Understanding L1 teachers’ talk about digitalization and multimodality

Submitted by: Petra Magnusson
Abstract: The 2017 revisions of the Swedish curriculum, mandatory from July 2018, were made to enhance digital competence in teaching and learning as four aspects, respectively dealing with effects on society, use of digital tools, critical awareness and responsibility and problem solving. This abstract report on an ongoing study of the implementation of the revised curriculum in an upper secondary school, focusing the teachers in Swedish as L1 and L2. The material contains of audio recordings and field notes from observations of professional development work on the revisions in curricula and syllabi, on assessment of students digital presentations and of teachers planning and teaching. The interest is to contribute to the understanding of how digitalization is perceived and used by teachers in Swedish as L1 and L2 by examining what vocabulary they use, what issues and aspects of digitalization they address in their discussions and planning of teaching. Using critical discourse analysis to examine the data, preliminary results expose the teachers’ talk as to a large extent focusing themes as technical aspects as opposite to subject content. The presentation suggests how the results can be discussed as examples of teachers’ different attitudes towards the revised curricula using theory from New Literacy Studies (Lankshear & Knobel, 2011) and the concept of multiliteracies (Kalantzis & Cope, 2012).

The results are also discussed in relation to teachers’ professional agency understood in an ecological way drawing on Biesta and Tedder (2007). The area of digitalization in curriculum is perceived as something profoundly new in teachers’ professional knowledge base (Cochran-Smith & Fries, 2005), thus, in the material from the beginning of a professional development program, perceived as challenging and threatening to L1 and L2 teacher agency.

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Cochran-Smith, M. & Fries, K. (2005). Researching teacher education in changing times: paradigms and politics, in Cochran-Smith, M. & Zeichner, K. (Eds.) Studying Teacher Education: The Report of the AERA Panel on Research and Teacher Education Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 69–110.

Kalantzis, M. & Cope, B. (2012). Literacies. Port Melbourne, Vic.: Cambridge University Press.

Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2011). New literacies. (3rd ed.) Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.