Lärares arbete med individanpassning : Strategier och dilemman i klassrummet

Sammanfattning: A major challenge for teachers in crowded classrooms is to adapt the teaching to different pupil’s needs and abilities. Previous research shows that learning for pupils in the Swedish primary school has somewhat become an individual project. An increase in the individual work has been at the expense of whole class teaching. This has had a negative impact on pupils' academic performance. However, previous research also indicates that individual adaptation may affect results positively when the teacher is active, has knowledge of pupil’s needs and abilities and also a willingness to meet them.In the last few versions of the Swedish curriculum it is mentioned that teaching should be adjusted based on each pupil's abilities and needs. The purpose of this study is to investigate, describe and analyze how today's teachers in primary school (grades 1-6) handle individual adaptation in teaching, what strategies they use and what dilemmas that occurs. The study focuses on how work is carried out in practice. Qualitative interviews and participant observations are used in the data collection.This study has been conducted in two parts. The first part addresses five teachers and their classes in four different schools. In the second part the study has been extended with one of the above teachers whose classroom work was followed during a period of seven weeks. The results show that teachers are working hard to find methods that promote communication and interaction. They use different strategies to adapt teaching to each student. Individual work is still present but does not dominate the classroom work. Teachers individualize teaching by variation and interaction, by working together with tasks, with active relationship-oriented work and through continuous adjustments in the moment. The study also shows that teachers face several dilemmas when they individualize teaching in the classroom. One dilemma is among the ideal adaptation that teachers have a vision of, versus the time- and efficiencydriven adaptation that is possible to accomplish in the classroom. There is a tension between overall ideal images and teachers' practical everyday reality.