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  • 1.
    Shevtsov, Stepan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM). KU Leuven, Belgium.
    A Control-theoretic Approach to Realize Self-adaptive Software Systems with Guarantees2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering modern software systems is a challenging task as these systems are subject to different types of uncertainties. Examples of such uncertainties are disturbances in the environment that are difficult to predict and goals that may change during operation. The idea of self-adaptation is to handle these uncertainties at runtime, when the knowledge becomes available to resolve them. As more software systems with strict requirements are designed to be self-adaptive, the need for adaptation guarantees is becoming a high-priority concern. Providing such guarantees with traditional architecture-based approaches has shown to be challenging, calling for new approaches to engineer self-adaptive systems. To tackle this challenge, this thesis studies control-based software adaptation (CBSA). CBSA applies principles from control theory to design self-adaptive software systems. More specifically, we address the following research problem using CBSA: how to realize self-adaptive software systems that satisfy multiple stakeholder requirements with guarantees in the presence of uncertainties.

    The thesis addresses the research problem in two subsequent stages. The first stage focuses on satisfying multiple stakeholder requirements of different types, and providing adaptation guarantees. This stage starts with a systematic literature review of CBSA, which provides a comprehensive overview of the field, including existing CBSA approaches, applied models and controllers, and analyzed guarantees. From the review, we identify a number of gaps in the existing research and concrete challenges in addressing the research problem. Then, we devise SimCA, a control-theoretic approach to realize self-adaptive software systems that satisfy multiple requirements with guarantees. SimCA combines mathematical models of software system, a control-based adaptation mechanism, and formal analysis of the required guarantees. SimCA is also reusable, meaning that it can be applied to a family of cooperative software systems with strict requirements. The second research stage focuses on handling different types of uncertainty.We first discuss the types of uncertainty and study whether existing CBSA approaches try to deal with these types. We then introduce an enhanced approach called SimCA* that includes components to deal with uncertainty in software parameters, addition or removal of requirements at runtime and software component interactions. In order to obtain evidence about the applicability and reusability of SimCA and SimCA*, we apply informal exploratory case studies with three software systems with strict requirements from different domains.

  • 2.
    Sjökvist, Tinh
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Coated Norway Spruce: Influence of Wood Characteristics on Water Sorption and Coating Durability2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Wood used outdoors is often degraded and discoloured by microorganisms as a natural part of its life cycle, particularly when exposed to high levels of moisture for prolonged times. In this case, the application of a coating (i.e. paint) is an option for increasing the service life of the wood.

    Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) is commonly used for outdoor applications in Sweden. Earlier studies have shown that uncoated spruce heartwood is less prone to moisture sorption in outdoor exposure, resulting in lower moisture content (MC) levels, as compared to sapwood. However, studies related to the above mentioned characteristics are rather limited for coated spruce, especially including the influence of outdoor exposure (i.e. weathering).

    The aim of this thesis is, therefore, to increase the knowledge of how heartwood and sapwood of different densities influence on the durability of coated Norway spruce for outdoor use. Different types of coatings with alkyd-, acrylic-, flour- (calcimine paint), or linseed-oil-based resin were included. The objectives were to study the water sorption (including MC variation) behaviour and crack formation of uncoated and coated heartwood and sapwood of different densities.

    Furthermore was an objective to study the microbial growth on the surface of similar samples of coated spruce in outdoor exposure. The used methods included wetting and liquid permeability experiments, accelerated water absorption (with samples floating freely in water), and outdoor field test. The field method lasted between three to five years and involved monitoring of the MC variation, the crack formation and the microbial growth on the samples.

    The results based on wetting measurements using octane as the adsorbed liquid showed no difference in liquid permeability between the spruce heartwood and sapwood samples of comparable densities, and indicated a similar level of pit aspiration (closure). The common flow path between two cells of conifers occurs through the pits. Still, the sapwood samples had in general a clearly higher water sorption rate than heartwood samples. It could be concluded that the increased sorption was presumably caused by a lowered water surface tension, most likely by a contamination effect of the water by surface-active sapwood extractives rather than differences in morphology of heartwood and sapwood.

