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Acceptance as a normative aspect of the process of coming to understand emotionally charged concepts: Upper secondary school students make meaning of gender
(English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Previous research on how students’ acceptance of emotionally charged theories relates to their understanding is based on the measurement of acceptance and understanding as two separate variables. As an alternative, the present study takes a qualitative approach with the aim of exploring what 24 upper secondary school students accept when they come to understand the concept of gender and how to justify gender-related statements. The results show how the students accept ideas about social structures, power, and emancipation, as well as ideas about essences, individual independence, and a natural order. As for their justifications, they accept ideals of equality and objectivity. By assuming that the ideas have positive connotations for the students, it becomes possible to understand them as engaged in negotiating norms that are brought to the fore in the interviews.

National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108272OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108272DiVA: diva2:756362
Available from: 2014-10-17 Created: 2014-10-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05
In thesis
1. Normativa aspekter av individers begreppsbildning: Hur gymnasieelever och studenter skapar och förhåller sig till idéer om genus och nation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Normativa aspekter av individers begreppsbildning: Hur gymnasieelever och studenter skapar och förhåller sig till idéer om genus och nation
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Normative aspects of conceptual change : How students create and relate to ideas about gender and nation
Abstract [en]

The cognitive models that research on conceptual change has generated have been the subject of criticism, suggesting that these reflect an unrealistic view of learning as an overly “cold” and isolated process. Accordingly, representatives of this criticism suggest that research on conceptual change should investigate to what extent the cold cognition relates to “warm” affective constructs. In the present thesis, the warmth is not considered as prior to conceptual change, but is inferred from the very process of conceptual change itself. The aim is to investigate and describe how this warmth – in terms of normativity – is expressed in conceptual change and how individuals, in these processes, emerge as subjects in their interchange with the environment. This is done by exploring what students do when they make meaning of gender and nation in interviews and exam papers. The results show that the students mainly relate to two different norm-systems, including six normative aspects of conceptual change. The first system includes the goal to challenge or emancipate, the means to problematize, and engagement in the interviews or exams. Furthermore, it includes critical theory as an ideal, social structures and power as values, and me as a social being and actions as part of a tradition as what to make meaning of. The second system includes the goal to preserve, the means to claim how it “is”, and engagement in the interviews or exams. Furthermore, it includes psychological/biological reductionism as an ideal, essences and a natural order as values, and me as an individual and actions as an outcome of intentions as what to make meaning of. By understanding what the students do as interfering with these normative aspects, it becomes possible to understand them as negotiating norms that are brought to the fore. With this, “coldness” appears to be a misleading epithet of conceptual change. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, Stockholms universitet, 2014
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 33
Keyword
Warm conceptual change, normativity, contextualization, intentional analysis, gender, nation, upper secondary school students, university students
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Educational Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108309 (URN)978-91-7649-004-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-26, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2014-11-04 Created: 2014-10-20 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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