Does ILU want practical master’s theses?

Does ILU want practical master’s theses?
Does ILU want practical master’s theses?
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Speech

The scheme for practical master’s theses is criticized in this statement, signed by PRANO supervisors and teachers at Charlottenlund secondary school.

Photo: Private.

This is a statement. The content of the text expresses the author’s opinion.

Since 2020, we have participated as practical teaching in the PRANO project (practice-based Norwegian master’s theses). In this project, we have prepared a model for closer cooperation between university and practice in the students’ 5th year of study, when they write their master’s thesis. An important element in this structure has been the opportunity for the students to gather empirical evidence during the internship period. The internship period has been divided into two periods: two weeks in the autumn and one week in January. In the last week, the students have gathered empirical evidence.

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We have understood that the three-week practice period in the fifth year of study is now fixed for three weeks in the autumn, in weeks 42, 43 and 44. This, as we know, is not compatible with collecting empirical data for the students, as it can only happen in the new year after they have obtained approval from SIKT.

What we don’t understand is how the students are supposed to gather their empirical experience in the classrooms, now that a more practice-based master’s thesis is being sought. A structure outlined here makes this collaboration between students and schools impossible. We do not understand how the master’s students are supposed to gather empirical evidence when they do not have a channel to the school. This will be very random, and will also constitute unnecessary wear and tear on the schools and teachers, and last but not least, on the pupils, who do not seem to be taken into account in this context. The fact that completely unknown students arrive will create insecurity and distance when they are not at all familiar with the students from before. Students depend on predictability and structure in their learning processes, and they must have continuity. With ordinary practice students and students who come only to gather empirical evidence, the total load will be large. In addition, this takes up the students’ time.

This testifies to a lack of understanding of what the school is like, and is experienced as a move back to the beginning, where universities tower high above schools in terms of value as teacher educators. In the autumn of 2023, we wrote an article in Bedre skole about the PRANO project, where we highlight precisely the equality and closeness to practice that we have experienced in this project. This falls away. We do not understand what it is that can justify that the structure, which is so well documented, should be replaced by another model. PRANO has received 5 million in support from the HK Directorate, precisely to create a model that will meet the pressure the master’s reform is creating in schools, and we believe that we succeeded in this. At all learning education conferences where the PRANO model has been presented, it has garnered great interest, precisely because it provides so many benefits with so few and simple steps. We have created a structure that works, the students have had time to apply for SIKT, and not least they have had time to get to know the student group from whom they draw empirical evidence and research. One of our questions is how the teacher education system now thinks that the students should acquire empirical experience for their master’s, and what role the schools should have in this. Is it up to the students themselves? The principals? Without a fixed model at the bottom, with teachers who protect their time and primary tasks, and principals who protect their employees, it will be almost impossible for the average student teacher to gather experience for a practical master’s.

The article is in Norwegian

Norway

Tags: ILU practical masters theses

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