In Critical Reflection on Research in Teaching and Learning, the editors bring together a collection of works that explore a wide range of concerns related to questions of researching teaching and learning in higher education and shine a light on the diversity of qualitative methods in practice. This book uniquely focuses on reflections of practice where researchers expose aspects of their work that might otherwise fit neatly into ‘traditional’ methodologies chapters or essays, but are nonetheless instructive – issues, events, and thoughts that deserve to be highlighted rather than buried in a footnote. This collection serves to make accessible the importance of teaching and learning issues related to learners, teachers, and a variety of contexts in which education work happens.

Contributors are: David Andrews, Candace D. Bloomquist, Agnes Bosanquet, Beverley Hamilton, Henriette Tolstrup Holmegaard, Klondiana Kolomitro,Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä, Suvi Lakkala, Rod Lane, Corrine Laverty, Elizabeth Lee, Körkkö Minna, Narell Patton, Jessica Raffoul, Nicola Simmons, Jee Su Suh, Kim West, and Cherie Woolmer.
Lessons Learned from Reading the Signs
Semiotics has explained the cognitive mechanisms of a complex, subtle and important phenomenon affecting all human interactions and communications across socio-cultural, socio-economic groups. Semiotics has captured a durable and enriching functionality from multiple disciplines including psychology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, marketing and their multidisciplinary off-spring, such as, educational psychology, consumer psychology, visual literacy, media studies, etc. Semiotic treatises have explored critical factors affecting the relationship between any intended message and the message recipient’s interpretation. The factors that shape interpretation inherently affect learning and often directly affect learner engagement with the content. Learning environments have been culturally-laden communication experiences which academics, largely segmented by discipline, have described but often cloaked in semiotic jargon.

Each chapter integrates example after example of semiotics in everyday activities and events, such as stories, graphics, movies, games, infographics, and educational strategies. The chapters also present the most salient semiotic features for learning environments. The book describes semiotics as a communications phenomenon with practical implications for educators to enhance courses and programs with semiotic features in any educational environment but especially in mediated e-learning environments.
Challenges and Directions in a Multicultural World
This book intends to find a common path for diverse approaches meant to reach a better vision on the future of education, to adapt it to the most spectacular and rapid changes in the modern world. Remarkable education specialists bring their research into this volume that collects the best ideas and solutions presented in the 19th Biennial Conference of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (Sibiu, Romania, July 2019). The 17 chapters of this book promote a hopeful vision on the future of education as proclaimed in the title: Education beyond Crisis: Challenges and Directions in a Multicultural World.

The volume focuses on three major ideas: defining directions for the future of teaching, challenges of the contemporary teaching context, and teaching in a multicultural world. The volume itself stands for the multicultural approach of education, as the contributors propose a unitary picture on education, in the contexts of national educative programs or inclusive education for the refugee children.

Well-known researchers answer important questions on the effectiveness of educational reforms and education policies in different countries. They take into account the student voice or the teachers' opinions in teaching and designing the new curriculum. The volume includes researches based on case studies, interviews, surveys, qualitative analysis, and original researching instruments. Readers will find here not only the vision of a multicultural world, but also valuable ideas on education in Austria, Brazil, Canada, Portugal, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Serbia, Spain, Singapore, Romania, Turkey, and the United States.

