Gymnasieskolans svenskämnen. En studie av svenskundervisningen i fyra gymnasieklasser
Sammanfattning: This dissertation explores how the school subject Swedish is constructed for various groups of upper secondary school students and how the meeting between teacher and pupils is embodied in a range of Swedish subjects. The overall aim of the study is to illustrate why the teaching of Swedish in the classes under investigation takes place the way it does, as well as to discuss possible changes on a more principal basis. Three basic perspectives give a point of departure for the more general argumentation about problems and possibilities that the subject Swedish has to face: social and cultural changes, the importance of communication and meaning-making context, and, finally, the traditions and values contained in the subject. Four different classes participated in the investigation during a period of two years. The empirical material consist mainly of field notes from classroom observations and of qualitative interviews. The result indicates that the teaching of Swedish has a tendency towards the formal training of skills. The content of the reading, writing and spoken exercises that the students meet is subordinate or even irrelevant. Most of the students find it difficult to formulate a satisfactory answer to why fiction is given such priority in the subject Swedish. The significance of literature in the classroom is reduced when reading simply becomes a process in skills training. The school subject Swedish is affected by the cultural changes. One teacher strategy is to counteract the influence of new media by adhering to a more traditional content, another to give some space to other kinds of textual and experiential worlds. Still, however, the teaching of Swedish remains largely faithful to its traditional practices. The study suggests that focus should be moved from language skills in themselves to language use in the quest for knowledge and, furthermore, that literature and other media is to be integrated in everyday teaching. Teachers? most demanding challenge is to discuss and adjust the content in relation to the students? development of knowledge and identity as well as in relation to the students as members of society. The question asked and tasks chosen must engage the students, encourage mutual exchange and give possibilities to form an opinion. It is of crucial importance to include the students? social and cultural experiences as well as the cultural products in their world and to treat them as active participants and citizens in dialogue with others. Such teaching contains the potential to provide the students with democratic experience and a preparedness for acting in the world.
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