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  • 1.
    Edling, Silvia
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Student teachers’ task perceptions of democracy in their future profession – a critical discourse analysis of students’ course texts2018In: Australian Journal of Teacher Education, ISSN 1835-517X, Vol. 43, no 7, p. 82-97, article id 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The education system is still important for establishing and maintaining democracy in society. In relation to this, it is reasonable to suggest that teachers’ different interpretations of their mission to teach for democracy will influence their teaching practices. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on student teachers’ task perceptions as a dimension of their professional role to teach for democracy in school. An analysis of Swedish student teachers’ course texts written as an assignment during a course focusing on democracy is conducted using critical discourse analysis as an analytical tool. The task perceptions are described according to two main discourses: as narrow and broad approaches to teaching for democracy. These two approaches are further analyzed in terms of two corresponding strategies for teacher professionalism: outside-in professionalism and inside-out professionalism. The result partly confirms earlier studies of student teachers, where narrow approaches to democracy have been found to be most common.

  • 2.
    Edling, Silvia
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Olson, Maria
    Högskolan i Skövde.
    Demokratiperspektiver i svensk lærarutdanning: Tre om svensk lærarutdanning2013In: Demokrati og lærerbevissthet: konferanserapport / [ed] Dag Fjeldstad og Rolf Mikkelsen, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo. Institutt for laererutdanning og skoleforskning , 2013, p. 81-95Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Elm, Annika
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Documentation between local professionalism and accountability – a case from the Swedish preschool2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Documentation of pedagogical practise has become a vibrant issue through its relationship with educational policy- and government in many national contexts. Documentation is also regularly used as a tool for local, collegial development, not necessarily driven by the external demands for accounting educational outcomes. Against this background, the practise of documentation could be related to different modes of teacher professionalism; outside-in-professionalism, characterized by teachers as responding to external and standardized demands, and inside-out-professionalism characterized by teachers  as responding to complexity and change, through qualified judgment.   

    Although documentation is regularly employed as a tool for local, collegial development, the responsibility for documentation commissioned by educational authorities remains an assignment, coming with consequences for how to relate this self-initiated local documentation to the demands of the educational authorities. The purpose of this presentation is to investigate the tension, between documentation based in inside-out-professionalism and outside-in-professionalism, by means of a case study from the Swedish preschool.  Our research questions reads: how do external demands of documentation impact on the collegial conditions of documenting practise? How do professional conditions of documenting impact on the external demands of documentation?

    Our analytical point of departure proceeds from the assumption that documentation is shaped from certain positions, interests and perspectives (Vallberg Roth 2012), including the crossing between different interests and logics within educational institutions.  A qualitative case study of one preschool setting in which a long term documentation has been performed, using CoRe (pedagogical content representation) has been adapted as an approach for teaching science, in a practice based research collaboration project, will be related to intentions from the municipality. The gathering of data includes participant observations in preschool and interviews with participating preschool teachers, at municipal briefings, interviews with responsible parties representing the local preschool as educational agency, and by collection of documents. 

    The expected outcomes of our study indicate that preschool teachers are acting between norms of designing documentation from their professional and local interests and that of adapting to the interests of the educational agencies. The first norm is based in their collegial self-defined needs (in collaboration with the researchers) for teaching science in preschool, mainly by teaching science and technology themes, paying attention to preschool children’s responses to science and technology content.  The second norm is characterised by accounting for national goals in the national syllabus, in ways corresponding with the national school system.  The preschool teachers respond to this latter assignment through (professional) deliberations, aiming to deliver material from their everyday work to the agency, while simultaneously keeping the integrity of their own work as separated from the assignment of the agency. These local deliberations and decisions will further be analysed in terms of the dynamic between the two modes of professionalism mentioned above, in light of the local policy context.      

    Our project shed light on conditions shared with several European countries regarding possibilities for sustainable teacher development within broader contexts of demands for accountability impacting on teachers professional work.   

  • 4.
    Hammarberg, Annie
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Curriculum studies.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    The Construction of the Child on Documentation Panels in the Swedish Pre-School2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the Swedish pre-school, documentation of children’s activity is mandated in the national syllabus, Lpfö -98 (Skolverket, 2010). There are different documentations, both concerning material, e.g. photos, drawings, videos and for different purposes. One kind of documentation which is prominent for different kinds of actors in the pre-school, is the documentation panels of children’s activities posted on the walls (Helm, Beneke & Steinheimer1998; Kline 2008). Such “publications” can be seen as a case for how the pedagogues are interpreting the task of documenting the activity of the children in relation to their educational goals. However, documentation of children is always a social construction, focusing on certain things while excluding (possible) others. The documentation is not only a presentation of what is going on in the daily practice of the pre-school, but a discursive practice in which children are being constructed in different ways (Lenz Taguchi 2010). Our purpose is to explore how constructions of the child are performed in documentation panels in Swedish pre-schools.  The theoretical framework is taken from post-structural theory and from visual methodology (Rose 2007). The material consists of photographs from documentations from which a selection of documentations has been made. Some preliminary categories are discerned and will be presented in our paper. 

     

    Our preliminary findings show that the child is constructed mostly (but not only) in relation to educational goals which are attached to photographs with an accompanying text, constructing the child as e.g. someone who is learning and as someone being socialized as a “good pal”. The documentation panels focus mainly on good examples, i.e. of successful development and with a claim of capturing such a process in the public documentations. Our project is exploring both the local preconditions as well as the local consequences of the increasing accountability in the pre-school sector, and can be regarded as relevant for educational research in Scandinavia.

