Kommunikationskritisk kompetence: - Legitimering og udfordringer

Publikation: Kandidat/diplom/masterKandidatspecialeFormidling


This thesis starts by claiming that teaching of language and communication increasingly ought to focus on a critical approach to language as an alternative to the dominating structuralistic language teaching and thereby give the pupils knowledge about the possibilities provided by language to exercise and criticise power. Therefore the central concept of the thesis is critical communication competence.
The thesis consists of two parts. The first part is a discussion of the justification of language and communication teaching. This part claims that contents in the school’s subjects must involve a relation between the school’s ideal about general education, development of competences and methods of teaching and contents of the subject.
Hereby the thesis legitimizes a language teaching that focuses on critical communication by unfolding an ideal about general education, which enable the pupils to act as a citizen of the world that reflects on and takes a critical view on contemporary key problems. This involves the pupils ability to self-determination, participation in decision making and solidarity. Our school not only has to adapt to the present society but they should also be able to develop and make an impact on society through the general education of the students. Being capable of acting according to contemporary key problems plays a big role. General education must be developed through a realistic teaching based on the students’ everyday life and at the same time enable the students to put these experiences into perspective.
Using this ideal about general education as a starting point I look into the way different views on language and related methods for analyzing language can be justified by their potential to develop the ideal about general education. On the basis of this research it is pointed out that working with language in schools is not only about finding correct answers or following rules or being capable of using certain standards for appropriate communication. On the contrary, language must be the object of thorough and critical analysis with the purpose of making students capable of reflective participating in the ongoing development of a democratic society and through communication and attention to language taking part in creating a good life for everybody.
This exposition and discussion leads to an argumentation in favour of critical communication competence as well as a presentation and definition of the concept. The concept is rooted in the tradition of critical literacy and inspired by Danish dialectical theory of language. The wide focus of the concept on how we influence and is influenced by language in both far and near situations makes it a central and relevant goal for teaching.
The second part of the thesis is an empirically based study of the kinds of challenges you find when teaching is based on critical communication. The empirically based study is inspired by Design based research, which is a research methodology that generates new knowledge throughout the process and while the design is being developed, tested and improved in a learning environment. I have developed a teaching design using the ideas behind critical communication and tested it in the 8th grade. On this basis I have identified three challenges.
The first challenge is the competences of the teacher. My researches have shown that the analytical competence and the competence of critical communication of the teacher is of great importance when it comes to progression in teaching and thereby the student’s learning.
The second challenge concerns students group work. My researches point out that the student’s purposes in group work are different from those intended by the teacher. Therefore it is not always the case that discussions between students in group work lead to a more varied or critical view on texts. My analysis shows that the dominating type of conversation in group work was accumulative talk, where students confirm each other and add to each other’s answers and thereby miss out on the opportunity to expand or challenge their perspective.
The third challenge is about problems surrounding the choice of exemplary texts for the students’ analysis. The challenge about text choice consists in the fact, that texts have to give the students both the ability to use analytic tools in an open and meaningful way and at the same time be motivating to the students. Furthermore the texts must prepare a ground for the students to study and relate critically to the assertions of the texts and allow students to relate to their own lives and draw perspectives to the world around them.
On these grounds, I outline a number of design principles for a teaching based on critical communication that can serve as an instrument for reflection by others who wish to develop a teaching that improves the pupil’s critical communication competence.
  • Rørbech, Helle, Vejleder, Ekstern person
StatusUdgivet - 2014