Teaching and Learning Practical Embodied Knowledge

This research project has its foundation in on-going research in the school subjects of physical education and health and of handicrafts, respectively. The research is then linked to develop subject-specific, didactic knowledge, but also knowledge that can be used jointly in the school subjects centred on physical practical knowledge.

The project has three aims. The first is to generate knowledge about the role of teaching in acquiring practical knowledge within the two subjects noted above by means of empirical studies. To this end, extensive video recordings will be made over an extended period. These recordings will be of teaching conducted in a number of classes over four years to better understand the development of teaching.

The second aim is to initiate the development of a joint didactic language and collective knowledge-acquisition process. The goal is to generate knowledge about the teaching and learning of specific content (physical practical knowledge), that is, what this learning consists of, what the teaching consists of, how it is achieved and the preconditions for what is achieved. The last aim is to develop continuing education material together with teachers based on their competencies.

The research project, funded by the Swedish Research Council, is chaired by David O. Kronlid in collaboration with Professor Leif Östman and Dr. Joacim Andersson, all active at the Department of Education and Training Studies, Uppsala University, who is also the host institution for the project. HDK is represented by Marléne Johansson, professor of crafts. The project runs until by 2018.

The project plan can be downloaded from the Swedish Research Council’s project database.

For more information, please contact Joacim Andersson.

Summary: It has traditionally been the idea that human life can be divided into a physical and an intellectual realm and that these parts are strictly separated. This often results also to distinguish between so called practical and so called theoretical knowledge. Reactions to this idea, one can see examples of all scientific disciplines from the late 1800s onwards. Swedish research has traditionally been good at describing and understanding the practical dimensions of knowledge. Progress in this research field, however, has not planted any great extent in the training of scientific research and especially in research directed at the relationship between teaching and learning. Therefore, the aim of this research project is to investigate the teaching of practical skills in the school subjects crafts [slöjd] and physical education and health [idrott & hälsa], with special focus on learning content. The project brings together researchers in sociology, psychology and pedagogy who are interested in the embodiment of knowledge. Two PhD-students are employed in the research project. The project has three purposes. The first purpose is, through empirical studies, to create didactic knowledge of the teaching role for the learning of practical knowledge in the two school subjects crafts [slöjd] and physical education and health [idrott & hälsa]. In relation to this purpose we will primarily conduct extensive video recordings of teaching. The second purpose is to initiate the development of a common didactic languages. The third purpose is to develop training materials and here we will work with teachers on the basis of their expertise and the experience of research results.