    However, no clear difference in water absorption and MC levels was seen between coated heartwood and sapwood in the field study or in the accelerated water absorption study. Thus, it is suggested that a coating hinders the surfaceactive extractives to lower the water surface tension, resulting in a similar water absorption behaviour of coated heartwood and sapwood. The influence of density on water sorption of coated spruce was similarly to uncoated spruce, meaning the low-density samples had a higher MC than the high-density samples in the field tests. Furthermore, a one-year weathering of the coated and uncoated samples caused a larger increase in water sorption of high-density heartwood in the accelerated water absorption study.

    The field study on uncoated and calcimine-coated spruce showed a higher number of cracks on the high-density samples than on the low-density samples. Additionally, within each density group, a larger number of cracks were seen on sapwood samples as compared to heartwood samples. High-density samples with an alkyd- or an acrylic coating also showed a higher number of cracks. As expected, the formation of cracks on the samples increased their water sorption significantly. The microbial growth was higher on sapwood than on heartwood samples with a white coloured alkyd coating.

    The main conclusion is that heartwood and sapwood of different densities influence the water sorption and durability of coated Norway spruce. However, the principles in water sorption of uncoated heartwood and sapwood could not be applied to coated samples. Overall, the results point out that low-density heartwood could be the best material combination to improve the durability of coated spruce in outdoor use. The knowledge acquired in this thesis can enable an increased service life of coated spruce in outdoor use. The increase in service life is achieved by a careful selection of the wood material regarding the proportion of heartwood and to the choice of wood density. As a concluding remark, the role of surface-active spruce extractives needs to be explored, and a follow-up investigation in the context of water sorption is suggested for future research.

  • 3.
    Jonsdottir, Sigridur Sia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Effects of perinatal distress, satisfaction in partner relationship and social support on pregnancy and outcome of childbirth2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The aim of this thesis was to achieve a deeper understanding of the situation among women experiencing perinatal distress during pregnancy and childbirth and the effects that dissatisfaction in partner relationship and weak social support from family and friends could have on pregnancy and childbirth.

    Methods: Following screening for perinatal distress, 562 expecting mothers came for a semi-structured interview. This screening, done with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, categorized 360 (64.1%) women into the perinatal distressed group (PDG) and 202 (35.9%) into the non-distressed group (NDG). During the interview women answered the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Data were collected with these instruments for study I. Additional data for the three other studies were gathered from the women´s pregnancy records (II), electronic medical records (II, III), and childbirth records (IV). Results of the four studies were obtained by using descriptive statistics; parametric and nonparametric statistics and regression modeling.

    Results: Women in the PDG were significantly more likely than the NDG to be dissatisfied in their partner relationship, continue smoking during pregnancy, be dissatisfied with division of household tasks and child-rearing, have elementary or lower education, and to be students or unemployed. They were also significantly more likely to experience fatigue, vomiting and pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Women in the PDG who received weak family support reported nausea and heartburn more frequently than those with strong family support. Women in the PDG utilized more antenatal care service and were allocated more part time as well as earlier sick leaves during pregnancy, than those in the NDG. Women in the PDG were significantly more likely to use epidural anesthesia as a single pain management during labor.

    Conclusion: Perinatal distress affects pregnancy and childbirth. It is more common among women who are dissatisfied in their partner relationship and with the division of household tasks and child-rearing. Perception of weak social support also affects pregnancy among distressed women. Distressed women along with their partners and families should be offered support and consultation to relieve distress and strengthen their bonds during pregnancy and childbirth.  

  • 4.
    Zimmer, Björn
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Guided Interaction and Collaborative Exploration in Heterogeneous Network Visualizations2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The visual exploration of large and complex network structures remains a challenge for many application fields, such as systems biology or social sciences. Often, various domain experts would like to work together to improve the analysis time or the quality of the analysis results. Collaborative visualization tools can facilitate the analysis process in such situations. Moreover, a growing number of real world networks are multivariate and often interconnected with each other. Entities in a network may have relationships with elements of other related data sets, which do not necessarily have to be networks themselves, and these relationships may be defined by attributes that can vary greatly. A challenge is to correctly assign the attributes and relations between different data sets and graphs in order to be able to analyze them visually afterwards. The navigation between the resulting visualizations is also difficult. How can users be guided to other interesting data points relevant to their current view and how can this information be additionally displayed in a graph without losing the overview of the data?

