Erixon, Per-Olof, Anders Marner, Manfred Scheid, Tommy Strandberg, Hans Örtegren (2012)

School Subject Paradigms and Teaching Practice in the Screen Culture: art, music and the mother tongue (Swedish) under pressure. I European Educational Research Journal (11) 255-273.

Abstract: here are great expectations that new digital technology will become a powerful tool for developing education activities. Like many countries in Europe and worldwide, Sweden has invested a large amount of resources in new technology and new media (hereafter called digital media), and they have become a natural and important part of school teaching. The developed use of digital media is assumed to lead to educational change and, hence, better teaching. That such expectations have not been fulfilled, however, is shown in a number of Swedish, European and international studies. One explanation of this situation may be that the incorporation of digital media differs between different school subjects. School subjects have their characteristic structures, which are of great importance for how digital media can be integrated. Digital media influence the way in which school subjects can be described from a knowledge theory perspective – i.e. what constitutes the subject’s paradigm and its teaching practice. The point of departure of this article is the school subjects of art, music and the mother tongue (Swedish), which, like other school subjects, are feeling the pressure of a digital media and screen culture to an ever increasing degree, and it queries whether and how teachers and pupils in these three school subjects conceive of and relate to the shifts that take place in the subjects when digital media are being increasingly integrated into the teaching. The study is based on interviews with pupils and teachers in the three school subjects, and the results are presented in terms of four themes that appear in the investigation – namely: (1) educational environments; (2) what teachers and pupils regard as the sacred and the profane; (3) motives for using digital media in teaching; and (4) whether and how working methods are changing with digital technology, i.e. questions concerning collective and individual aspects. In all three subjects, there are clear indications that digital media have already started to influence both the subject content and the working methods, while, at the same time, the proportion of digital media is limited and the impact is weak.

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