Undervisning och reflektion Om undervisning och förutsättningar för studenters reflektion mot bakgrund av teorier om erfarenhetslärande
Sammanfattning: The aim of this study is to explore how teaching can be described by the use of experiential learning theory, focusing on the conditions for students’ reflection. The questions are: How can experiential learning theory and theory about reflection be adapted for analysis and description of teaching? How can a concrete teaching practice be analyzed and described by the use of such theory? What conditions for different levels of reflection do different ways of teaching create? In this observational study, the researcher has followed police students at Umeå University during their first semester of study. Lessons were documented using field notes and video camera. The teachers were interviewed about their views on teaching, and a group of students were interviewed about how they perceived the teaching. Based on Kolb’s experiential learning model (Kolb 1984), a new model for analyzing and describing teaching, named MABU, was developed and used as an analytical tool. MABU describes teaching by identifying and naming four new types of teaching, each of which is a combination of a type of content and a way of processing it: Formulation, Discussion, Application and Exercise. The main tendency is that teaching predominantly consisted of Formulation and Discussion, with an emphasis on theoretical content, processed through verbal activities such as group discussions. However, the studied teaching also included practical content and activities. Instances of student reflection were graded using Moon’s model for grading reflection (Moon2004:214ff). The results show that in most cases, concrete content is processed through organized reflective activities such as discussions, while theoretical content is frequently presented without any subsequent processing activities. In 20 % of the observed lessons, articulated student reflection on deeper levels took place. The teaching during these lessons was subject to further analysis, focusing on four aspects: the presence of interactive activities and a “problem” to stimulate reflection (cf. Dewey 1998/1933); how students’ previous experiences are treated, and whether lesson content is related to the students, their experiences and future, thereby facilitating the creation of what Dewey calls“interest” (Dewey 1975/1913); how emotions are evoked, used and dealt with; and teacher performance, in terms of communicative techniques and how the teacher gives a sense of “personhood” (Brookfield 2006:71). The results show that content is consistently related to the students, their views, values and future profession. However, although the teachers stress the importance of students reflecting critically on previous experiences, these were seldom addressed during the lessons. Based on detailed analysis and rich description of teaching, the study suggests a number of teacher actions and behaviors that stimulate and deepen student reflection, and others that seem to inhibit reflective activity.
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