The Pedagogical Framework

The Pedagogical Framework of can form the basis for an assessment of whether a digital tool is suitable for use in a specific form of teaching. The model is based on a distinction between a monological, a dialogical and a polyphonic form of teaching. The three forms of teaching are derived from M.M. Bakhtin's novel theory, and are distinguished by their different views on how learning takes place, and by their different perceptions of the relations between subject matter, teacher and student. When planning her teaching, the teacher should take pedagogical reflections on the purpose of teaching, the learning objectives and the students' prerequisites as well as the technical prerequisites into account, and use it to choose which form of teaching she wants to practice. In the light of these reflections, one may choose the digital learning tools, which best support the chosen form of teaching.


It didaktisk model

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In the following the monological, the dialogical and the polyphonic forms of teaching are presented, with examples of which types of digital learning tools, that may best support them.

  • The monological form of teaching

In the monological form of teaching the goal is, for the student to identify with the teacher and acquire her knowledge. Teaching is, in the monological form, a matter of the teacher, being a representative of society's dominant voice, distributing her knowledge to the student, and learning is to be seen as the student's identification with the teacher's perspective and his adaption of her knowledge. Communication within this form of teaching thus becomes monologic, and is completely controlled by the teacher's dominant voice.

Prior to the classroom teaching the teacher defines clear learning objectives, and chooses the subject matter, which is to be worked with and studied in class. The subject matter is selected in a way, so that it distributes the quantity of information to the student, which the teacher believes is relevant to him in relation to the given topic. Along with the teacher's instruction of the student, the subject matter's distribution of information is to ensure, that the student learns excactly, what the teacher has planned for him to learn.

Monologisk undervisning

After teaching the teacher will be able to compare the student 's learning outcomes with the learning objectives, that she had defined before the teaching begun.

Particularly distributing tools are relevant within the monological form of teaching, where the transfer of information from teacher to student is a key element. In relation to the evaluation of students' learning outcomes, tools for giving standardized tests are also relevant in this form of teaching.

  • The dialogical form of teaching

In the dialogical form of teaching the goal is, for the student's innate knowledge to be developed in dialogue with the teacher's voice and knowledge. In the dialogical form of teaching, the student is trying his own knowledge and experience against society's (dominant) knowledge, and the teacher acts as a supervisor and guide in this process. Communication within this form of teaching thus becomes dialogical , and is controlled primarily by the student's own voice.

The teacher chooses a subject matter, which could make it possible for the student to experience what is relevant within the field, and to define and solve authentical tasks. In the learning situation, the student chooses to work with the parts of the subject matter, that he finds relevant, and he uses this part of the subject matter as a basis for solving the given tasks. If there is not enough help to get from the subject matter in relation to solving the tasks, he contacts the teacher, who will then act as a guide.

Dialogisk undervisning

The student's learning outcome from a dialogical form of teaching can be tested through open, written assignments and simulations, where the student can show, that he can use his gained experience and knowledge in different contexts.

Especially tools that support students' problem oriented work are relevant within the dialogical form of teaching, where the student's own experience is the key element. Also simulations and advanced learning games can be relevant in this form of teaching.

  • The polyphonic form of teaching

In the polyphonic form of teaching the goal is, for students and teachers to gain mutual understanding and knowledge through equal dialogue. The polyphonic form of teaching is based on the idea, that knowledge is created through an equal exchange of many different individuals' perception of the world, and learning is seen as the student's participation in this mutual exchange of perspectives. Communication within this form of teaching thus becomes polyphonic, and is controlled by both teacher and students.

The teacher and students collaboratively select the subject matter, which is to be worked with and studied in class. They are equal in this process, and they share equal responsibility for producing new knowledge within the given field..

Polyfon undervisning

The student's learning outcome cannot easily be measured or tested within this form of teaching as is the case in the monological form of teaching, but others can subsequently test the validity of the knowledge produced in the community of practice, as this knowledge will contribute to the accumulated knowledge within the entire field.

Especially tools that support collaboration and the production of mutual knowledge are relevant within the polyphonic form of teaching, where equal collaboration is a key element.

You can read more about the theoretical background of the model and the three teaching forms in my Master Thesis Three theories of knowledge and their influence on school and society (in Danish - English abstract on p. 95). Under the menu item Digital Learning Tools you will find articles on digital learning tools that can support the three forms of teaching. The description of the learning tools are based on the pedagogical framework presented here, and the articles provides suggestions on how the tools can be used within the different forms of teaching.

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