  • 5.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Barns möte med undervisning och dess konsekvenser för demokratiskt medborgarskap2010In: Utbildning & Demokrati, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 59-76Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Child- and subject orientation in Swedish preschool teachers’ practical reasoning2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Policy for the Swedish preschool has successively adapted its goals in order to prepare for the school system. Åsén & Roth (2012) finds support for a change in Swedish preschool policy and practice towards the culture of school. Support for this change is also found in studies about Swedish preschool teachers increasingly highlighting learning as a basic activity in their work (e.g. Alatalo et al 2016; Alvestad & Berge 2009; Westman & Bergmark 2013; Löfdahl & Perez 2009). Such transformations of early childhood education is not unique for Sweden; tensions between child centered- and subject focused goals, has for a long time been a characteristic in early childhood curricula in Europe. This contribution intends to shed light on this curricular relationship through scrutinizing the professional talk of preschool teachers.

    Since 2011 “Teaching” has been established as a new mission in the preschool and since 2010 subjects like math, science and Swedish language has been added to the national syllabus. By adding these goals, Swedish preschool now shares some general goals with the preschool class – the latter in which most of six year old children participate – and the comprehensive school. However, the Swedish preschool still has to conduct the tradition of being child- and play centered, according to its national syllabus; thus being kept within boundaries as more or less distinct from the school system. Simultaneously, the current approaching to the school system has become more accentuated ever since the national syllabus was introduced 1998 (Folke Fichtelius 2008). Swedish preschool teachers attempts to include children’s interests while paying attention to the national goals is studied by Thörner (2016) focusing (mainly) on recorded everyday situations. An important issue is how these policy changes are approached by the professionals by highlighting on their professional reasoning, regarding the purpose of the preschool in their everyday work.

    In this paper, professional reasoning is approached from the perspective of teachers as social actors in everyday life, shaped by but also re-shaping, the policy context(s) of the preschool. An important dimension of the curriculum is constituted by teachers as curriculum makers (cf. Cuban 1992), in that every curriculum is dependent on how teachers interpret policy in relation to their everyday work. The purpose of this paper is to investigate preschool teachers’ professional talk focusing on the relationship between child- and subject orientation. Discourse analysis will be used an analytic tool focusing on how everyday discourse people borrows from cultural repertoires stemming from a culture’s common-sense way of talking (Potter & Wetherell 1987). The reasoning of the preschool teachers will further analyzed in relation to the policy context foremost formulated on state- and municipal level during the conversation with the preschool teachers. 

    Method

    In order to address complexities of professional reasoning, qualitative interviews performed in the environment of the preschools was done (Potter & Wetherell 1987). 10 preschool teachers participated addressing their specific socio-geographic environment (approximately 50 minutes each). The volume of this sample has been judged as sufficient for the analytic purpose of discerning patterns of complex dilemmatic reasoning across both within individual interviews, and through comparison (of dilemmatic reasoning) between the teacher interviews.  In order to approach teachers’ everyday reasoning the interviews were designed as semi-structured conversations between the preschool teachers and me as a teacher educator, explicitly asking for access with the professional field. An interview guide was sent beforehand and read by all (except for one) preschool teachers before the interview was performed. The preschool teachers were informed about the project including their rights regarding participation, anonymization and proper storing of the data. Data was collected in a variety of social-cultural environments such as middle class areas with high amount cultural and economic capital (n=4/10); multi-ethnical areas with low(er) amount cultural and economic capital (n=5/10) and one mixed area regarding amount cultural and economic capital (n=1/10). 7 preschools was visited, whereof 3 preschools including 1 teacher responsible for educational development and 1 teacher without such a responsibility. However, no typical features characterized the preschool teachers with responsibility for educational development. The interviews were all transcribed verbatim. The interview guide addressed the preschool as preparing for school vs representing a tradition within its own right; experiences of the children vs focus on subject goals; how the preschool teacher was working with the school-like goals and how goals were documented; the latter addressing teacher everyday work (Sheridan et al 2011).  The interview transcript was read systematically, paying notice to relations regarding child, subject- and teacher orientations, i.e. themes where the teachers were focusing on basic values for preschool education. In the preliminary analysis of each interview, dilemmas on the (i) global level, i.e. through the whole transcript, and on (ii) local level within utterance and/or interaction sequence level, was focused.  In line with Potter & Wetherell (1987), discernment of characteristic linguistic repertoires recognizable from established pedagogical traditions has also been highlighted. Examples of linking the two dimensions were also noted.

    Expected Outcomes

    Regarding the purpose of the preschool, when the “child” and comparisons with school was topicalized, the preschool teacher´s draws on child-centered repertoires. Boundaries of child- respective subject centeredness are manifested when comparing preschool with school.  However, when school-like ”goals” in the syllabus is focused, teacher-centered repertoires were instead prominent, in which boundaries distinguishing preschool from school was dissolved. These opposing themes (cf. Wetherell et al. 2001) are mostly located in different contexts (within the individual interview) appearing as two different and parallel logics, rather than as one coherent logic. Thus, to address relations between preschool and school implied boundary talk, while addressing subject knowledge in the syllabus – sometimes related to future participation in school – did not. Dilemmatic tensions are also manifested locally i.e. within many sequences and utterances. Talk addressing the general purposes of preschool could be interpreted as local answers to top-down state policy due to its proper affirmations of different directives in the policy texts (cf. Biesta et al 2017).  However, connections between children’s experiences and school-like subjects were also formulated in the language of everyday work, such as listening for children’s initiatives and developing themes, more or less corresponding to content knowledge in the syllabus with interests within the group of children. This professional talk is expressed in temporal modes, like “first… and then” and focused on both children and the goals in the syllabus. Thus, the child- and subject foci do not appear only as separated but also as co-present and related to teacher judgement (Author 2014) when everyday professional work is addressed; i.e. themes of content knowledge and being continually sensitive to interests of the children. Such professional reasoning could be interpreted as creative ways of handling tensions implicitly present in the national syllabus, regarding the general purpose(s) of the preschool.

