Keeping Order in a Thinking and Learning Environment

Paper presented at the TA Teachers Conference ‘Thinking as a Key Competence: Implications for Learning, Teaching and Management’ in Riga 23-24 September 2016.
Read paper here: keeping-order-pihlgren

See slideshow here: pihlgren-keeping-order

This paper is part of a larger study where more than two hundred teachers have been observed and interviewed. The questions guiding this part of the study focus on how the teacher’s way of keeping order is connected to the cognitive quality of what is taught.
A ‘thinking and learning environment’ presupposes that the teacher acts with strong focus on fostering students’ habits of mind, keeping order at the same time. However, there is no automatic relationship between orderliness and learning. Two factors are of importance: The teacher’s way of exercising control and if the system is perceptible for the students. Five types of learning environments were identified, three less successful in supporting cognitive development of students, and two more successful. The strongest learning outcomes are achieved when teachers use a clear and visible system during the lesson, so the students understand what is expected, a system that promotes their self-control.
Keywords: Cognition, order, praxis theory, teaching environments, thinking