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Talet om learner autonomy: språkinlärning, autonomi och ett demokratiskt medborgarskap - ett gränsland till moralfilosofi
Örebro University, Department of Education.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The discourse that frames the concept of learner autonomy : language learning, autonomy and democratic citizenship – a borderland to moral philosophy (English)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to clarify a number of meanings embedded in the discourse that frames the concept of learner autonomy and then place special emphasis on the concepts of autonomy and citizenship. In addition the thesis has three subgoals: to revitalize an early political dimension that aims at democratic citizenship, to investigate how the discourse of learner autonomy is expressed in national curricula and in syllabuses in English and French/German/Spanish for the Swedish upper secondary school and to clarify and discuss a number of possible didactic consequences of a revitalized concept of learner autonomy. One specific question asked is if such a revitalization can make the autonomous student visible as a rebellious autonomous student via a narrative. A red thread in the thesis is the pedagogical paradox: How can a goal such as autonomy be promoted when it is the institution that imposes autonomy on the students.

The thesis is comprised of a textual analysis and a case study in the form of a narrative analysis. Both are placed within a critical-pragmatic approach. This approach is linked to a curriculum theory tradition that focuses on the selection of content as it is expressed in the Swedish official governing documents for education. The analysis can be described as a historical, language didactic, political – moral - philosophical and curricular contextualisation.

Five meanings of the discourse of learner autonomy are constructed: Autonomy – a democratic citizenship, Autonomy – efficiency in language learning, The well-adjusted autonomous student, Autonomy, a social context and communication and Autonomy as critical awareness. ‘Autonomy – effi ciency in language learning’ and ‘The well-adjusted autonomous student’ are designated imposed autonomy based on Immanuel Kant. ‘Autonomy – a democratic citizenship’, ‘Autonomy, a social context and communication’ and ‘Autonomy as critical awareness’ are designated experienced autonomy-authenticity based on Charles Taylor. The five meanings are used as points of references in the analysis of the national curricula and syllabuses.

The autonomous student is made visible as a rebellious autonomous student with the help of certain aspects of the concept of freedom, the meaning ‘Autonomy as critical awareness’ and my interpretation of Taylor’s ideas on freedom, autonomy and identity.

The discourse that frames the concept of learner autonomy has had an impact on the syllabuses. It is primarily imposed autonomy that is expressed there, reaching a peak in 1989 in French/Spanish/German. The analysis of the curricula shows that there are parallels to the discourse of learner autonomy. In the overall goals both imposed autonomy and experienced autonomy-authenticity are expressed.

Didactic consequences are discussed under six headings: the pedagogical paradox; the subject-object problematic; the learner as an individual, as a communicator, as a change agent and as a person; imposed autonomy – experienced autonomy-authenticity and the individual versus the collective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek , 2007. , p. 342
Series
Örebro Studies in Education, ISSN 1404-9570 ; 18
Keywords [en]
learner autonomy, autonomy, democratic citizenship, critical pragmatism, curriculum theory, text analysis, narrative analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Social Sciences Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-961ISBN: 978-91-7668-525-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-961DiVA, id: diva2:137494
Public defence
2007-03-09, P2, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-02-16 Created: 2007-02-15 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Rebenius, Inga

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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Output format
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