    References

    Alatalo, T, Meier, J & Frank, E (2016) Transition between preschool and preschool class: A question about interweaving care and Knowledge. Early Childhood Educational Journal, 44: 155.

    Alvestad, M & Berge, A (2009) Svenske førskolelærere om læring i planlegging og praksis relatert til den nasjonale læreplanen. [Swedish preschool teachers on planning and praxis in relation to the national syllabus]. Nordisk barnehageforskning [Nordic early childhood education research] (2), 57–68.

    Author (2014) ---------------

    Biesta, G, Priestley, M & Robinson, S (2017) Talking about education: exploring the significance of teacher´s talk for teacher agency. Journal of Curriculum Studies. 49:1, 38-54.

    Cuban, L (1992) Curriculum stability and change. In Jackson, Philip (ed.) Handbook of Research on Curriculum. American Educational Research Association, 216-247.

    Folke-Fichtelius, M (2008). Förskolans formande: statlig reglering 1944-2008. [The shaping of preschool. State regulation 1944-2008] Diss. Uppsala: Uppsala universitet.

    Löfdahl, A & Pérez, H (2009) Between control and resistance: planning and evaluation texts in the Swedish preschool. Journal of Education Policy, 24, 4, 393-408.

    Potter, J & Wetherell, M (1987) Discourse and social psychology: Beyond attitudes and behaviour. London: Sage.

    Sheridan, S, Williams, P Sandberg, A & Vourinen (2011) Preschool teaching in Sweden – a profession in change. Educational Research, 53: 4, 415-437.

    Thörner, A (2016) ”Vi kan inte bara utgå från barnens intresse”. Pedagogers guidning av barns intresse i förhållande till förskolans målstyrning. [”We cannot only base it on the children's interest” - Educators guidance of children's interest in relation to goals and guidelines.] Högskolan i Borås.

    Westman, S & Bergmark, U (2014) A stengthened teaching mission in preschool: teachers´experiences, beliefs and strategies. International journal of early years education. Vol. 22, No. 1, 73-88. 

    Wetherell, M,Taylor, S & Yates,S (2001) Discourse as Data: A Guide for Analysis. London, UK: Sage.

    Åsén, Gunnar & Vallberg Roth, Ann-Christine (2012) Utvärdering i förskolan: en forskningsöversikt. [Evaluation in preschool: reveiw of research ] Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet.

  • 7.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Citizenship Education in Discussions Concerning Political Issues2012In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 77-95Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Citizenship education in discussions concerning “political” issues2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Demokratiskt deltagande: Diskussionen som undervisning och demokrati2011Book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Department of Education and Psychology, Ämnesavdelningen för pedagogik.
    Den sociala konstruktionen av att förstå skolmatematik i forskningsintervjuer2007Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Attention to students cognitive states is an important issue in educational research. Educational research as well as testing practises generally is however dependent on communicative work in order to achive a credible picture of how the student perceive the teaching subject. The purpose in this paper is to study sequences of interaction produced in research interwievs with 14 year math students, designed to capture students thinking on school maths. The interwievs are designed as post-lesson interwievs after the lesson. The analysis of these research interwievs shows that talk on student thinking math is not a neutral medium and that the interaction has obvious similarities with teachers student interaction (IRE). This study also has implications for general educational questions concering teachers possibilities to validiate the knowledge of students in the classroom interaction.

  • 11.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Det demokratiska samtalet2011In: Pedagogiska Magasinet, ISSN 1401-3320, no 4Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    Dialogical Practise in Stockholm2015Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Dialogue-oriented theologies in the Swedish context2012Report (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Dilemmas in classroom discussions – teachers’ practical deliberations as a prerequisite for democratic education2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to problematize evidence based approaches for understanding mundane teacher-student interaction by showing how education for democracy involves teachers’ handling of dilemmas between goals for promoting students’ personal engagement in controversial issues and to teach for critical thinking; further, I will argue that such knowledge is important for educating teachers to promote students development into a critical democratic participation. A case is taken from a Swedish religious studies classroom chosen from a larger classroom study about teacher student interaction in discussions about controversial issues. The case makes visible the dilemmatic praxis in which the teacher has to use her own judgment in order to promote a qualified democratic participation of the students, which also could be seen as an important part of teacher education. The visibility of such judgments however seems to be excluded in the discourse of evidence based teaching.   

  • 15.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Educating for critical, sustainable learning in early years – policy expectations and practical deliberations among Swedish preschool teachers2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Education for Citizenship in Swedish RE - Approaches and Dilemmas in Teachers’ Talk2017In: Religion & Education, ISSN 1550-7394, E-ISSN 1949-8381, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 317-330Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, religious education (RE) has successively developed into a school subject that aims to foster democratic citizenship that is characterised by social cohesion and tolerance of religious and life stance differences. This can be interpreted in different ways by teachers in the RE curriculum. The article presents 4 different approaches to how RE teachers in Sweden teach democratic citizenship in RE. Each approach has its own dilemmas and conflicting positions. Shedding light on teachers’ reasoning about these approaches and the resulting dilemmas contributes to the understanding of education for democratic citizenship in Swedish RE.

