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In Search of Learning Opportunities for All - Exploring Learning Environments in Upper Secondary Schools

Authors:

Arnt Vestergaard Louw ,

Aalborg University, Denmark, DK
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Ulla Højmark Jensen

Aalborg University, Denmark, DK
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Abstract

In this article, we address one of the most critical challenges facing the schools today: designing of learning environments that can provide learning opportunities for all students. The article first provides a brief introduction to content of this challenge. Then we focus on theoretical tools to understand the learning environment. Based on the concepts of classification and framing, as found in the later work of Basil Bernstein, we view that learning is fundamentally linked to the social and the cultural context of the school. To scales are presented for understanding and analysing the learning environment: the praxis scale and the student positioning scale. The scales are tools for analysing three different learning environments in upper secondary schools in Denmark, Switzerland and the USA. The article provides theoretical and empirical explanations of how the design of the learning environment is connected to the challenges and opportunities faced by different kinds of students. Based on these analyses, a model of four ideal types of learning environment will be presented. It is concluded that the specific design of the learning environment always comes down to the conscious, reflected and common sharing of the teaching responsibilities as the crucial factor in the development of learning opportunities for all students, regardless of the intention of the teaching and the desired learning outcome.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/dfl-2014-0018
How to Cite: Vestergaard Louw, A., & Højmark Jensen, U. (2013). In Search of Learning Opportunities for All - Exploring Learning Environments in Upper Secondary Schools. Designs for Learning, 6(1-2), 102–125. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/dfl-2014-0018
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Published on 01 Dec 2013.
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