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  • 1.
    Murstedt, Linda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lärande, värderingar och statsvetenskap: Studenters tolkningar av genus- och nationsbegreppet2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sociologists and feminist researchers have emphasized the prevalence of taken for granted notions about political concepts. Nation and gender are examples of concepts that are often perceived as non-political and “natural”. Researchers have understood these concepts as related to self-perception, and studies have demonstrated that students tend to perceive gender perspectives as pseudoscientific.

    From an educational perspective, this raises questions as to how values are involved in students’ learning processes. Over the last 20 years, an increasing number of researchers have characterized conceptual change as affective in nature. However, few empirical studies have put effort into investigating affective aspects of the conceptual change process. This thesis adds to this research discussion by offering an empirically rooted conceptualisation of the value-oriented dimension of the learning process. The thesis is based on three empirical studies that investigate how students interpret tasks challenging them to adopt a critical and structural perspective of ‘nation’ and ‘gender’. Drawing on qualitative analyses of tape-recorded group discussions and written home exams, the thesis argues that students bring in other ideas than those advocated in the specific teaching settings with regard to three topics. Firstly, students express values relating to power, meaning when and how it is legitimate to speak about power. Secondly, students express values that concern how science should be practised. Thirdly, students express values related to identity that revolve around how “I” relate (or not) to the concepts taught in the particular course setting. These results suggest that students enter the classroom with personal ideas and principles of what is “good” or “right” when practising political science, and that values can be seen as a key aspect in understanding the complexities of students’ learning processes in this particular subject area.

  • 2.
    Murstedt, Linda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Values in the process of learning political science: students' contextualizations of nation and genderArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Murstedt, Linda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Jansson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Wendt, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Åse, Cecilia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Liberal liability: Understanding Students’ Conceptions of Gender Structures2014In: Journal of Social Science Education, ISSN 1611-9665, E-ISSN 1618-5293, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 63-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has shown that teaching gender theories tends to be an educational challenge and elicits student resistance.However, little is known about students’ learning processes in social science. This study aims to explore these learningprocesses by drawing on feminist pedagogy and conceptual change theory. The results show that when students areasked to perform analysis from a structural gender perspective, they recurrently introduce other explanatoryframeworks based on non‐structural understandings. The students’ learning processes involve reformulatingquestions and making interpretations based on liberal understandings of power, freedom of choice and equality. Weargue that this process is due to the hegemonic position of the liberal paradigm as well as to the dominant ideas aboutscience. Clarifying the underlying presumptions of a liberal perspective and a structural perspective may help studentsto recognise applied premises and enable them to distinguish relevant explanations.

  • 4.
    Murstedt, Linda
    et al.
    Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    von Reybekiel Trostek, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Scheja, Max
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Values in political science students' contextualizations of nationalism2015In: Journal of political science education, ISSN 1551-2177, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 126-140Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent research on conceptual change has argued that it is insufficient to assume that prior knowledge is the only aspect relevant in order to explain the conceptual change process. In addition, “warm constructs” such as emotions, epistemological beliefs, and values have been proposed to play a determinative role. In this study, we aim to further the understanding of the qualitative aspects of such constructs. By investigating how 20 science students interpret Michael Billig’s critical theory of nationalism in written exam papers, we explore how values are involved in university students’ meaning making of nationalism. The results indicate that students in different ways bring alternative values, such as togetherness, pride, and personal identity, in their reasoning, and these become a significant aspect of their meaning making in political science. This suggests that the students enter the classroom with their own ideas and principles of what is “good” or “right” when “practicing political science.” The study thus provides an example of how conceptual change involves accepting prescriptions of a certain intellectual activity.

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