  • 17.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Education for interreligious dialogue and interreligious understanding: A comparative pilot study of two educational projects2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    If the plural society is in need of interreligious dialogical encounters it is important to study if and in what way(s) educational projects can contribute to this process, and what possibilities and constrains such initiatives are associated with. The focus of this study is therefore on educational projects with a more or less distinct aim to develop interreligious understanding and an attitude of (partly) taking the perspective of the others religious faith.  In order to shed light on this issue I have conducted a comparative field study (cf. Broadfoot 2002) of two educational projects in the county of Stockholm, Sweden. One of these projects is located outside school and the other is carried out in classrooms in the Swedish school. By comparing these projects it becomes possible to make “the familiar strange” in each project and to contribute to a discussion of possibilities and constrains in education for interreligious understanding.

    The first project is located in an institution specialized in youth projects, many of them aiming for social integration. This project has three leaders representing three religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) and youth who are participating on voluntary basis for a (intended) period of three years. The other project is based on a teaching method, where the students assume roles in religious narratives taking from Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions. By such role taking their predispositions for intercultural and interreligious understanding is intended to increase.

    The field study is conducted by interviews with the pedagogical responsible, i.e. youth leaders and teachers, in both projects; three leaders in the youth projects and four teachers in the classroom project. The interviews focus on their intentions for their respective project. By comparing the interviews in each case and between the two cases, the design makes it possible to capture how the actors formulate their goals and to see this in relation to their practical experiences. The approach enables a richer characterization of the projects intentions that is not offered on home pages and in other public presentations and therefore a deeper analysis of them.

    The main purpose of my paper is to describe and to compare how the pedagogical responsible understand and communicate the intentions of their projects. Based on an analysis of this, I will also discuss how the intentions of the pedagogical responsible are shaped by the context of their work, and some of the possibilities and constrains that the projects may have for developing interreligious understanding. The paper outlines four main themes: The motivation for their project in relation to the social environment where it is implemented; the notion of learning and development; the approach to similarities and differences and the notion of “dialogue”.   

  • 18.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Department of Education and Psychology, Ämnesavdelningen för pedagogik.
    Elevcentrerade undervisningsfilosofier som pedagogisk paradox2007In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 37-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Student centered philosophies of teaching as pedagogical paradox.The idea of student centered teaching is complex. In this study I approachthis subject by the notion of student activity and student discovery. Through these concepts the idea of having the student as point of departure becomes most distinct in the sense that the teachers knowledge is put more or less in the background in order to support the knowledge of the student. This idea may, however, be problemized by investigating the social interaction in the classroom. Through an empirical and theoretical investigation of typical situations in the classroom I develop three main conclusions: the student is always a subject in a web of social interactions with other participants, and

    not a private discoverer; the active and discovering student is more or less dependent on the teachers professionally recognized knowledge, and, finally; some students are better prepared for doing active discoveries than other students, which makes their dependence on the teacher even more visible. It is argued that the notion of activity and discovery has to be reformulated to include the social interaction with the teacher in order to be a practical possibility in the everyday life of the classroom.

  • 19.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    How Interreligious Buildings Influence Interreligious Neighbourhood Relations: The Case of the God's House Project in a Stockholm Suburb2018In: Religion and Dialogue in the City: Case Studies on Interreligious Encounter in Urban Community and Education / [ed] J. Ipgrave, T. Knauth, A. Körs, D. Vieregge, M. von der Lippe, Münster/New York: Waxmann Verlag, 2018, p. 159-180Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    Örebro universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    Klassrummet som diskussionsarena2002Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the dissertation is to study whole class discussions in the Swedish upper secondary school, concerning issues subjected to controversy in the public debate. The empirical study is related to a wider question: the possibilities for the school to educate democratic citizens.

    By using discourse analysis,14 videotaped lessons from social- and religious studies where analysed, with the ambition to investigate recurrent patterns of participation and meaning making. Five teachers and six classes participated in the study.

    The analysis shows that the teachers have two concurrent goals: to focus on the students’ contributions on issues in the public debate, and introduce the students to different questions in the public debate. A consequence of these goals is that the role of the teacher often becomes complex. By acting on the basis of having responsibility for the students’ development of knowledge, and sometimes also calling attention to certain values, the teacher attempts to guide the students as not yet ready for the public debate. Features from other kinds of teacher-centred education are thereby present in the discussions. However, students can also act as more autonomous participants in relation to the teacher. When they are not answering the teacher’s questions in an expected way, and in particular, in situations in which they are interacting with each other, the students may discuss the public issues without being teacher-guided to the same extent as in other situations.

    The last chapter concludes that the authority of the teacher is partly given by the official steering-documents. It is still possible to ask if the guiding role of the teacher itself could be subjected to discussion. This suggestion is made from the point that teacher authority is considered as more or less limited for developing a critical attitude among the students. One may also ask if the students’ could be offered possibilities to choose the topic for discussion themselves. This latter point is made against the background that classroom-discussion presupposes student’s viewpoints in order to be accomplished.