    In this dissertation, we propose our new web-based visualization environment OnGraX, which supports distributed, synchronous and asynchronous collaboration of networks and related multivariate data sets. In addition to standard collaboration features like event tracking or synchronizing, our client/server-based system provides a rich set of visualization and interaction techniques for better navigation and overview of the input network. Changes made by specific analysts or even just visited network elements can be highlighted by heat maps, which enable us to visualize user behavior data without affecting the original graph visualization. We evaluate the usability of the heat map approach against two alternatives in a user experiment.

    Additional features of OnGraX include a comprehensive visual analytics approach that supports researchers to specify and subsequently explore attribute-based relationships across networks, text documents, and derived secondary data. Our approach provides an individual search functionality based on keywords and semantically similar terms over an entire text corpus to find related network nodes. For examining these nodes in the interconnected network views, we introduce a new interaction technique, called Hub2Go, which facilitates the navigation by guiding the user to the information of interest. To showcase these features, we use a large text corpus collected from papers listed in the IEEE VIS publications data set (1990--2015) that consists of 2,752 documents. We analyze relationships between various heterogeneous networks, a Bag-of-Words index, and a word similarity matrix, all derived from the initial corpus and metadata. We also propose a design for the interactive specification of degree-of-interest functions, which can be used to provide and evaluate configurations for guidance based on network attributes and logged user data in heterogeneous networks.

  • 5.
    Lindblad, Fredrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Identifying drivers and barriers for market growth within the industry producing wooden multi-family houses: Land allocation process for future growth2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    At present, Sweden is experiencing a housing shortage, which Swedish authorities expect to continue until at least 2025. Producers of wooden multi-family houses have a relatively small market share compared to those who use traditional building materials. Limited ability to meet the increased building demand restricts possibilities for development regarding innovation, bio-economy and sustainability.

     

    Swedish municipalities are responsible for planning the building development in their regions based on their projected requirements and strategies. Combining this with a desire to develop sustainable building solutions based on wood increases complexity in the public procurement process. Currently, public building developments are achieved through the Public Procurement Act or land-allocation activity, depending on the development strategy. This normally involves developing local strategies regarding, e.g. design, material choice and geographical development. Identifying drivers and barriers in the industry and market enables improved market entry activities related to public building initiatives using wood-based solutions. Hence, improving transparency in land-allocation activity generates possibilities for companies to respond successfully to requests from municipalities. This knowledge is used to better understand the required strategic development for companies, the government and municipalities to increase use of sustainable building materials such as wood in Swedish multi-family housing projects.

     

    Results show that the industry experiences barriers associated with municipalities' actions and knowledge related to wood as a building solution. Further, concrete’s strength as a building material is an issue, since municipalities tend to opt for familiar solutions. Furthermore, the way in which municipalities manage land-allocation activity is perceived as insufficient, with limited information, a subjective evaluation process, and uncertainties regarding their roles in the process. These factors contribute to ambiguity and sub-optimisation for developers proposing wood-based building solutions.

  • 6.
    Hanell, Fredrik
    Lund University, Sweden.
    Lärarstudenters digitala studievardag: Informationslitteracitet vid en förskollärarutbildning2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation reports on an investigation into how digital tools are used, negotiated and given meaning in Swedish pre-school teacher education. The overall aim has been to create a deeper understanding of how students’ information literacies are enacted when digital tools are used and appropriated in the daily life at a pre-school teacher education, in relation to conceptions of the digitalisation of teacher education in national policy. A netnographical study at a pre-school teacher education was conducted between 2012 and 2015. The study generated online material, mainly from a Facebook Group used by students and teacher, and field notes from participant observations, transcribed interviews and a field diary. Through application of a socio-cultural perspective on information literacy, the netnographical material was analysed using the concepts appropriation and identity. To analyse the discursive level, four national policy documents with demands for increased digital competence in teacher education were analysed using Carol Bacchi’s ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ approach.

