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The application of variation theory in undergraduate teaching: addressing some difficulties in the context of students’ understanding of saving.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2008 (English)In: 3rd international conference of the Phenomenography and Variation Theory Special Interest Group.: European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Kristianstad, Sweden., 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports some findings from a small project that aims to address three difficulties that limit the application of variation theory in the teaching of some subjects. The first difficulty is reliance upon intensive methods to uncover different ways in which a phenomenon is understood. For example, phenomenographic research has suggested categorical differences in ways of understanding only a few phenomena in economics and, as far as we are aware, none at all in business studies. A second difficulty lies in the identification of a phenomenon. Current teaching frequently presents a way of understanding a phenomenon as the phenomenon itself. ‘Today we are going to learn about product life cycles’. In these circumstances it is not always a straightforward matter to identify the phenomenon. A third difficulty lies in variation in the ways in which different social phenomena can be experienced.

The project examined students’ understanding of ‘withdrawals from the economy’. Data were collected through interviews and students’ examination answers. The interviews focused on the effects of changes in saving, first at an individual and then at a collective level. Interview transcripts were analysed by the three researchers to identify differences in ways of understanding the phenomenon of saving and these categories were then compared with those arising from the examination transcripts. These data are used to provide a basis for the discussion of the three difficulties identified above

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15829OAI: diva2:182349
Available from: 2008-12-11 Created: 2008-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Lundholm, Cecilia
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