  • 21.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    Konstruktionen av ungdomars syn på religion och samhälle i International Civic and Citizenship Education Study2015In: Det postsekulära klassrummet: mot ett vidgat religionskunskapsbegrepp / [ed] David Carlsson & Peder Thalén, Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2015, p. 39-54Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    Om betydelsen av lärarens vägledning och omdöme2015In: Kontroversiella frågor: Om kunskap och politik i samhällsundervisningen / [ed] Ljunggren, Carsten, Unemar Öst, Ingrid & Englund, Tomas, Lund: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2015, 1, p. 135-148Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    Place and conditions for democratic action in multicultural NGO encounters2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Place and conditions for democratic education in interreligious encounters2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 25.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Presentation of Swedish data in the REDCO-project2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Religion and Swedishness: Swedish students' attitudes to religion and nationality2018In: Religion and Dialogue in the City: Case Studies on Interreligious Encounter in Urban Community and Education / [ed] J. Ipgrave, T. Knauth, A. Körs, D. Vieregge, M. von der Lippe, Münster/New York: Waxmann Verlag, 2018, p. 263-274Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Religions as Similar and Different According to Swedish Religious Studies Teachers2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this session is to explore empirically and to discuss theoretically religious studies teachers understanding of religious diversity. In my study of 9 religious study teachers (4 female; 5 male) in the Swedish secondary compulsory school I have found two main approaches to understand religious diversity. One is that different religious traditions are expressions of something common for all humans; e.g. a common human need or a universal ethic manifested as a core in all world religions. The other approach is that different religions are developed in different socio-cultural contexts and responding to different cultural needs. In the second part, the religious studies teachers’ approaches to religious diversity are analyzed in relation to different consequences for acting as citizens in a plural society. In the last part I will outline some possibilities concerning religious pluralism from the perspective of citizenship education.    

     

  • 28.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    Religions constructed as similar or different by teachers of religious education from a citizenship education perspective2015In: British Journal of Religious Education, ISSN 0141-6200, E-ISSN 1740-7931, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 240-255Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore and theoretically discuss Swedish religious studies (RE) teachers’ understanding of religions as similar and different. In Sweden, RE is a mandatory subject and presents all the world’s major religions to students. Teachers of RE therefore need to relate to the various relations between the religions. A qualitative interview study with Swedish RE teachers (n  = 7) in Swedish secondary schools was performed to determine how they conceptualise religion and present ‘religion’ to their students. The teachers (m = 3; f = 4) were chosen from schools with a variety of ethnically homogenous and heterogeneous compositions of students. The teachers’ conceptions of ‘religion’ can be described according to two main categories: as something universal or as something dependent on the cultural context. These two main orientations are described more closely in this paper. The teachers’ conceptions are also discussed from the perspective of possible consequences for educating citizens in the Swedish school system. It is suggested that RE teachers’ conceptions of religions as similar and different facilitate and constrain identification and encounters with others as religious subjects.

  • 29.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Religionskunskapslärares resonemang om den komplicerade mångfalden2018In: Religion & Livsfrågor, no 2, p. 9-10Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 30.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Religiosity and Engagement in Religious Studies: Attitudes among Swedish Students2014In: Religious Education Journal of Australia, ISSN 0815-3094, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 31-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden RS (Religious studies) is a mandatory nonconfessional school subject, with the purpose to teach about religions and secular views of life. Such curricular design is connected to the development of Swedish society as one of the most secularized countries in the world with an increasing cultural and religious pluralism. Since school subjects aiming at citizenship education are more or less dependent on students’ engagement, this paper investigates whether such an engagement in RS is dependent on students’ religious vis-a-vis a secular orientation to life. The purpose of this paper is to investigate engagement for Swedish RS among religiously and non-religiously engaged groups of students in the Swedish secondary school. Eight items from the REDCO II questionnaire were used in this study. The result partly supported former studies on this subject. In the concluding section some didactic issues are discussed on the experience of religiously engaged students.

  • 31.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences.
    Skolkarriärer som social interaktion: exempel från matematiklektioner2004In: Sociala handlingar och deras innebörder: lärande och identitet / [ed] Melander, Helen, Pérez Prieto, Héctor & Sahlström, Fritjof, Uppsala: Pedagogiska institutionen , 2004, 1Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 32.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Social capital and education in interreligious NGO encounters2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Structures of religious thinking – Dialogue project members in Stockholm (Urban strand)2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Swedish national church as a (questioned) actor in the multi-religious society: a case study of a debate in public and church media2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden as most other countries in Europe can be characterized as a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. One of the most prominent actors in inter-religious relations is the Swedish national church. However, such involvement can also be subject for public criticism and debate. Different expectations concerning cooperation with the Swedish Muslim community became visible in the public media and in national church media when an assembly in Stockholm decided to hire an imam in a multi-religious youth project. This media case highlights social tensions on the national level as well as within the church, concerning the role of the national church as an actor in the interreligious society. The purpose of this contribution is to analyse this debate with a focus on the arguments used by the debaters. A second purpose is to analyse how the young people are portrayed in this debate. The material is based on articles in Swedish public media and Swedish national church media during Mars to September 2011. The debate mainly focuses on the borders for what should be included and excluded by a national church in a multi-religious society.

  • 35.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    Teacher education for democratic participation: the need for teacher judgement in times of evidence-based teaching2014In: Citizenship, social and economics education, ISSN 1478-8047, E-ISSN 2047-1734, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 175-184Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to national and international policy, teachers' work is supposed to be guided by reliable evidence in order to be effective and achieve the set goals. The purpose of this article is to problematise evidence-based approaches for teacher education by highlighting the occurrence of dilemmas in teachers' work connected to the assignment of educating democratic citizens. The article is a critical theoretical discussion that takes its departure in the teaching paradox of supporting students' initiatives to act as critical citizens. In order to address the current trend of anchoring teacher education in evidence-based methods, Swedish policy documents are used as a point of reference and are read through the lens of the teaching paradox and the need for teacher judgement. The analysis shows that policy texts fall short when it comes to the assignment to support students to take part in society as critical citizens. It is concluded that teacher education could gain from theoretically based case studies of dilemmatic everyday situations in which teaching for democratic participation is visible.