    The findings show how views on learning and identity interact with the materiality of the digital tools and the enabling and constraining properties of the local learning environment when information literacies are enacted. The identity position discussion-oriented student is connected to how the Facebook Group is appropriated as a relation-building tool and a relational information literacy. This type of information literacy entails a view on learning as co-learning, rooted in the historical development of pre-school teacher education, and a non-hierarchical understanding of teacher and student roles. The identity positions goal-oriented student and customer-oriented student are connected to how the Facebook Group is appropriated as a collaborative problem-solving tool and a pragmatic information literacy. This form of information literacy reflects instrumental and neoliberal views on learning, and a traditional understanding of teacher and student roles. The policy analysis shows how an economic and competitive perspective underpins demands for increased digital competence in teacher education, and how the value of digital tools for learning and teaching is taken for granted. The idea of co-learning, that is found to be influential but not fully accepted at the pre-school teacher education, is difficult to combine with an economic perspective emphasising measurability and quantification. The economic perspective is partly compatible with a pragmatic information literacy. The findings of the dissertation shed light on the gap between what is described as important in policy documents and what teacher students and teachers describe as important when digital tools are used in teacher education.

  • 7.
    Sjöstrand Öhrfelt, Magdalena
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Ord och inga visor: konstruktioner av förskolebarnet i kunskapsekonomin2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Historically, changes in preschool policy have been legitimized in relation to ideas about the preschool child and the various problems that the education of this child is supposed to be able to “solve”. From an early age, children have been considered the most effective tool for dealing with a variety of social, economic or environmental issues of central importance for maintaining and developing society.

    Against this background, the purpose of this thesis is to examine representations of the preschool child in different policy texts (textbooks, research- and educational policy) related to changing requirements and targets affecting contemporary Swedish preschools. Discursive constructions of the preschool child are considered as important central aspects, used to legitimize political reforms in accordance with pedagogical ideas and prevailing social contexts. The thesis focuses on the tensions within contemporary constructions of the preschool child in the so-called “knowledge economy”: i.e. the tensions between a competent child, who is both able and willing to take advantage of education, and a “newcomer” – the vulnerable child – in need of obtaining the benefits of education in order to be able to cope with the future.

    The simultaneously competent and vulnerable preschool child is thus an efficiently designed target for the interests of economic transnational organizations viewing education mainly in terms of human capital development, as well as an important factor for economic competitiveness.

    In the thesis’ final analysis, I study how the OECD, EU and IEA are developing methods for measuring and evaluating the results of preschool education, with the intention of being able to "streamline" it by finding universally successful concepts that are both cost-effective and of high quality. The construction of the preschool child as simultaneously competent and vulnerable is used to legitimize shifts in power over the definition of the Swedish preschool agenda, the fundamental ideas of what preschool is about, what its aims are, and for whom it is intended. As these ideas are disguised as being the result of supposedly "objective" forces far from the ideological contradictions of the political sphere, a critical discussion concerning the goals and aims of early childhood education becomes almost impossible to achieve.

  • 8.
    Thulin, Johanna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Putting words to child physical abuse: Possible consequences, the process of disclosure, and effects of treatment. From children’s perspectives2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim of the thesis is to explore the experiences and possible consequences concerning reported health and relations between a parent perpetrator of physical child abuse and the children who are victims of the parental physical abuse, the children’s thoughts when disclosing the abuse, and the impact of an intervention designed to support these children in a Swedish context – Combined Parent Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT). Methods: This thesis has a mix-method design. Study I and IV used different self-assessment scales, and the outcomes were analysed using descriptive statistics, paired-samples t test, independent t test, ANOVA, Pearson correlations, and hierarchical linear regression. Study II and III consisted of interviews with 15 (Study II) and 20 (Study III) children, respectively. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The results suggest that experiencing child physical abuse affects the relationship between a parent and a child as well as the child’s wellbeing in several ways. However, the results also suggest that participating in the CPC-CBT intervention could decrease parents’ use of violence and increase the child’s wellbeing. In addition, the results suggest that trust and participation influence whether a child discloses abuse and contributes to the success of treatment. Conclusion: The CPC-CBT could be seen as a successful turning point for the participating children, shifting from one trajectory (living in fear of violence) to another (living without fear). Furthermore, when children disclose to adults about their physical abuse, it is important that the adults recognise the children’s participatory rights and strive to earn their trust.

