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Transfer of knowledge from group work to participants' own practice in a course about research methodology

Johnsson, Annette, Granklint Enochson, Pernilla, Sjöberg, Jeanette
2019

Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)

Abstract:

Research topic/aim

In 2017, a regional cooperation project was initiated with four municipalities and Halmstad University, called From Great to Excellence (FGTE). 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 (see e.g. Sales, Moliner, & Amat, 2017). In this study we have focus on the utilization of knowledge acquired in groups in participants own school context. The question we ask is “How is transfer of knowledge from group work to own practice perceived by participants participating in a course about research methodology?  

Theoretical framework

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).

Methodological design

The empirical material for the present study consists of a questionnaire disseminated to the participants after they had completed the course. A total number of 57 questionnaires were collected which counts for about 65-70 percent of the total number of participants. The questionnaires were analyzed with SPSS factor analysis to detect underlying variables.

Expected conclusions/findings

Preliminary results show that, while expecting quite the opposite, by using factor analysis, a strong negative relation between, on one hand, the variable “the usage of research methodology has developed in the group”, and on the other hand, the variables “I have increased my ability to use new analytical concepts in my practise and  “I have increased knowledge in evaluating my own practice”. Meaning that the participants do not feel they, themselves, have learned more about the use of scientific methods relating to their own practice. While the group is progressing, their own learning has been put back.

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.

References

Danielsson, E. (2017). Vetenskaplig teori och metod: från idé till examination inom omvårdnad. Henricson, M. (red.) (Andra upplagan). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB.

Tryfos, P. (1996). Sampling methods for applied research: text and cases. New York: Wiley.

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

Citera: Johnsson, Annette, Granklint Enochson, Pernilla & Sjöberg, Jeanette, Transfer of knowledge from group work to participants' own practice in a course about research methodology, NERA 2019 : Education in a Globalized World., s. 779-780, 2019