  • 36.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    The borders between preschool and school: Swedish preschool teacher's perspectives2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research aims

    Policy for the Swedish preschool has successively adapted its goals in order to prepare for the school system. However, the task of interpreting this assignment is given to preschool teachers. The purpose is to study how Swedish preschool teachers interpret the assignment to prepare preschool children for school.

    Relationship to previous research works

    Åsén & Roth (2012) finds support for a change in Swedish preschool policy and practice towards the culture of school. Further support for this change can be found in studies about Swedish preschool teachers (e.g. Alatalo et al 2016 Alvestad & Berge 2009; Westman & Bergmark 2013; Löfdahl & Perez 2009).

    Theoretical and conceptual framework

    The conceptual framework is taken from curriculum theory (Folke Fichtelius 2008) and dilemma theory (Wetherell et al 2001) focusing on actors tension filled interpretation(s) of concurrent ideals in everyday life.

    Paradigm, methodology and methods

    Within a qualitative research paradigm, semi-structured interviews are performed with individual preschool teachers in their preschool environment.

    Ethical Considerations

    The preschool teachers was contacted and informed about the project including their rights regarding participation, anonymization and proper storing of the data.

    Main finding or discussion

    The preliminary results show that school-like goals in the preschool syllabus are approached as a child-based curriculum "for an enriched life", and by this transcending a narrow school centred curricula. However, the possibilities of including every child are dependent on the social background and interest of the child.

    Implications, practice or policy

    This study could provide teachers with insights about possibilities and limitations regarding how preschool may include local culture and children’s voices in the context of hegemonizing policies towards narrow skills.

  • 37.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    The Church of Sweden as a (Contested) Actor in a Multi-religious Society: A Case Study of the Imam Debate in Public and Church Media2015In: Journal of Dialogue Studies, ISSN 2054-3131, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 87-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden can be characterised as a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. One of the most prominent actors in interreligious relations is the Church of Sweden. However, such involvement is also open to criticism, both within the church and in public debate. Different expectations concerning cooperation with the Swedish Muslim community became visible in the public media and in the national church media when a congregation in Stockholm engaged an imam for a multi-religious youth project. This paper examines the arguments relating to the mission of the church as a church for Swedish people in a pluralistic society, and discusses some of the consequences of these arguments for interreligious relations and dialogue. The material is based on articles published in Swedish public media and Swedish church media between March and September, 2011. The debate, analysed through five sub-themes, focuses on the borders of what should be included and excluded by a national church in a multi-religious society and the national church’s responsibility for caring for religious minorities. The paper concludes with a discussion about issues of power regarding the church as an initiator of dialogue, and how different actors are represented in the media.

  • 38.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    The place and conditions for democratic education in interreligious encounters2018In: Religious education, ISSN 0034-4087, E-ISSN 1547-3201, Vol. 113, no 1, p. 38-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the spatial and environmental conditions for democratic education in an interreligious project. The interreligious project provides a case for applying Dewey´s concepts of experience and environment. Four kinds of experiences are presented: invited places - being a guest, common meeting points - shaping an interreligious "we", nomadic places - sharing everyday life and school as a secular public place - acting in public. It is concluded that educational experience is shaped by acting in a variety of environments. However, dimensions of power are also present in the context of civil life and should be taken into consideration.

  • 39.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    The Value of RE for Citizenship Education According to Swedish RE-Teachers2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Swedish RE has the purpose to teach about religion and to present a comprehensive view of different traditions. However, this assignment can be interpreted in different ways by different RE-teachers with different consequences for the education of citizens. In this contribution RE-teachers are considered as socialization agents representing an important part of the enacted curriculum. The purpose of this contribution is to explore Swedish RE-teachers notions of citizenship education in relation to RE as a subject in the compulsory school with a special reference to education for democratic citizenship. A second purpose is to analyze possible implications for civic social action. In order to explore how teachers interpreted their assignment a semi-structured interview study was carried out. The theoretical point of departure is based on a pragmatical analysis of moral political consequences.

  • 40.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Education.
    The Value of RE for Citizenship Education According to Swedish RE-Teachers – multiculturalism and individual thinking2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of Religious Education (RE) in Sweden is to teach about religion and to present a comprehensive view of different traditions. However, this assignment can be interpreted in different ways by different RE teachers with different consequences for the education of citizens. In this contribution RE-teachers are considered as socialization agents representing an important part of the enacted curriculum. The purpose of this contribution is to explore Swedish RE teachers’ notions of citizenship education in relation to RE as a subject in the compulsory school, with special reference to education for democratic citizenship. A second purpose is to analyze possible implications for civic social action. In order to explore how teachers interpret their assignment, a semi-structured interview study was carried out and data were categorized according to content analysis. The theoretical point of departure was based on the pragmatic analysis of (potential) moral political consequences. A (preliminary) categorization of the teachers’ responses was developed according to the following themes: learning democratic values from religions; learning to cope with differences; learning for correcting prejudices; acquiring tools for a personal political.

  • 41.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    University of Gävle, Department of Education and Psychology, Ämnesavdelningen för pedagogik.
    Undervisande aktiviteter i förskolan: en jämförande studie mellan 5-årsgrupp och förskoleklass2009Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 42.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Carlsson, David
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, Religious studies.
    Thalén, Peder
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, Religious studies.
    Images of Christianity in teaching materials for the Swedish compulsory school2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective to teach Christianity is stated in the Swedish national syllabus for RE since the very beginning of compulsory school. Actually, the syllabus from a decade ago states teaching both about, and in, the Lutheran catechesis – a mission that was successively replaced by biblical studies and later developed into the subject “Religionskunskap”. The latter in which Christianity was only one of several (foremost world-)religions and prominent views of life. However, the mission to pay a certain weight to Christianity has survived although in a new and (post)secular context. The privilege of Christianity is today typically motivated by its cultural position rather than from a religious or moral rationale. 