  • 9.
    Ståhlkrantz, Katarina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Rektors pedagogiska ledarskap: en kritisk policyanalys2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The pedagogical leadership is regarded as the most significant of the principal ́s duties. Because there is no clear definition of pedagogical leadership as a concept, it may be difficult for the principal to know how to practice it. Various versions of the concept’s meaning are currently circulating, in turn offering different norms to relate to and act upon. This doctoral thesis takes its point of departure from the policy proposal of a Rektorslyft in the Swedish national budget of 2011, as a solution to the problem that principals were not considered to be good enough pedagogical leaders. The study is designed as a critical policy analysis, with a curriculum theory framework and a critical interpretative perspective. The critical approach is directing focus towards the steering of the school. Further, a poststructuralist perspective adds a discursive approach to the study. The empirical material consists of a selection of official education policy documents, mainly governmental official reports. The aim of the study is to examine and analyse how the pedagogical leader is discursively constructed in official education government documents, what changes and stabilities can be distinguished in these discursive constructions over time and how these can be understood and explained. Bacchi ́s WPR-method and Foucault ́s genealogy is used as a methodological framework for the text analysis. The result shows six discursive breakpoints in the construction of the pedagogical leader from the 1950s to 2010s. These breakpoints have a close relationship to changes in school steering. Principals’ pedagogical leadership can therefore be regarded as a policy to legitimise new steering reforms. The result further indicates that principals from the 1950s to 2010s were given a clearer personal responsibility within the pedagogical leadership. The changes identified through the critical policy analysis can be explained by the context and policy streams. The text analysis also indicated stabilities in the discursive construction of the pedagogical leader. These stabilities can be explained by traditions and school structures. Hopefully, this study has contributed to a better and deepened understanding of principals’ pedagogical leadership, as well as have given the concept an empirical and theoretical basis.

  • 10.
    Svensson, Anders
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Räddningsaktörers tidiga närvaro vid akuta situationer på svensk landsbygd2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim was to describe the first responders´ (FRs) experiences ofarriving early at emergency situations in rural areas in Sweden and the characteristicfeatures of the assignments they encounter. The four studies aimed to: describe critical incidents in which ambulance nurses experience worry in their professional life and the actions they take in order to prevent and cope with it (I), explore and describe experiences of the First Incident Person (FIP) assignment within an Fire Department (FD) (II), describe experiences of the While Waiting for the Ambulance (WWFA) assignment, as experienced by home healthcare nurses (III) and map out and describe WWFA assignments focusing on frequency, event time,CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and survival >30 days after performed CPR (IV).

    Methods: The four studies in this thesis had both descriptive and explorative designs. They were analysed with qualitative and quantitative analysis methods.

    Results: By dispatching FRs in rural areas an early presence at the scene of anaccident or emergency situation can be secured, which prevent full scenarios to happen and increase the possibility to save lives. However, FRs are worried about specific emergency situations as well as situations related to their work environment.Leaving ongoing work tasks cause ethical dilemmas and inner emotional worries why support before, during and after an FR assignment is sought for.

    Conclusions: Generating effective interprofessional collaboration during FR assignment requires that the FRs work conditions are adopted to the assignment requirements for immediate response. The feeling of security disappears when the FRs are excluded from the group affiliation and the need to feel support in new interprofessional collaboration structures becomes clear. Support function based on individual requests is to be designed. Continuous collaborative exercises are required where all involved FRs participate.

  • 11.
    Kucher, Kostiantyn
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Sentiment and Stance Visualization of Textual Data for Social Media2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Rapid progress in digital technologies has transformed the world in many ways during the past few decades, in particular, with the new means of communication such as social media. Social media platforms typically rely on textual data produced or shared by the users in multiple timestamped posts. Analyses of such data are challenging for traditional manual methods that are unable to scale up to the volume and the variety of the data. While computational methods can partially address these challenges, they have to be used together with the methods developed within information visualization and visual analytics to gain knowledge from the text data by using interactive visual representations.

