The Pedagogical Framework

When planning teaching, one must, with a background in reflections upon the objectives and goals of education, as well as students' prerequisites and the conditions one will be teaching under, choose the kind of teaching one wishes to practise. In the light of these reflections, one will be able to choose digital learning tools that support the chosen form of teaching.

The Pedagogical Framework is based on a distinction between a monological, a dialogical and a polyphonic form of teaching. The three forms of teaching are first described in my master thesis Three theories of knowledge and their influence on school and society (in Danish - English abstract on p. 95) (Pasgaard 2009). The thesis decribes respectively L. Wittgensteins, J. Deweys and K.E. Løgstrups theories of knowledge, and it is inferred which views on learning the three philosophers can be said to represent. The three philosophers views on learing is coupled to M. M. Bakhtins philosophy of language, by which the concepts of the monological, dialogical and polyphonic forms of teaching occurs.

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

  • The monological form of teaching

In the monological form the aim is that the student acquires the knowledge and skills which the teacher believes are relevant. Teaching is, in the monological form, a matter of the teacher, as a representative for society and the subjects pre-existing knowledge, sharing this knowledge with the student, and learning consists in students' acquisition of 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 learning 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, it is the aim that the pupil's inherent knowledge is developed in dialogue with the teacher's knowledge, in order to make the student able to solve authentic problems. In the dialogical form of teaching, the student is trying his own knowledge and experience against society's (existing) 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 learning tools which support students problem oriented work is 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 aim is that students and the lecturer create a common 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 ' experiences of the subject matter, and learning is seen as the student's participation in this mutual exchange of perspectives. Communication within this form of teaching thus becomes polyphonic (consisting of several independent voices), 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 learning tools that support collaboration and shared knowledge production is relevant within the polyphonic form of teaching, where equal collaboration is a key element.

Under the menu item Digital Learning Tools you can read a number of articles on various digital learning tools which may support the three forms of teaching. The learning tools are described from the above Pedagogical Framework, and the articles provide inspiration on how the tools can be used within the different forms of teaching.