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The Understanding of Independence in Swedish Higher Education before and after Bologna
Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Music and Media Production.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4939-0938
2018 (English)In: ISSOTL18: Toward a learning culture, Bergen: ISSOTL & University of Bergen , 2018Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

Within the Bologna cooperation, an overall European framework has been developed with general learning outcomes and competences for different examination levels. In the Swedish interpretation of this framework, independence is a central concept. Student’s ten-week (15 ECTS credits) bachelor essays or degree projects are, for example, called independent projects in the Swedish system of higher education. Independence is however a concept that can be understood in different ways in different contexts. Ambiguities in how independence is understood and used in practice can lead to uncertainty and may even be a barrier to student exchange and hamper international comparability in accordance with the intentions of the Bologna Declaration. The aim of this study is therefore to explore how the concept of independence is understood in national and local steering documents in Sweden and how the understanding of independence has changed over time, before and after the Bologna Declaration in 1999. This study is a part of a research project where we gather data from Russia and Sweden from two different educational programs, journalist and teacher education. The collected data includes interviews with students and supervisors and analyses of supervision sessions. The analysed material in this study also includes national as well as local steering documents that form the legal basis for the practice of producing independent projects (bachelor essays). The steering documents consist of learning outcomes, assessment criteria, instructions and descriptions concerning the educational programs, including the independent project. Such documents may be important for how a culture for learning is developed within and across courses, programs, departments and institutions. The results show that the use of independence as central concept has changed over time in Swedish higher education. This is partly a result of the Bologna Declaration, but also and probably even more a result of changes in the surrounding society where independence over the years has gained importance in different ways. On the other hand, the results show fewer differences than expected between how teachers, as supervisors, relate to their students’ independence when comparing gathered data from Sweden and Russia, despite that the steering documents in these countries differ significantly. This clearly indicates that the teachers who participated in the study, irrespective of the steering documents being used, first and foremost, strive to create good conditions for their students’ learning and development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bergen: ISSOTL & University of Bergen , 2018.
National Category
Pedagogy Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kmh:diva-2957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kmh-2957DiVA, id: diva2:1291737
Conference
ISSOTL18: The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL) Bergen October 24 – 27
Available from: 2019-02-26 Created: 2019-02-26 Last updated: 2019-02-26

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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