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Pernilla Granklint Enochson
( Akademin för lärande, humaniora och samhälle )
From process to a changed practice - How research questions are processed in a collaborative project
Granklint Enochson, Pernilla, Sjöberg, Jeanette, Johnsson, Annette
In 2017, a regional cooperation project was initiated with four municipalities and Halmstad University, called From Great to Excellence (FGTE), that aimed at reducing the gap between children/pupils capacity and performance. The project is planned to run for five years, and participants are persons active in schools and preschools at different levels within the school practice. Within the FGTE project, the participants perform different development projects in cooperation across the municipal boundaries, where they act as critical friends for each other in order to drive each project forward. Parallel with these activities, follow-up research on the project is conducted that focuses on different parts of the collaborative process. In this study we have concentrated on the participants' work with their respective research processes. The overall aim is to investigate the way in which research questions- and the ability to answer these - are developed by the participants through collaborative projects across municipal boundaries. The question we ask is "How does a (research-) question change through a collaborative process?" School development projects are carried out both at national and international level (e. g. Sales, Moliner & Amat, 2017; Adolfsson & Håkansson, 2015). In this study, the focus is both on regional cooperation and more specifically on the research questions of the participating groups.
The theoretical framework in this study is situated within the socio-cultural field, since much of the focus is around the collaboration between the participants. Conversation is an arena for developing knowledge and by supporting and challenging each other's pronounced thoughts, prerequisites for development of knowledge are given (Vygotsky, 1978).
The empirical material for the present study consists partly of the work material from a workshop where the participants' research questions were processed, partly by the participants' final products at the end of their development projects, which was a project report and a poster per project group. The material has mainly been analyzed based on a content analysis perspective (Danielsson, 2017; Denzin & Lincoln, 2003).
The analysis is not yet complete, but preliminary results show that the research questions in the projects are not fully answered by the participants. On the other hand, the research questions seems to become more sharp when people from other municipalities are involved in working with the them. It also appears to be problematic to relate to overall, relatively abstract questions, and to make them tangible to their own school practice.
Relevance to Nordic educational research
Through this study, we want to highlight the potential for improvement work in preschool and school practice which lies in developing school activities through a regional cooperation project. This, we mean, are of utmost relevance to Swedish/Nordic as well as international research fields within education.
Adolfsson, C-H., & Håkansson, J. (2015). Lärande skolor och förskolor i Kalmar kommun - Forskning och lokalt skolutvecklingsarbete i samspel. Rapport. Linnéuniversitet
Danielsson, E. (2017). Vetenskaplig teori och metod: från idé till examination inom omvårdnad. Henricson, M. (red.) (Andra upplagan). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB.
Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2003). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE
Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. M. Cole, Ed.Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Sales, A., Moliner, L., & Amat, A. F. (2017). Collaborative professional development for distributed teacher leadership towards school change. School Leadership & Management Formerly School Organisation. VOL. 37, NO. 3, 254–266