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

Berk, R. A., & Trieber, R. H. (2009). Whose classroom is it, anyway? Improvisation as a teaching tool. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 3, 29-60.

Berliner, P. (1994). Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation Press. Chicago: The University of Chicago.

Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, symbolic control and identity: theory, research, critique. London: Taylor and Francis.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the Black Box. PhiDelta Kappan, 80(2), 139-148.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5–31.

Blossing, U., Hagen, A., Nyen, T., & Söderström. (2010). Kunnskapsløftet fra ord til handling. Oslo: Utdanningsdirektoratet.

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