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SEK 11.5 million to three research projects in educational sciences

An international network for research on history teaching to promote democracy. Increased knowledge about the work of professional groups like teaching and student assistants. Improved knowledge in teacher students about different subjects’ specific ways of communicating knowledge. These are the goals for three research projects in educational sciences at Linnaeus university that have been granted funds from the Swedish Research Council.

When the Swedish Research Council recently decided on grants within the field of educational sciences, three research projects from Linnaeus University were granted funds.

Increased knowledge about subject literacy

Ewa Bergh Nestlog, professor of Swedish language education, receives SEK 6 million for the project Ämneslitteracitet i grundlärarutbildningen [Subject literacy on the primary teacher programme].

“The purpose of the project is to increase the knowledge on so-called subject literacy in the core subjects English, mathematics, and Swedish on the primary teacher programme, with specialisation in years 4–6. Subject literacy deals with how we use, interpret, and create texts in a specific subject. Also how we communicate and interact within the social context of the subject”, Bergh Nestlog explains.

“Subjects have specific languages, and we want to identify how teaching on subject languages can be strengthened on the programme. This would mean that we, by extension, can expect partly that teacher students’ knowledge development is strengthened, and partly that they develop subject didactical skills that benefit their future pupils’ possibilities to develop and communicate knowledge in different subjects”, Berg Nestlog concludes.

Support and resource services in school

Per Lindqvist, professor of pedagogy, receives SEK 4.3 million for the project Utvidgningen av skolans paraprofessionalla territorium – en reorganisering av pedagogiska handlingar och relationer? [The expansion of school’s paraprofessional territory – a reorganisation of pedagogical actions and relations?]

“We will look closer at professions in school who are tasked with supporting, relieving, or supplementing already established professional groups. Such support and resource services – for instance, teaching assistants, student assistants, mentors, and student coaches – have increased significantly during the last few years in pace with the teacher shortage. Combined, these professional groups are now almost as big as the number of primary teachers in the Swedish school”, Lindqvist explains.

“Despite the fact that these professional groups are now indispensable, our knowledge about the work they do is surprisingly low. Therefore, by conducting a nation-wide survey and field studies at a number of schools, we would like to generate updated knowledge about the work these professional groups do and its potential consequences”, Lindqvist concludes.

International network for research on history teaching

Niklas Ammert, professor of history with specialisation in educational sciences, receives SEK 1.2 million for the project Democracy in the past, the present, and looking to the future: An international network focusing on historical, moral, and democratic consciousness in history education, research and policy.

“We want to establish an international network for research within primarily history teaching, with researchers from countries with different democratic traditions. The background is that democracy is under threat and pressure in many countries. The ongoing processes are intimately linked with perceptions of the past and have something to tell us about people’s thoughts on moral values”, Ammert explains.

“In this, the history teaching at school is important, as it is expected to develop pupils’ critical thinking and commitment to democratic values. However, regimes have quite often used teaching as a tool to promote nationalism. Therefore, we would, among other things, like to make comparisons between policy documents for history teaching in different countries”, Ammert concludes.