The aim of the project 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.
Four 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?
The study is mixed-method oriented, with three sub studies: 1) review, 2) intervention and 3) impact.
Study I: Review
In Study I we will conduct a comprehensive literature review as well as an investigation of the practice in teacher 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.
We will also study and analysis the arena for cooperation between the different agents in teacher education, teachers/professors, student teachers and practice teachers. This investigation will be qualitative in its nature, facilitating observations (included video observations), document analysis and interviews.
Study II: Action Research/ Educational Design Research
The project is collaborative in its nature, where the involved participants, students, university teachers and practice teachers, in cooperation with the research group, will be strongly involved in deciding which actions to be taken. Educational design research is developmental and impact oriented in its nature. Methodological approaches will therefore be either action research (Green 2009) or educational design research (McKenney/Reeves 2012) depending on situated considerations about problem and context in a number of different sub-studies. 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. 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 and in he pilot part of study II. 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.