Contributors are: Christiana Deliewen Afrikaner, Laura Sara Agrati, Ana Flavia Souza Aquiar, Neelofar Ahmed, Douwe Beijaard, Terence Titus Chia, Cheryl J. Craig, Feyza Doyran, Estela Ene, Maria Assunção Flores, Maria Antonella Galanti, Paula Martín Gómez, Christos Govaris, Heng Jiang, Stavroula Kaldi, Ria George Kallumkal, Manpreet Kaur, Julia Köhler, Malathy Krishnasamy, Virginia Grazia Iris Magoga, Maria Ines Marcondes, Paulien C. Meijer, Juanjo Mena, Raluca Muresan, Ingeborg van der Neut, Ida E. Oosterheert, Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker, Loredana Perla, Cui Ping, Snežana Obradović-Ratković, Maria Luisa Garcia Rodriquez, Minodora Salcudean, Gonny Schellings, Antonis Smyrnaios, Sydney Sparks, Alexandra Stavrianoudaki, Vassiliki Tzika, Evgenia Vassilaki, Viviana Vinci, Kari-Lynn Winters, Vera E. Woloshyn, Tamara Zappaterra, and Gang Zhu.
Theory, Research, and Good Practice in Pre-service Teacher and Higher Education
Editor: Thomas Lehmann
Interest in knowledge integration grew considerably in recent years, particularly within the realm of pre-service teacher education. However, studies on the topic conceptualize knowledge integration in diverse ways. For example, it may be conceived as a specific coherence-building learning process which involves not only acquiring but interrelating knowledge of different types (e.g., theoretical and practical) or from different domains, which together constitute a teacher’s or educational specialist’s professional knowledge base (e.g., content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, knowledge about using technologies for learning and instruction, etc.). Furthermore, knowledge integration also refers to the meaningful application of knowledge of different types and from various domains in order to act professionally and to teach successfully.

In many countries, however, future teachers and educational specialists often struggle with knowledge integration, because the task of integrating knowledge across domains, from various courses, and from practical training is left largely to the individuals. Thus, the efficacy and quality of higher education programs, particularly in pre-service teacher education, could be improved through careful attention to knowledge integration.

International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration aims at facilitating the consideration of knowledge integration in teacher training and higher education in both research and practice. Specifically, it explores theoretical conceptions and methods, and reports on original research and good practices for fostering knowledge integration. It is thus of interest to researchers, faculty board members, and lecturers concerned with teacher training and higher education, as well as to student-teachers and students of pedagogy, education, and educational psychology.

Abstract

A persistent design challenge in teacher education is the coherent coordination of practical learning in the field with the formal theory-driven learning in course work. The Adaptive Cycles of Teaching (ACT) is a curriculum model that aims to address this challenge. The design structures the pre-service curriculum around a small set of core teaching practices and provides multiple opportunities for pre-service teachers to enact lessons involving these practices in field settings. A key design pattern entails cycles of lesson planning, implementation, video analysis, and synthesis of student assessment data with instructor and field coach feedback. The structure of these reflective teaching cycles is expected to support pre-service teachers to integrate their knowledge of instruction and student learning. Analyses of five pre-service teachers’ reflections across consecutive lesson cycles show evidence of this knowledge integration, but also variation in individual learning progressions. We draw implications for supporting pre-service teacher knowledge integration through practice-centered design patterns.

In: International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration

Abstract

The gap between professional theoretical knowledge and professionally justified and well-considered action – based on theoretical knowledge – is well known and thus empirically well documented. It is therefore worthwhile to address the issue of how to implement a learning environment in tertiary education which enables pre-service teachers to use their theoretical knowledge in planning and conducting lessons. In order to look into this issue, I exposed a group of pre-service teachers (experimental group, n = 13) at the University of Education in Salzburg (Austria) to a learning environment developed by Diethelm Wahl. Pre-service teachers were offered a learning environment which allowed them to make lasting and profound changes to their subjective theories on teaching and learning. Control groups consisted of a group of pre-service teachers without treatment (n = 9) as well as teachers in secondary education (n = 10). Quantitative and qualitative data showed significant differences between the experimental group and the control groups with regard to indicators for good instruction. The pre-service teachers in the experimental group had a significantly better understanding of planning and teaching according to indicators for a moderate constructivism. Thus, the implemented learning environment helped bridge the gap between professional knowledge and professionally justified action.

In: International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration

Abstract

Professional teaching requires interdisciplinary competency. In consequence, teacher education programs throughout the world generally compile a comprehensive list of disciplines and knowledge practices required for professional work and teachers’ continuing education. As student teachers need to be offered opportunities to make linkages between collected disciplines, concepts and practices have to be structurally interconnected through a coherent program. Coherence is about connecting what belongs together, that is, establishing systemic relations between the constituent parts of teacher education. In this chapter, we elaborate a conceptual framework outlining how the issue of knowledge integration in teacher education programs may be understood and investigated through the lens of coherence. Our focus is on the conceptual coherence in interdisciplinary teacher education programs, as well as on the structural coherence of organizing disciplinary knowledge in and across subject studies, subject didactic areas, and educational science. The analysis is anchored in recent research studies evaluating Swedish programs for teacher education, where relationships between national guidelines, interpretations made by institutions of higher education, and the perceptions of teacher educators and student teachers have been studied in relation to the issue of coherence.

In: International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration

Abstract

In this chapter we integrate two lines of research that deal with complex knowledge domains, which are of increasing importance for pre-service teachers: Technology integration and responding to learner heterogeneity. Both domains are characterized by increased complexity, requiring pre-service teachers to understand concrete practice-related phenomena, as well as the underlying cognitive and socio-cognitive processes on a meta-level. In this context, initially we examine literature investigating the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) framework. Secondly, we provide an overview of the parameters for heterogeneity in the classroom, using three different approaches found in contemporary research. Thirdly, our considerations are integrated into both domains based on the notion of fragmented versus coherent theories. At this stage, we conceptualize how complex domains can be coherently mentally represented; arguing that teacher education needs to support pre-service teachers in their construction of professional knowledge, represented as coherent theories. Finally, we suggest an integrated perspective on pre-service teachers’ professional development based on the concept of adaptive expertise. As a practical implication, we provide a basis for teacher training to guide pre-service teachers’ meta-conceptual understanding of the potential of digital technology, and for dealing with heterogeneity in the classroom.

In: International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration
Author: Norbert M. Seel

Abstract

In general, it can be argued that knowledge integration in teams depends on creating shared mental models by bringing together knowledge from different perspectives and parties (which presupposes the convergence of team members’ mental models that refer to cognitive processes by which two or more people share knowledge through social interaction and negotiation). However, it still remains vastly open if and how shared mental models develop as regards common understanding of taskwork and decision making within an educational serious game. Moreover, the question if and how shared mental models change over time with regard to their structural similarity and accuracy in collaborative teamwork within a game-based learning environment is still to be considered. To address these questions, this chapter presents a framework which describes the mental model convergence process. The framework draws on the extant research on information processing and interactions between team members. The chapter then reports on a case study focused on the learning-dependent progression of shared mental models during collaborative teamwork within a game-based learning environment through the lens of knowledge integration. Participants were 25 students from an undergraduate education program. The study incorporated analyses of model similarities and accuracies within and between teams, as well as an interaction analysis of the teams’ verbal communication. Overall, the results support that knowledge integration in terms of converging individual mental models into shared models plays an important role in high-performing teams within a game-based learning environment. The chapter concludes with a discussion of implications for educational research and practice.

In: International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration

Abstract

In this chapter, we argue theoretically that students in educational science and teacher education need to be trained in research as well as disciplinary knowledge and that they need to integrate these knowledge domains because scientificity is a foundation for professionalism in their field. We base this statement on the viewpoints promoted by several scholars in the field who emphasize a scientific reflective habitus and theory application competence as manifestation of professionalism of teachers and educational specialists. However, especially students in social and educational science are often inclined to work in the field with no or little interest in research methods. We present two approaches developed to answer this dilemma and theoretically discuss their conduciveness to knowledge integration based on relevant dimensions, namely the level of student activity, the content of inquiry regarding both, information versus discovery orientation, and methods versus content orientation. We then argue that approaches where students are more active, and where both methods and disciplinary theory are the focus of inquiry are most promising in facilitating knowledge integration. We end the chapter with possible operationalizations of knowledge integration in students in the educational science and pre-service teacher education. This operationalization allows an empirical examination of the theoretical discourse we present in this chapter.

In: International Perspectives on Knowledge Integration