Vejledning - et drama i flere akter: Studier af vejledningsprocesser knyttet til elevers arbejde med større skriftlige opgaver i det almene danske gymnasium

Research output: ThesisPh.D. thesis

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Supervision –a drama in several acts is a case study based on sociocultural aspects. The study investigates the supervision of the larger written assignments in upper secondary education within the Danish school-context, STX. Within the last years, Supervision and feedback on written assignments have received attention in the field of education, in which supervision is often considered the key to the development of students’ writing process. This study focuses on how, from a student perspective, we are to understand the changes student writers experience, through supervision, in the writing of the larger assignments that are to prepare them for future studies. The research question is
investigated through analysis of qualitative data. The data of the study has been collected through ethnographic fieldwork at four Danish upper secondary schools from April 2018 until May 2020. The thesis consists of six articles in Danish and English framed by a mantle in Danish.

The setting of the study is the current practice of supervision in the 3-year Danish upper secondary education, where students are supervised in the process of writing their larger interdisciplinary
assignments. The demand of supervision is new in the context of Danish upper secondary schools, and supervision is challenged by several factors related to the changing contexts in which supervision is practiced by different supervisors from different subject areas. Through an analysis of examples of supervision cases and processes, the experiences of eleven students are investigated during their 3 years in upper secondary education. The starting point of the analysis is framed by a remodelling of
the so-called Writer-development-model. The model captures different aspects of supervision during the three years with an understanding of time and place as a present dynamic context that always has to be taken into consideration. In the first place, the study investigates the students’ experiences with supervision in the transition between lower secondary and upper secondary education. Following, the study presents two articles investigating how students experience the relation and development between supervision and writing processes through the three years. Finally, the perspective is reversed to a focus on supervision related to the final part of the three-year supervision processes, and the students’ narratives of transition and enculturation.

The study is based on international and Scandinavian research on supervision and literacy, taking a sociocultural stand on the understanding of supervision as negotiated through social interaction in changing contexts. Within the field of Scandinavian supervision research, attention has been drawn towards exploring student experiences of transition related to the roles and relations in supervision. Furthermore, the study is closely attached to the studies of writer development, investigated in the project Faglighed og Skriftlighed. Finally, the study is related to the results of the Danish research project Reform 2017, investigating the implement of the recent reform.

Article I of the thesis: ”Who mentioned supervision?”, analyses the narratives produced by the different agents of supervision, focusing on their different understanding of helpful supervision when students are writing their first large assignment in upper secondary school. The article sets the stage for exploring examples of supervision, as the article introduces frames and participants of supervision during the students’ first experience with supervision in their first year. In addition, the article
introduces the preliminary findings from the first steps in the collection of data. The article identifies the challenges related to supervision of novices in upper secondary school, and points to the different expectations of supervision. In the collected study, the findings contribute to the foundation of an investigation of changes in experiences and expectations during the three years.

Article II: “Supervision and writing development”, is a study of student development in writing through supervision during the 3 years of upper secondary education. Thus, the study carries on the findings from the first article and contributes with an overview of the according aspects of the threeyear process of supervision in an investigation of the relations between supervision, feedback and the process of writing. Furthermore, the article presents a remodelling of the Writer-development-model, granting the foundation of analyses of examples of supervision in time, which is the fundament of the following articles. The article concludes that supervision and feedback, closely related to the product
of student writings and their former experiences, stimulate writing development.

Article III: ”Peer-supervision, Chaos or Quest? A qualitative study of a student perspective on how peer supervision can support writer-development”, investigates, from a student perspective,
experiences with peer supervision in groups. Similar to article I and II, the study takes its starting point in student experiences from the first larger assignment, however, it focuses on student
experience with a particular peer-focused supervision didactics. The study illustrates how students create coherence in a three-year writing process. The results point to possibilities and challenges related to peer-supervision in the context of upper secondary school.

Article IV: “Dialogic possibilities of online supervision – a study of the character of the online supervision of student assignments in upper secondary school”, presents an analysis focusing on the
last phase of the three-year student process. The article investigates student experiences with different types of online supervision with a special interest in how different elements of online supervision support writer development. Potentials of a dialogue in different online-based supervision are discussed. It is concluded that students receiving online supervision express experiences and request expectations of supervision that to a higher degree is based on psychodynamics and relations.

Article V: ”The transformative potential of supervision in a transitional perspective”, explores students experiences with supervision in the transition between upper secondary education and university. The study discusses how experiences from upper secondary education contributes to learning in new contexts of supervision. Focus in the articles is (as article IV) directed towards the last part of the student supervision and writing process, in particular paying attention to the student experiences with - and understanding of - how feedback supports their writing development. By use of text produced by students, the article points out that supervision and feedback specifically addressing earlier experiences with feedback and writing processes, stimulate students’ writing development. Along with article I, the article frames the 3-year experiences with supervision of larger
written assignments. At the same time, the article addresses perspectives of supervision and writing development in new contexts, following the perspective of upper secondary education.

The final article of the thesis, Article VI: ”The dramaturgy of supervision”, presents how the concept of dramaturgy may qualify description and analysis of supervision processes in a context of learning. Inspired by the concept of dramaturgy, a model has been developed of how to analyse supervision processes. The model is based on findings from the other articles in the study. Two analytical examples exemplify how the analytical framework can be used as means for describing and analysing supervision processes and writing development. The first analysis, seen from an institutional perspective, contributes to an insight of how institutional documents of larger written assignments and supervision can be organized. The other case draws attention to ways to implement institutional means in practice. These analytical perspectives qualify a discussion of how the specific examples of supervision are embedded in a dynamic context across time and space. This discussion is ongoing throughout the entire thesis.

Overall, the findings of the six sub-studies which the thesis consists of, shed light on student experiences with supervision processes during their three years in upper secondary school. Empirical findings are discussed across the different contexts of supervision, paying attention to the different experiences students have had and expect regarding supervision.

The discussion sheds light on how supervision supports transition in the 3-year process of writing development. Theoretically, it is argued that the sociocultural perspective of student experiences with supervision processes across time, usefully, supplement existing research of supervision. Furthermore, it is argued that dramaturgy as a method, significantly supplement existing knowledge of supervision processes across time and in changing contexts. The study brings important insights to research on supervision of writing processes, which has not been researched before in upper secondary education. The findings of the thesis point out and suggest a continuous need of further research on supervision processes related to the writing of the larger assignments in upper secondary school, in which the role of the supervisor is carried out by different people, who must consider the bevelled role of a supervisor.
Original languageDanish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Hobel, Peter, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 28. Apr 2022

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