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  • 1.
    Gericke, Niklas
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex, UK.
    Olin-Scheller, Christina
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    Powerful knowledge and transformation processes across school subjects2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Gericke, Niklas
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex, UK.
    Olin-Scheller, Christina
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    Stolare, Martin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013). CSD, ROSE.
    Powerful knowledge and transformations processes across school subjects: interdisciplinary perspectives from the field of subject didactics2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we outline an empirical research framework building on the concepts of powerful knowledge and transformation. Powerful knowledge as an idea was coined by Michael Young (2009) to re-establish the importance of knowledge in teaching and curriculum development. Powerful knowledge is defined by Young as a subject specific coherent conceptual disciplinary knowledge that when learnt will empower students to make decisions, and become action-competent in a way that influence their lives in a positive way. 

    We develop the concept of powerful knowledge in two important ways. First, instead of only discussing powerful knowledge as an idea related to educational practices, we take a research position suggesting that powerful knowledge could be used as a tool in educational research related to subject specific education. In doing so we, in line with Deng (2015), propose to align the curricular concept of powerful knowledge to the European research tradition of didactics in general, and subject didactics in particular. Second, we develop the concept of powerful knowledge by refuting the dichotomization suggested by Young (2015) that curriculum (‘what to teach’) can be separated from pedagogy (‘how to teach’). Instead we view these two questions as interrelated in didactical research.

    We suggest an expansion of the concept of powerful knowledge by using the analytical concept of transformation as a key concept in describing powerful knowledge in different disciplines, institutions and school subjects. The reason for this is that the concept of transformation is a central issue for didactical research from different European research traditions. Transformation as we understand it can be described as an integrative process in which the content knowledge is transformed into knowledge that is taught and learned through various transformation processes outside and within the educational system in relation to individual, institutional and societal level. Such processes of transformation are apparent in concepts related to a number of different frameworks including: ‘transposition’ (Chevallard 2007), ‘omstilling’ (Ongstad 2006) and ‘reconstruction’ (Duit et al. 2012), and are also reflected in the work of Bernstein (1971) in relation to the concept of ‘re-contextualisation’ within the curriculum tradition. The school subject is never a simple reduction of the discipline. The content knowledge is always transformed to fit the educational purpose of teaching. Hence, to study the concept of powerful knowledge within school subjects we need to study its transformation processes, and address the ‘why’ question in addition to the ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions.

    Moreover, the concept of powerful knowledge and the transformation processes the content of powerful knowledge undergo, must be placed in a wider context, where questions addressing societal challenges are raised. In a changing society the argument is being made that it is not obvious that powerful knowledge only stems from academic disciplines. For example, how does the emerging and rapidly changing media landscape affect powerful knowledge and how could powerful knowledge be understood in a connected classroom? How should interdisciplinary topics such as sustainability and migration be taught? What is powerful knowledge in such topics then emerges as a relevant question.

  • 3.
    Gericke, Niklas
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013).
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex, UK.
    Olin-Scheller, Christina
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Center for Language and Literature in Education (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).
    Stolare, Martin
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for the Studies of Social Sciences Didactics (from 2013).
    Powerful knowledge, transformations and the need for empirical studies across school subjects2018In: London Review of Education, ISSN 1474-8460, E-ISSN 1474-8479, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 428-444Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we explore the concept of 'powerful knowledge' which, from a curriculum studies perspective, refers to the aspects of content knowledge towards which teaching should be oriented. We then consider how the concept of 'powerful knowledge' can be developed and operationalized as a research framework within studies in subject-specific didactics across the curriculum by relating it to the analytical concept of 'transformation'. Transformation is perceived in this case as an integrative process in which content knowledge is transformed into knowledge that is taught and learned through various transformation processes both outside and within the educational system. We argue that powerful knowledge cannot be identified based on the discipline alone, but needs to consider transformation processes and be empirically explored. A variety of theories and frameworks developed within the European research tradition of didactics are described as ways to study transformation processes related to powerful knowledge at different institutional levels as well as between different subjects and disciplines. A comparative research framework related to subject-specific education is proposed around three research questions.

  • 4.
    Hudson, Brian
    University of Sussex.
    Butterflies and Moths in the Amazon: Developing Mathematical Thinking through the Rainforest: Les Papillons en Amazonie: le développement de la pensée mathématique au travers de la forêt pluviale2015In: Education and Didactique, ISSN 2111-4838, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 119-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on a research study conducted with a group of practising primary school teachers (n = 24) in North East Scotland during 2011-12. The teachers were all participants in a newly developed Masters course that had been designed within a didactical design research framework with the aim of promoting the development of mathematical thinking in the primary classroom as part of project supported by the Scottish Government. The paper presents the background for this initiative within the context of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence reform. It reports on the research design, research questions and methods of data collection of the research study related to the project as a whole. Further it explores the impact on pupil learning arising from the teachers’ experiences of this course and, in particular, from the process of classroom inquiry through their action research projects. The analysis of classroom interaction utilises a theoretical framework based on the concept of joint action in didactics. This framework is applied to the analysis of data from one teacher-researcher’s action research project based on the development of a topic-based approach to teaching and learning mathematics on the theme of “The Rainforest”. The findings from this study highlight the ways in which the children actively engaged in the ‘milieu’, the ways in which the teacher developed the ‘didactic game’ by extending the ‘epistemic games’ through the use of the open-ended topic-based approach combined with effective teacher questioning. They also highlight the ways in which the discursive elements of ‘learning games‘ as part of these lessons proved to be very effective means through which to support the children to engage in the milieu and to develop mathematical thinking. It was evident in this study that children had very differing prior knowledge and experiences to bring to the problem solving elements of the tasks and that, due to their ability to visualise the problems, the mathematics became more accessible leading to an evolution in mathematical thinking for all.

