Teachers’ potential to promote students’ deeper learning in whole-class teaching: An observation study in Norwegian classrooms
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonSølvik, R. M., & Glenna, A. E. H. (2021). Teachers’ potential to promote students’ deeper learning in whole-class teaching: An observation study in Norwegian classrooms. Journal of Educational Change. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-021-09420-8
Teachers worldwide are challenged to adjust their teaching to meet students’ needs for deeper learning. The lack of mutual understanding among researchers, policymakers and teachers tends to blur the discussion on how to enhance deeper learning through teaching, which further challenges teachers in making changes in their classroom practices. This qualitative observation study aims to explore how five skilled and experienced Norwegian teachers facilitate 10–16-year-old students’ potential deeper learning in whole-class teaching. The teachers are videotaped four times during a school year, and observations show how teachers enhance or undermine students’ active involvement, facilitate or hinder positive learning environments, support or impede deeper understanding, and stimulate or inhibit metacognitive reflection. The observations are discussed within a framework of the literature and research on how deeper learning is understood and promoted. The findings indicate how teachers’ facilitation of a supportive learning environment is essential to actively involve students in the classroom interactions and dialogue needed to promote deeper content understanding and metacognitive reflection. We explore the potential for deeper learning within whole-class teaching and argue that such potential arises when teachers facilitate collective, reciprocal, supportive, cumulative and purposeful classroom interactions. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the importance of employing varied teaching practices to further address students’ need for deeper learning. The study presents examples of whole-class teaching practices framed by theory and the earlier research on deeper learning, which may contribute to the concretization of policy changes in support of deeper learning in education.