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Complex object of learning: how to improve learning democracy at school by the use of Variation Theory and Learning
Kristianstad University, School of Education and Environment.
University of Gothenburg.
2012 (English)In: Abstracts book, 2012, 132- p.Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to test in what way variation theory (VT) can serve as a guiding principle when learning an abstract concept like democracy. The model Learning study is used, which is a kind of lesson study in combination with the theoretical framework of a learning theory (LT). The iterative process means designing the forthcoming lessons based on the results and analysis of the data from the previous lessons. The data consists of pre/post-tests and video-observed lessons. The study contains four research sessions with four different groups of pupils in three different schools in grade 6 at the compulsory school. In total two teachers and 78 students participated during the four research sessions, one lesson per group. The first lesson (A) included 21 students, the second (B) 17 students, the third (C) 21 students, and in the final session (D) there were in total 19 pupils. The research sessions were 80 minutes each, and the planning was guided by the variation theory. The results show that the teachers' different ways of presenting aspects on the object of learning – democracy - different aspects where possible to discern. The different patterns of variation used are described in relation to differences in the students’ learning outcome. In all lessons democracy was contrasted against dictatorship. In order to facilitate learning different aspects of the object of learning were designed in a pattern of variation to see if and in that case what kind of differences this meant for the students. The results show that in group A the test scores increased by 63%, in group B the increase was 32%, group C 29% and in the last group (D) the test scores increased by 91%.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 132- p.
Keyword [en]
variation theory, learning study, democracy, learning, instruction
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-9899OAI: diva2:574736
WALS 2012
Available from: 2012-12-06 Created: 2012-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Holmqvist Olander, Mona
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