Category Archives: Observation And Feedback

(Svenska) Att förstå sitt lärande – magisteruppsats

To Understand One’s Learning
A pilot study about senior-level students’ apprehensions of metacognitive questions in the subjects Art and Swedish
By Anneli Vossman Strömberg
The paper is in Swedish: Att förstå sitt lärande A Vossman Strömberg

Abstract
This pilot study aims to test how recommended methods to promote students’ metacognitive thinking can be used. Metacognition is about “learning how to learn” and is related to conceptions like feedback, self-regulation and formative assessment. Research shows that students that get training in metacognition increase their performances. One of the goals according to the Swedish Curriculum for the compulsory school, preschool class and the recreation centre 2011/2017 is that students shall develop the ability to assess their results. I have examined how students in grade seven answer and apprehend metacognitive questions in the compulsory subjects Art and Swedish. The students answered metacognitive questions at three different times: when planning, when carrying through and when evaluating the task. In connection to answering the questions they also answered a questionnaire about their conception of the metacognitive questions. The intention is to use the result of the pilot study to prepare for a larger study. A qualitative research method has been used in this study. The result show that it’s substantial that the teachers find out about the students different preunderstanding of the metacognitive questions. The majority of the students find the metacognitive question useless, but for different reasons. If the students don’t understand the questions they think that the questions are something in addition to the task. If the students have a high metacognitive preunderstanding they will consider the questions as redundant. Most students thought that the metacognitive questions took time from the task they were supposed to do. Some students expressed great dissatisfaction, big frustration and irritation over the questions. To be able to train metacognitive thinking methodically with desired effect the students have to be motivated. A key factor is that the students understand what the training is supposed to leading. The teacher has to work in different ways with different groups of students with this.
Key words
Metacognition, metacognitive thinking, metacognitive questions, metacognitive strategies, learning to learn, feedback, self-regulation, formative assessment, learning strategies, visible learning

Enhancing Teacher’s Understanding of How to Develop Students’ Thinking

Paper presented at the 17th ICOT, International Conference on Thinking 2015, 30th June, in Bilbao, Spain.

Read the paper: Enhancing Teachers Pihlgren

See the slide show: Pihlgren Enhancing Teachers

Abstract

Schools around the world are trying to cope with rapid societal changes – fast progress of technical development, the globalization of communication, markets, and ideas, and the demand for equal education for different groups in society. If these challenges are to be met, for the benefit of mankind, it calls for good educational practice in every classroom, focused not only on teaching thinking to students, but also on their abilities to make productive choices, and to take responsibility for societal development in the future.

This paper is part of a larger study including a thorough investigation and analysis of current research literature on how education can meet the demands for cognitive development of students, compared with results from observations and teacher interviews, recorded at 125 lessons in classrooms with students from grade K-12, and 60 sessions in afterschool with students from grade K-6. The questions guiding this particular part of the study concern how (if at all) the teachers’ ways to plan and carry out classroom activities changed after having participated in development programs, and what methods seem to be more effective than others when changing teachers’ classroom behavior. Twelve units in eight schools K-12 and afterschools K-6 participated.

The ‘thinking classroom’ presupposes that the teacher plans, assesses, chooses activities and tools, and arranges the setting, with strong focus on fostering students’ habits of mind, rather than fixating on factual knowledge or covering of certain knowledge areas. The contextual and communicational interactions play a vital part of support in a thinking environment. The development programs focused on these issues. Before teachers participated in the programs, observations showed little evidence of the anticipated criteria in the classrooms (Pihlgren 2013a, 2014). Though most teachers showed an understanding of what would develop the students’ cognitive skills, they lacked the understanding of how to translate their theoretical knowledge into practice.

Some of the elements used in the development programs proved to be more effective, especially when combined: The impact on teachers’ behavior in the classroom increased when the teacher was required to try out different ways to act, when they were required to present their experiences and get feedback from colleagues, researcher and leaders on what they had done and how, when the teacher read theoretical texts connected to what was tested and lectured on and the texts were discussed with colleagues, and when the principal or vice principal took active part during the program. An ‘ideal type’, a model of how a successful development program would look like was constructed and can be used for designing or evaluating teacher development programs, where the aim is to change teaching practice to address higher cognitive outcomes.

(Svenska) Professionsutveckling genom grupputveckling och lönesamtal

Detta utvecklingsmaterial är framtaget av Daglig verksamhet i Enköpings kommun i samarbete med pedagogikforskare Ann S. Pihlgren. Materialet omfattar forsknings- och erfarenhetsbaserad modell för grupputveckling med en utvärderings- och utvecklingsmatris och en arbetsgång över året, som har prövats i verksamheten i samverkan mellan chefer, personal och forskare. Ta del av hela materialet här:

Professionsutveckling genom grupputveckling och lönesamtal

Complementary Education in Classrooms and Afterschool Programs

Abstract

This paper analyzes how afterschool teachers and caretakers meet the demands for cognitive and creative development of students. Observations of lessons and sessions in afterschools (‘fritidshem’) for grade K-3 and staff interviews were used. The questions guiding the analysis concern what criteria are important when teaching thinking and creativity to students, how these are planned and represented in the activities, and how the results compare to the school analysis.  

Teaching thinking and creativity presupposes that the teacher plans, assesses, chooses activities and tools, and arranges the setting carefully, with focus on fostering students’ habits of mind. The contextual and communicational interactions play a vital part of support. Evidence of the anticipated criteria was difficult to ascertain in the observed classrooms and afterschools. However, a few teachers present successful models, and some schools present school and afterschool interaction to improve students’ thinking and creativity.

Key words: thinking, creativity, cognitive development, lesson planning, afterschools (fritidshem)

Read paper: Complementary education in classrooms and afterschool programs

See slideshow: Slideshow Complementary education in classrooms and afterschools