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Samhällskunskapslärares ämneskonceptioner
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I will discuss subject conceptions among social studies teachers who work in upper secondary schools. The aim of this study is to investigate and analyse subject conceptions among social studies teachers and their relationship to the teachers’ personal background. Subject conceptions can be expressed in both planned and realized teaching, which are analysed in this study. The questions posed are: What subject conceptions are expressed in the social studies teachers’ descriptions of their teaching? Are there any relationships between the teachers’ personal background and the subject conceptions they express? Which subject conceptions are manifested in written tests and exercises? This study consists of three empirical sub-studies. The first sub-study is based on a questionnaire with 60 social studies teachers in upper secondary schools in two counties in Sweden. The second sub-study is based on in-depth interviews with eight social studies teachers who expressed different subject conceptions in the questionnaire. The last sub-study is based on a document analysis of 28 written tests and examinations that were collected from the interviewed teachers. The theoretical framework of this study consists of structuration, class, gender and didactic theories.

Some conclusions can be drawn from this study. There are different subject conceptions among the social studies teachers. I have found four typical subject conceptions, which I have called the fact-and-concept–focused, value-focused, analysis-focused and citizenship-focused subject conceptions. The study also shows that the teachers’ personal background has a relationship with their subject conceptions, to a certain degree. Gender and the combination of subjects in the teachers’ academic exams are related to the subject conceptions that the teachers express. Also, internal framing factors, like social background, political views and years in the profession, and external frame factors, like steering documents, textbooks, current news events and the students’ interests and needs, influence the teachers’ subject understanding to different extents. The study also shows that there are differences between the subject conceptions, which are shown in the teachers’ descriptions of their teachings and their assessment materials. The majority of the teachers in the study expressed the citizenship-focused subject conception in the questionnaire, while the written tests and examinations are dominated by fact-and-concept–focused and analysis-focused questions. One conclusion drawn from the empirical results is that code, classification and framing vary among the different conceptions of the subject social studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2013. , 208 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 108
Keyword [en]
Subject conceptions, internal and external frame factors
Keyword [sv]
Ämnesdidaktik, Samhällskunskapsdidaktik
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82936ISBN: 978-91-7459-730-1OAI: diva2:663989
Public defence
2013-12-06, Samhällsvetarhuset, Hörsal C, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-11-14 Created: 2013-11-13 Last updated: 2013-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Lindmark, Torbjörn
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