    One of the most interesting aspects of text data is related to expressions of sentiments and opinions. The corresponding task of sentiment analysis has been studied within computational linguistics, and sentiment visualization techniques exist as well. However, there are gaps in research on the related task of stance analysis, dedicated to subjectivity that is not expressible only in terms of sentiment. Research on stance is an area of interest in linguistics, but support by computational and visual methods has been limited so far. The challenges related to definition, analysis, and visualization of stance in textual data call for an interdisciplinary research effort. The StaViCTA project addressed these challenges with a focus on written text in English. The corresponding results in the area of visualization are reported in this work, based on multiple publications.

    The main goal of this dissertation is to define, categorize, and implement means for visual analysis of sentiment and stance in textual data, in particular, for social media. Our work is based on the theoretical framework and automatic classifier of stance developed by our project collaborators, involving multiple non-exclusive stance categories such as certainty and prediction. We define a design space for sentiment and stance visualization techniques based on literature surveys. We discuss multiple visualization and visual analytics approaches developed by us to facilitate the underlying research on stance analysis, data collection and annotation, and visual analysis of sentiment and stance in real-world text data from several social media sources. The work described in this dissertation was carried out in cooperation with domain experts in linguistics and computational linguistics, and our approaches were validated with case studies, expert user reviews, and critical discussion. The results of this work open up further opportunities for research in text visualization and visual text analytics. The potential application areas are academic research, business intelligence, social media monitoring, and journalism.

  • 12.
    Johansson, Maria C.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    The institutionalisation of validation and the transformation of vocational knowledge: The case of admission into Vocational Teacher Education in Sweden2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis was to understand the validation of vocational knowledge prior to entry into vocational teacher education in Sweden with regard to conceptions and understandings of vocational knowledge, and also to understand how institutional conditions, such as ideas of how to organise validation, influence the content and form of the validation practice. From this aim the following research questions were developed: What ideas about the organisation of validation stand out in the policy and practice of validation? What conceptions and understandings of vocational knowledge is the organisation of validation built on and what do they entail? Who has the agency to describe and decide upon vocational knowledge in the policy and practice of validation? What institutional arrangements appear in the practice of validation?

    To conduct the studies in the thesis a multimethods approach was adopted, combining policy analysis and interviews. For theoretical support, new institutional theories were used and also theories of knowledge. The results revealed that the regulative elements of validation have transformed vocational knowledge to fit a frame similar to formal education. In terms of norms and values, it appears as if validation is more of a social and economic project than one of accounting for vocational knowledge and vocational pride. Cultural/cognitive matters that are taken for granted when considering vocational knowledge differ quite significantly between agents involved in validation. Validation of vocational knowledge exhibits a conceptual confusion having different conceptions of knowledge simultaneously at play. This confusion blurs the boundaries between concepts of knowledge, learning, and the learning context. In the complexity of ideas of how to organise validation and different knowledge conceptions, institutional arrangements appear to be based on a sense of belonging, either to academia or to the trade. The agency of those with vocational knowledge is limited in several ways within validation.