    In the Swedish context, in which Religionskunskap is a mandatory school subject, students are engaged in teaching and learning Christianity back and forth during their compulsory period of school. Widening the context from the school system, there has been debates regarding the status of Christianity in the Swedish RE syllabus. A common argument in defence of the privileged position of Christianity is the importance of a “Christian common heritage”. One way to address how students are engaged with Christianity on the arena of compulsory education is to investigate teaching materials currently used in school. The purpose of our paper is to investigate the depiction of Christianity in current and widely used Swedish teaching materials. Using discourse analysis, prominent and dominating discourses will be revealed. The results from the analysis will be used to reflect on and discuss the position of Christianity in Swedish schools within a cultural-historical context in Sweden and Europe.

  • 43.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Edling, Silvia
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science.
    Student Teachers Understanding of Democracy and Education2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research topic/Aim:

    Ever since the end of World War II teachers in Sweden and in other Nordic countries have been assigned a stated mission to anchor and to develop democratic values in school and in society (cf. Dahlstedt & Olson, 2013; Edling, 2012; Ekman & Todosijevic, 2003). Although certain democratic values are explicitly articulated in policy documents for education there are reasons to assume that teacher’s views regarding the meaning of such values differ. In relation to this, it is reasonably to suggest that teacher’s different interpretations of values and democracy will influence teaching and their relations to students (cf. Schön, 1983). Student teachers views of what education for democracy should include could therefore indicate how their teaching will take shape in school (Zyngier et al 2015; Zyngier 2016). The purpose of this contribution is to explore student teachers understandings of democracy and to discuss how the conceptions can enrich the desire to teach about, in, and for democracy at Swedish teacher education(s).

    Theoretical frameworks:

    The theoretical framework is based on pragmatic text analysis (Östman 2008) in relation to established theories of democracy and education (Dahl, 2002; Dahlstedt & Olson, 2013; Held, 1987). According to a pragmatic text analysis every text is filled with both certain possibilities for social action as well as an absence for other possible actions. A central aim of the analysis is to clarify varieties of meaning making in the material focusing on educational content.

    Methodology/research design:

    The data constitutes of student texts written as an assignment at the end of a course in teacher preparation: “School's democratic mission in the perspective of values” at Gävle University. As part of the examination the students were asked to reflect about their view of democracy in relation to notions of democracy that teachers should foster today.  A collection of 56 course assignments will be analyzed thematically, focusing on the content of answers together with some basic frequencies of student answers.

    Expected conclusions/Findings:

    The preliminary findings show that student teachers’ texts represent a great variety of perceptions both between the students as well as in the texts of the individual student. Democracy is depicted in terms such as solidarity with underprivileged groups; learning skills for democratic communication; knowledge about society as the foundation for action and change; the need for teachers clear manifestation of rules, and equity in relation to individual differences.  Such variations are not possible to project only from reading the national syllabus, a document present in their education from their first semester and also discussed in the actual teacher preparation course. 

    Relevance for Nordic Educational Research:

    The tradition of schools as one of the main mediators of democratic values is deeply anchored in Scandinavian countries. However, research about teachers in general and student teachers in particular regarding their interpretations of this compound mission are still scant.  

     

     

  • 44.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Edling, Silvia
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies.
    The political controversies of teacher education: a Swedish Case2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Swedish teacher education has been subject for public discussion and critique for several years, particularly in national media. Its recurrent occurrence in media discourse should not be seen only as a public phenomenon, separated from everyday thinking. As Fairclough (2000) points out medialization of society is also characterized by the way it colors individuals own meaning making. A general background for the political controversy of teacher education is the historic hallmark of being a young discipline in the academy and its “constrained relationship with the state” (Maguire 2014, p. 782), contributing to political issues of what characterizes a good school and good society. Earlier studies of Swedish prominent media discourse (e.g. Wiklund 2006) regarding school and teacher education reveals a negative and even stereotype image (Edling 2014, 2016) when it comes to deliver successful results on international tests, foremost PISA , indirectly framing teacher education as a means for achieving international economic success on the international market.  

    In this paper, we claim that public discussion of school and of teacher education is necessary. However, we need to discuss the conditions for such a conversation in the public sphere. We will approach this issue by looking deeper into the Swedish debate about teacher education in three prominent national newspapers, focusing on 2016-2017. In this period many issues were highlighted and condensed, such as the (low) academic status of educational research (cf. Condliffe Lagemann 2000), the possibilities for teacher education to equip teachers with skills to improve in the international competition of school knowledge and whether teacher education should be an academic type of education at all (cf. Maguire 2014).

    We will approach our data from one main purpose with three interrelated focus points. The purpose of our paper is to contribute to research about medias’ role when it comes to naming and framing the debate about teacher education in Sweden by analyzing how four major newspapers in-between 2016-2017 define a) challenges/strengths with current TE, b) solutions for change/improvement of current TE, and c) who the actors for promoting this change/improvement might be. The last point highlights the possibilities (and limitations) for dialogue between different actors and groups in society.    

    We have limited our search to the period of November 2016-November 2017 in order to handle a plausible volume of data and from the criteria that many different issues were brought up during this period, compared with other periods. The database Retriver was used for capturing debates in the three most prominent national newspapers (Dagens nyheter, Svenska dagbladet and Expressen). The analysis of media texts is conducted using critical discourse analysis. This involves a careful examination of words and semiotics to study whether and how language patterns occur and to discuss their plausible consequences for social life (van Dijk, 1995). The articles are thematised using an analytic table highlighting the focus points mentioned above. The results from this Swedish case could contribute with insights regarding potentialities for public discussion of a common teacher education in a democratic society.    

