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Gruppen som pedagogiskt redskap: En studie om gruppstorlekens pedagogiska betydelse i undervisningen.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The focus of this thesis is the group as a pedagogical tool. It investigates whether and how what is known of group size can help further schools in fulfilling knowledge and democracy goals and moreover how such knowledge can influence the principals’ management. The mission of school education is to provide the basis for each pupil’s individual development and in the end it is pupils’ individual performances which are graded. However, during the full twelve years of schooling they are taught in groups. This indicates that school education could benefit from greater knowledge in regards to characteristics of different group sizes and accordingly their numerical prerequisites in various pedagogical contexts.The aim of the study is to illuminate and research the relationship between group size and the teaching of teenage pupils, from a school management perspective. The question formulation of the study is: How do a few principals think concerning categorization, the basis thereof, and the importance of group size for the work of the teacher and the learning of the pupil? The study applies a social psychological perspective. To further deepen the perspective, the study has methodologically been inspired by categorical analysis. The question formulation is explored through a set of in-depth interviews with five experienced principals.There is little or no research on the dynamics of teaching groups in school environments, particularly concerning older pupils. Previous research though indicates that there is no unequivocal relation between group size and learning outcomes. There are clear connections between learning outcomes and the competence of the teacher, and relations, communication and the social climate of the classroom. These aspects are in turn influenced by the dynamics of different group sizes. Expectations of the teacher also greatly influence the learning of pupils. This relates to group size via the self image of the group which in turn effects the achievements of the individual. Teacher expectations also are influenced by value categorizations of the group. Previous research show that conscious use of different group sizes, large groups in particular, potentially could support schools in regards the democracy related goals.The interviews show that principals have a general understanding of that a teaching group can be, and further some knowledge of the dynamics of the small group, less so of the median group and none of the large group. Large groups are not regarded, and never used, as teaching groups. The study indicates that flexibility in regards to the aim of the teaching and the need of the pupils is more desirable than stability in the organization of groups when it comes to group size. This is counteracted by the school tradition. The study gives several examples of categorizations but no clear answers as to how the valuation of the categories of groups sizes are constructed. It is illustrated that questions of group dynamics seldom are part of conversations of pedagogical nature among teachers in the schools whose principals are part of the study. The principals regard themselves as the ones most competent concerning matters of group size, but do not express this as being part of the pedagogical leadership. None of the principals believe their organizations are currently making optimal use of the group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 84 p.
Keyword [sv]
Pedagogiskt ledarskap, lärande organisation, gruppstorlek, grupprocesser, gruppdynamik, lärandemiljö, lärarledarskap, resultat, kollegialt lärande, kollektivt lärande, inkludering
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95648OAI: diva2:660993
Available from: 2013-10-31 Created: 2013-10-31 Last updated: 2013-10-31Bibliographically approved

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