Skolans mötespraktik - en studie om skolutveckling genom yrkesverksammas förståelse
The practical work in a school and the interpretation processes of professionals form the focus of this study, the aim of which is to understand school development through the professionals’ own understanding. The collaborative work conducted in meetings at a specific school form the focus of enquiry. Using an action research approach, questions are posed about 1) how the interpretation processes in the meeting-practices can be understood, and 2) in what ways those interpretation processes are of significance for processes of change ongoing at the school. The study is carried out using an action research approach through an inquiry into my own practice as a development leader, as well as that of my colleagues. A critical hermeneutic view that draws on the work of Paul Ricoeur is used to interpret the empirical data, which consists of a logbook from my own work, recordings and minutes from teaching team and school management group-meetings, together with group interviews with all of the professionals about the development work that had taken place during the period of the study. The results show that, even though the actions of a professional can be interpreted as a form of responsibility in action, there is nevertheless a need for interpretation, communication, and critical reflection over the consequences in practice, since consequences do not always correspond with the aims of actions. Thus, space for ongoing interpretation processes are of importance in order for professionals to be able to make well-reasoned decisions about their work. A comparison between the ways of handling a process of reform in the practice of two different teaching teams reveals that their collective interpretation processes function as a form of “critique in practice”, in the sense that problematic situations and conflicts reveal aspects of the work where critical reflections collide with the rules and norms that are supposed to regulate practice. Such situations call for thorough inquiry. The analyses of the discussions and the use of the language at two meetings reveal that communication and decision-making among the professionals at the school can be characterized as conflict-ridden. Conflicts of interpretation constitute a condition which opens up the possibility for new understandings to arise.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Social sciences; Education; skolutveckling; praktisk kunskap; tolkning; kommunikation; aktionsforskning; kritisk hermeneutik
Date of Publication:01/01/2009