     

    References

    Condliffe Lagemann, E (2000) An Elusive Science. The Troubling History of Educational Research. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

    Edling, S (2014) Between curriculum complexity and stereotypes: exploring stereotypes of teachers and education in media as a question of structural violence. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 47: 3, 399-415.  

    Edling, S (2016) “Who” is Teacher Education? Approaching the Negative Stereotypes of Teacher Education. In J.M. Paraskeva & S. Steinberg eds. Curriculum. Decanonizing the Field. NY: Peter Lang

    Fairclough, N (2000) New Labour, new language? London: Routledge.

    Maguire, M (2014) Reforming teacher education in England: ‘an economy of discourses of truth’. Journal of Education Policy, 29:6, 774-784.  

    Van Dijk, T (1995) Aims of Critical Discourse Analysis. Japanese Discourse, Vol. 1, 17-27.

    Wiklund, M (2006) Kunskapens fanbärare. Den gode läraren som diskursiv konstruktion på en mediearena. [The flag-bearer of knowledge. The good teacher as a discoursive construction on the media arena] Örebro, Sweden: Universitetsbiblioteket.

  • 45.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Hammarberg, Annie
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies.
    The social construction of the competent, self-governed child in documentation: panels in the Swedish preschool2017In: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, ISSN 1463-9491, E-ISSN 1463-9491, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 39-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Documentation has become an important issue for policy, practice and accountability in many national contexts. The documentation of children’s activities is a requirement in the national syllabus for the Swedish preschool. However, the documentation of children is always a social construction that focuses on certain things and excludes (possible) others. Such constructions can be linked to broader discourses of the competent and self-governed child, and the tendency to label the child as autonomous and competent in policy documents. The purpose of this article is to explore how constructions of the competent and self-governed child are performed in documentation panels in Swedish preschools. The theoretical framework is taken from visual methodology combined with an analysis of intertextuality. Three images (pictures and written text) of the preschool are discerned: the child as a good pal; the child as an autonomous investigator; and the child as a public speaker. In all three images, the children are depicted as competent in different respects. The result is discussed by relating the findings to broader discourses emphasising the competent and self-governed child.

  • 46.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences, Education.
    Olson, Maria
    Stockholms universitet.
    Religious Education Teachers Conceptions of "Religion" and its Implications for Citizenship2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Depictions and presentations of what “religion” comprises is an important part of religious education. In order to introduce religion as a subject matter in school, the teacher has to rely on some portrayal or distinction of the notion of religion for the students. However, the notion of religion is not only part of basic school knowledge. Different conceptions of the meaning and event of religion or the different ways of characterizing the basic functions of religion, also contribute to the ways in which we grasp the impact or non impact of religion in social life.

    This paper addresses how teachers in comprehensive secondary education describe religion. Religious studies teachers can be seen as socialisation agents with the professional task to educate students for participation in society. Their depictions of “religion” does not only have an individual or cognitive signification, but also has implications for how students are approaching what counts as religion or religious and for what and who that become excluded and included in these depictions. Taking on the relationship between the teachers’ depictions and presentations of religion and the implications of them as regards the students’ notions of life in society the teachers’ voices on the notion and subject matter of religion become interesting to explore as an important part of the curricula, and further, for their assignment to see to the students’ democratic citizenship.

    In this paper we approach the teachers’ descriptions not as abstract definitions but as social actions in an educational setting, which is intimately linked to the wider social and societal omission of seeing to this assignment. The purpose is more specifically to study religious studies teacher’s descriptions and presentations of “religion” and its possible consequences for democratic citizenship in our times. The paper is based on a recently carried out empirical study that involves nine semi-structured interviews (5 m + 4 f) in the Swedish comprehensive secondary school.

  • 47.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
    Olson, Maria
    School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden; Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; School of Health and Learning, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
    The (educational) meaning of religion as a quality of liberal democratic citizenship2016In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 151-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Religion has become a prominent issue in times of pluralism and in relation to citizenship in school and in society. As religious education (RE) is assigned to be one of the main school subject where issues of what religion is are to be raised, RE teachers’ conceptualizations of religion are of vital concern to investigate. In this article, RE teachers’ descriptions of ‘religion’ are scrutinized and analysed in terms of implications for citizenship with special regard to the role of RE. Three vital conceptions of religion emerge in teachers’ descriptions. First, religion is mainly individual or private, secondly, it denotes ethical guidance, and thirdly, it relates to sociocultural systems for thinking. Taken together, these conceptualizations share two characteristics about religion: religion as being individual-centred and private, and religion as being mind oriented. Out of this analysis, we discuss the role of religion and RE in contemporary liberal democratic life in society. The discussion is concluded by addressing two key things; the importance of the RE teacher as a curriculum maker, and the importance of religion and RE as active interventions in today’s contemporary discussion about pluralism in liberal democratic societies.

  • 48.
    Liljestrand, Johan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Department of Education and Psychology, Ämnesavdelningen för pedagogik.
    Runesson, Ulla
    Interaction, Organisation, Tasks and Possibilities for Learning about Mathematical Relationships: A Swedish Classroom Compared with a US Classroom2006In: Making connections: comparing mathematics classrooms around the world / [ed] David Clarke, Jonas Emanuelsson, Eva Jablonka, Ida Ah Chee Mok, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers , 2006Chapter in book (Other academic)
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