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Johan Nyberg
Johan Nyberg, PhD at Luleå University. Photo: Lars Andersson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Financial requirements hinders learning

Published: 18 June 2015

New research at Luleå University shows that reporting obligations and efficiency pressure in upper secondary school risk undermining the students' deeper understanding and inhibits collegial exchange between teachers.

- Teachers are under heavy pressure to report good results, but without being allowed to define this from a professional perspective - whether musical or pedagogical but just financially. Secondary education is a market where costs must be cut and the income increase and the solution is marketing. The risk with this is that education, teaching and learning are reduced to commodities, says Johan Nyberg, PhD at Luleå University.

A knowledge-adventure

In the doctoral thesis Music Education as an Adventure of Knowledge: Student and Teacher Experience as Conceptualizations of Musical Knowledge, Learning and Teaching, Johan Nyberg investigated how students and teachers conceptualize (shared experiences, reds.anm) musical knowledge, learning and teaching. The result shows that both teachers and students have a multifaceted understanding of musical knowledge and learning but in which students express a habit to share this with others, teachers are more focused on getting the opportunity and time to share their knowledge.

- The time aspect many teachers means is the key to be a professional, including equivalent and legally secure assessment, says Johan Nyberg and emphasizes the importance of communication for both students and teachers.

- If students and teachers take the opportunity to communicate with one another, and thus share and develop experiences, there are great opportunities to make music education in the arts program to a knowledge adventure.

Economy a means, not an end

Johan Nyberg says that the study shows that there is no right or wrong in terms of the arrangement of teaching rather that the "right" conditions for both students and teachers can take many different ways.

- It may not always be what's perceived as the simplest way to work for teachers and students that is the best way to work just for these individuals. Therefore it is vital that there is a dialogue between the various stakeholders in the education sphere, from practice to academia and policy makers. It is also my belief that decisions affecting education and teaching needs to be pivotal in Education. High school education as part of a democratic society, the economy needs to be a means, not an end, and knowledge may not always be weighed or measured using quantities.