Improving the quality of teaching litterature in Danish secondary education towards an inquiry-based model for interventions

Thomas Illum Hansen, Stig Toke Gissel, Nikolaj Frydensbjerg Elf, Peter Kaspersen, Thorkild Hanghøj, Tina Høegh

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


This study comprises two papers (see Part I and Part II below) that present findings from a large research and development project entitled “Improving the Quality of Danish and Mathematics in Danish lower Secondary education” made possible by the Danish Ministry of Education (2016-2018). Focusing on Danish as a subject, the aim is to develop an inquiry-based approach to the teaching of literature in Danish secondary education (grade 7-8, age around 14-15) drawing on an initial theory of inquiry-based teaching indebted to the work of John Dewey and Louise Rosenblatt (Dewey 2005 [1934]; Rosenblatt 1938; see also Faust, 2011). PART I: BACKGROUND, RESEARCH DESIGN, AND FINDINGS FROM THE MAPPING OF PRACTICE (by Nikolaj Elf, Peter W. Kaspersen, Stig T. Gissel, Thomas I. Hansen, Thorkild Hanghøj, Tina Höegh) Context: In the first of two presentations, we focus on the project’s pre-study as we report findings from the mapping of practice; part II establishes principles of an inquiry-based approach to the teaching of literature based on the pre-study and a systematic review. Research question: Through the pre-study’s systematic review and mapping of practice, we ask: • what characterizes an inquiry-based approach to the teaching of literature and to what extent is the teaching of literature in Denmark currently inquiry-based? • how could such an approach inform interventions in practice in Danish secondary education and principles of inquiry-based course designs? Design: The project is designed as a multiple intervention research program (Edwards et al., 2004; Pawson & Tilley, 1997) and comprises: I) a pre-study including a mapping of contemporary practice and a review with the aim of revising an initial ‘program theory’; II) small-scale interventions; III) a pilot study, and IV) a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study. The mapping of practice is based on triangulating analyses of interviews conducted 2016, systematic analyses of learning resources (Gissel & Skovmand, 2016), and ethnographic field work (Christensen, 2014). Results: Data suggest that the teaching of literature is dominated by a non-inquiry-based approach amongst teachers. When prompted, teachers express uncertainty as to what an inquiry-based approach means in practice. Teachers emphasize a text-and-transmission oriented approach informed by new criticism and reader-response theory. Discussion: Findings imply that an intervention would have to take into consideration that teachers are not accustomed to an inquiry-based approach. Discussions, on a local school basis, of what inquiry based teaching implies should be integrated in the intervention as a ‘didactic framing’. Christensen, T. S., Elf, N. F., & Krogh, E. (2014). Skrivekulturer i folkeskolens niende klasse [Writing Cultures in secondary education's grade 9]. Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag. Dewey, J. (2005 [1934]). Art as Experience. London: Penguin. Edwards, N., Mill, J., & Kothari, A. R. (2004). Multiple intervention research programs in community health. CJNR, 36 (1), 40-54. Faust, M. (2011). Reconstructing familiar metaphors: John Dewey and Louise Rosenblatt on literary art as experience. Research in the Teaching of English, 35 (1), 9-34. Gissel, S.T., & Skovmand, K. (2016). Kategorisering af digitale læremidler. En undersøgelse af det digitale læremiddellandskab [Categorization of digital learning resources: A study of the digital
Antal sider2
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedThe 11th conference of ARLE - Tallinn University (Estonia), Tallinn, Estland
Varighed: 15 jun. 201717 jun. 2017


KonferenceThe 11th conference of ARLE
LokationTallinn University (Estonia)