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Perceived values of education from young people's perspectives

Umea University

Studies of young people's perceived values of learning has resulted in a theoretical framework that can form the basis for further discussions and means to develop and understand education. The framework is the result of a recent dissertation from Umeå University.

Learning takes place in various systems and in various forms of education and there are European and other international initiatives that strive for learning to be available wherever the learners are, using any support or any device. But, how can education be designed to increase the perceived value of learning? This is a question that has guided Lars Norqvist, doctoral student at the Department of Educational Science at Umeå University.

His studies have focused on learning and the relationship between perspectives of learning and ICTs (Information and communication technologies) such as tablets and laptops. The use of ICTs in education is currently prioritised in the development of education.

The starting point of the dissertation was constituted by a study of learning in schools, so-called formal education, and organised learning outside the formal school system, so-called non-formal education such as education aimed at various associations or voluntary-based organisations.

"When young learners have described learning situations or how they learn, I have been able to relate it to how education is designed by, for instance, decision-makers and school leaders. I have also seen that it's possible to relate learning to the potential and possibilities offered by ICTs. How learning is valued and understood guides the learners' understanding of how they can or would like to use technology. Furthermore, the learning can be tied to various perspectives of ICTs such as information, communication and technology," says Lars Norqvist.

The dissertation presents a theoretical framework about the relationship between learning and ICTs, which can be used to discuss, develop and understand education. The dissertation brings forward perceived values of learning. It is a notion that can be used to understand the concept of learning. Moreover, the dissertation contributes with the research method called Learning situations. This method has its starting point in pictures drawn by children based upon their own views of learning situations, which then forms the basis for interviews on how learning is understood.

The results of the dissertation can be useful to a variety of stakeholders within the educational system.

Lars Norqvist has conducted his doctoral studies at the Department of Applied Educational Science at Umeå University. Before that he took a Bachelor of Education and has experience from working as a teacher and a trainer. In formal education, he has mainly worked with children from 7-13 years. He has also been a trainer within non-formal education for young people from 18-30 years, contracted by the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society.

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Read a digital publication of the doctoral dissertation: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120249

Lars Norqvist presents his research on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqev65HYCwU

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