Teacher education

Teacher education
A focal point of the research at LiU is the dynamics between the part that takes place at university and what happens in professional practice.

Research into teacher education and the relationship between teaching and the pupils' learning processes is extensive. Some researchers divide this research into three different phases, from seeing education as a matter of a practical exercise to seeing it as a matter of learning and finally an educational matter focusing on issues of efficiency and quality. 

Many also point out that the research areas of teacher education and learning should be integrated and that a stronger link is required to both matters of content and organisation theory.

It is not solely a matter of providing students in teacher education with knowledge and skills, but also focusing more on teaching as a practice that covers knowledge, craftsmanship and effects (instead of focusing on intellectual challenges) and preparing the teacher education students for both the relational and intellectual challenge.

Some researchers have studied the components of teacher education, such as the placement period and the newly qualified teacher's first year, but few studies have looked at the dynamics between the part that takes place at university and what happens in professional practice. This is one focal point of the research at LiU.

An important aspect, which has not been afforded enough attention, is how teachers create pedagogical relationships with the pupils and how they use these to motivate the pupils to learn. At LiU this is studied both in the research into teacher education and in the research into interaction in the classroom (see this heading).

There is an alternative view which sees the teacher's work more as art or craftsmanship, as “craft knowledge”, than an academic subject; the “discipline of teaching”. The traditional view of “craft” is that knowledge is mediated or occurs via transfer, but the researchers put forward “situated knowledge” as an alternative. This is in line with new research and theorisations referred to as “situated” and “sociocultural”, and is related to the Swedish discussion on teachers' learning processes and the understanding of the didactic triad, i.e., the interplay between teacher, subject/content and pupil.