  • 13.
    Roos, Helena
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    The meaing(s) of inclusion in mathematics in student talk: Inclusion as a topic when students talk about learning and teaching in mathematics2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis contributes to research and practice within the field of special education in mathematics with more knowledge about, and an understanding of, students´ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics education. Three research questions guide the study: What meaning(s) is/are ascribed, and how is inclusion used, in mathematics education research? What meaning(s) do the students ascribe to inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching? And what frames students´ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching?The first part of this study began with a systematic literature review on the notion of inclusion in mathematics education research, and the search resulted in 1,296 research studies. Of these, 76 studies were retained after the criteria for time span and peer-reviewed research were applied and 19 duplicates had been removed. The second part of the study involves a case study of three students and their meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics education. The selected school was a lower secondary school in an urban area of Sweden. The school had set out to work inclusively, meaning their aims were to include all students in the ordinary classroom teaching in every subject and to incorporate special education into the ordinary teaching with no fixed special education groups. Three students were chosen for this part of the study: one in Grade 7 and two in Grade 8. Edward, one of the students in Grade 8, was chosen because he was thought to be a student in access to mathematics education. The other two students were chosen because they were thought to be struggling to gain access to mathematics education: Veronica in Grade 7 and Ronaldo in Grade 8 (the same class as Edward). In this study, the object of the study is the meaning(s) of inclusion in student talk. This study is an instrumental and collective case (Stake, 1995), as it involves several students’ meaning(s) aimed at developing a more general understanding of inclusion in mathematics education. The case is also an information-rich case (Patton, 2002), with contributions from students in mathematics education at an inclusive school. Applying Flyvbjerg’s (2006; 2011) notions, one can also call this kind of selection “information-oriented”, and the case is an extreme one – a choice made in order to get “a best case scenario”. An extreme case is a case used to “obtain information on unusual cases  which can be especially problematic or especially good in a more closely defined sense” (Flyvbjerg, 2011, p. 307). The data in this study consists of both observations and interviews conducted during the spring semester 2016. The observations took place in a Grade 7 and Grade 8 classroom at the same school where the interviewed students were enrolled. At least one mathematics lesson each month for each class was observed, and student interviews followed each observation. The observations were used to provide a context for the interviews and to support the analysis. In this study, discourse analysis (DA) as described by Gee (2014a; 2014b) was chosen as both the theoretical frame and as an analytical tool because of its explanatory view on discourse, with description foregrounded. With the help of DA, this study describes both the meaning(s) and the use of the notion of inclusion in mathematics education research. It also describes students’ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics education as well as framing issues in student talk of inclusion in mathematics education. From Gee´s point of view, DA encompasses all forms of interaction, both spoken and written, and he provides a toolkit for analysing such interaction by posing questions to the text. Gee distinguishes two theoretical notions, big and small discourses, henceforth referred to as Discourse (D) and discourse (d). Discourse represents a wider context, both social and political, and is constructed upon ways of saying, doing, and being: “If you put language, action, interaction, values, beliefs, symbols, objects, tools, and places together in such a way that other recognize you as a particular type of who (identity) engaged in a particular type of what (activity), here and now, then you have pulled of a Discourse” (Gee, 2014 a, p. 52, Gee’s italics). When looking at discourse (with a small d), it focuses on language in use – the “stretches of language” we can see in the conversations we investigate (Gee, 2014a, 2014b), meaning the relations between words and sentences and how these relations visualize the themes within the conversations. These small discourses can inform on how the language is used, what typical words and themes are visible, and how the speakers or writers design the language. According to Gee (2015), big Discourse sets a larger context for the analysis of small discourse. The results of the first part of the study answer to the research question, What meaning(s) is ascribed, and how is inclusion used in mathematics education research? They show that research on inclusion in mathematics education use the term inclusion when both referring to an ideology and a way of teaching, although these two uses are usually treated separately and independently of each other. The results of the second part of the study answer to the following research questions: What meaning(s) do the students ascribe to inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching? And what frames students´ meaning(s) of inclusion in mathematics learning and teaching? These questions show how meaning(s) of inclusion in student talk can be described by three overarching Discourses: the Discourse of mathematics classroom setting, of assessment, and of accessibility in mathematics education. Within these Discourses, smaller discourses make issues of meanings of inclusion for the students visible in terms of: testing, grades, tasks, the importance of the teacher, (not) being valued, the dislike of mathematics, the classroom organization, and being in a small group. This study shows the complexities and challenges of teaching mathematics, all while simultaneously handling students’ diversity and promoting the mathematical development of each student. To enhance students’ participation and access demands that the teacher knows her or his students, is flexible, has a pedagogical stance and tactfulness, and is knowledgeable in mathematics and mathematics education. It also demands that the teacher is able to take a critical stance and resist the prevailing discourse of assessment that can sometimes overshadow the mathematics education, and in a sense, almost become mathematics for the students. Furthermore, this study also shows how complex and challenging it is to be a mathematics student: they are required to relate to, understand, and participate in many Discourses existing at the same time in a single mathematics classroom. These Discourses interrelate and are embedded in power relations between students and teachers and institutions. This demands that the students are alert and able to use various symbols and objects as well as recognize patterns, and then act accordingly. Hence, to be able to fully participate, you have to be able to talk the talk and walk the walk (Gee, 2014a). This means that not only do you have to use the language correctly, but also you have to act properly at the right time and place.

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