Degree Projects and Praxis Development

In: Examining Praxis

How could praxis-related research be evaluated? What aspects and criteria should be taken into account? Is praxis-related research in any way different from other, more conventional types of research? These questions will be discussed here, based on findings from a Research and Development project (R&D project) carried out in the local community of Upplands Väsby, just outside Stockholm. The aim was to improve the quality of student teachers’ degree projects by encouraging them to focus on professional practice knowledge. A parallel aim was to explore alternative and complementary ways of assessing students’ achievements. In this chapter, the Upplands Väsby project and the students’ achievements are analysed.

I conclude that assessment should to a greater extent involve experienced teachers and school leaders.2 Attention should be paid, not only to students’ individual achievements, but also to qualities related to the interaction between the participants, involved and to the “practice architectures” that prefigure their projects. The quality of degree projects is discussed in terms of ‘inquiry culture’, ‘academic literacy’ and ‘pragmatic validity’. The findings are summarised in a frame of reference that might be of importance in evaluating praxis-related research.