  • 5.
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex, England.
    Didactics2016In: Sage handbook of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment / [ed] Dominic Wyse, Louise Hayward & Jessica Pandya, Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2016, p. 107-124Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). Univ Sussex, Sch Educ & Social Work, Brighton, E Sussex, England.;Karlstad Univ, Dept Educ Studies, Karlstad, Sweden..
    Epistemic quality for equitable access to quality education in school mathematics2019In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 437-456Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on a study that aims to address the challenges of UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The study focuses on school mathematics in particular. With regard to ensuring equitable access to quality education, it is argued that there is a need to consider the epistemic quality of what students come to know, make sense of and be able to do in school mathematics. Accordingly, the aim is to maximize the chances that all pupils will have epistemic access to school mathematics of high epistemic quality. The study is based on the theoretical framework of Joint Action Theory in Didactics (JATD). Associated research questions focus on the quality of teacher-student(s) joint action and on the epistemic quality of the content. The paper draws on empirical research findings of the Developing Mathematical Thinking in the Primary Classroom (DMTPC) project (2010-12) and also on the findings of a parallel study of mathematics teachers' assessment practices in Ghana. One teacher's action research project is used as an exemplar to illustrate how mathematics can become more accessible and inclusive thus leading to an evolution in mathematical thinking and high-quality epistemic access for all.

  • 7.
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex.
    Overcoming Fragmentation in Teacher Education Policy and Practice2017Book (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Hudson, Brian
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex, England.
    Powerful Knowledge and Epistemic Quality in School Mathematics2018In: London Review of Education, ISSN 1474-8460, E-ISSN 1474-8479, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 384-397Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article contributes to current debates on progressive, knowledge-based approaches to the curriculum by addressing the question of what it is that studentsare entitled to learn in school mathematics. From the outset it recognizes progressivearguments that teaching should be reconnected with the emancipatory ambitionsof education. In doing so, it takes the notion of powerful knowledge as a startingpoint, based on what knowledge school students have the right to have access to.In turn, it considers this as a question of epistemic quality. This is elaborated as aconcept by drawing on outcomes from a recent study arising from the DevelopingMathematical Thinking in the Primary Classroom (DMTPC) project. This conceptis founded on the analysis of a distinction between mathematical fallibilism,based on a heuristic view of mathematics as a human activity, and mathematicalfundamentalism, which reflects an authoritarian view of the subject as beinginfallible, absolutist and irrefutable. The relation between powerful knowledge andepistemic quality is considered further by framing it within a sociological theoryof knowledge. This helps to highlight a further distinction between knowing thatand knowing how, which is used to illustrate examples of high and low epistemicquality in school mathematics. The first example of high epistemic quality is drawnfrom the DMTPC project. The second example is of low epistemic quality andcomes from the highly promoted Core Knowledge Foundation that has recentlybeen imported into English schools from the USA. Finally, the article considers therole of teachers as curriculum makers at the classroom level where curriculum andpedagogy effectively merge. In conclusion, the implications for both policyand practice are considered, in particular proposals are made in relation to therole and place of subject didactics in teaching and teacher education.

  • 9.
    Hudson, Brian
    et al.
    University of Sussex.
    Henderson, Sheila
    University of Dundee.
    Hudson, Alison
    University of Dundee.
    Developing Mathematical Thinking in the Primary Classroom:: liberating Teachers and Students as Learners of Mathematics2015In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 47, no 3, p. 374-398Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on a research study conducted with a group of practising primary school teachers (n = 24) in North East Scotland during 2011–2012. The teachers were all participants in a newly developed Masters course that had been designed with the aim of promoting the development of mathematical thinking in the primary classroom as part of project supported by the Scottish Government. The paper presents the background for this initiative within the context of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence reform. Particular attention is given to the epistemological positioning of the researchers as this influenced both the curriculum design process and also the theoretical framing of the research study which are both described. The project was set up within a design research framework, which aimed to promote classroom-based action research on the part of participants through the course and also research by the university researchers into the process of curriculum development. The research questions focused on the teachers’ confidence, competence, attitudes and beliefs in relation to mathematics and their expectations and experiences of the impact on pupil learning arising from this course. Empirical data were drawn from pre- and post-course surveys, interviews and observations of the discussion forums in the online environment. Findings from this study highlight the way the course had a transformational and emancipatory impact on these teachers. They also highlight ways in which the ‘framing’ of particular aspects of the curriculum had an oppressive impact on learners in the ways that suppressed creativity and limited the exercise of learner autonomy. Furthermore, they highlight the ways in which a number of these teachers had experienced mathematics as a school subject in very negative ways, involving high levels of ‘symbolic violence’ and of being ‘labelled’.

  • 10.
    Hudson, Brian
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013). University of Sussex.
    Zgaga, Pavel
    University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    History, context and overview: Implications for teacher education policy, practice and future research2017In: Overcoming Fragmentation in Teacher Education Policy and Practice / [ed] Brian Hudson, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017, p. 1-10Chapter in book (Refereed)
1 - 10 of 10
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