The course introduces theories on socialisation and individualisation and develops the students’ ability to analyse issues relating to upbringing and education. Moreover, the course should contribute to developing the students’ research-related skills when working with theory and empirical data.
The objective of the questionnaire is to train the students’ metacognition. In other words, their thoughts regarding how they are thinking. My wish was to plan teaching activities which challenge the students’ understanding. I wanted to ensure that the teaching does not only act as a continuation of the understanding developed by the students during their own practice, but contribute to rendering this understanding more critical, theoretical and academic.
I begin by preparing a brief questionnaire with the following items:
Then I hand out the questionnaire at the teaching session scheduled two weeks before my class on inclusion. The students have 10 to 12 minutes to respond to the items. The students then send their responses to me in an email. I read the responses and process them before the class. From the students’ responses I get an idea of their understanding of inclusion.
As an introduction to my teaching in class, I present the different types of understanding of inclusion appearing from my analysis of the questionnaires. Then I introduce the students to my understanding, referring to field work I have conducted as well as three different theories which explain what inclusion is. Finally, I ask the students to reflect on the following after class:
Through the exercise, the students externalised their own understanding and viewed this from a theoretical perspective in the course. In doing so, they exemplified the difference between a professional understanding of inclusion and inclusion understood from an academic and theoretical perspective. I believe that I was able to discuss the fundamental aspects of this with the students; that when studying educational sociology, they should be careful not to maintain the definitions and understandings derived from their professional degree programme and their own practice.
The objectives of the activity: