Thesis

Identification and assessment of digital competences in primary education

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This thesis describes how teachers and students used online groups for promoting communication in the classrooms. The studies reported in this thesis were framed under the Cultural Historical Activity Theory, which enables us to have an overview of how communicative activities developed over time. In addition, the critical-collaborative research methodology used for developing the studies enables the participants to become subjects of the activities and co-authors of the research design. Our results suggest that, despite in an initial stage and small number of interactions, the use of online groups for educational purposes presents a potential for developing collaboration, argumentation and agency among students and teachers in secondary education.
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Over the past decades, the quality of teaching and learning in higher education has been seriously addressed. Today, teachers in higher education have to deal with increased pressures of accountability, mandated reform efforts to improve instruction and student learning—all the while keeping up the balancing act of research, teaching and services to the community. Associated with these changes, are increasingly complex tasks for university teachers that urge the need for deep interaction and collaboration around teaching to make sense of these challenges. The key idea of this book is that teaching ties (interactions around teaching) matter. Our work shows how the network of people that surrounds university teachers shapes their professional development. In specific, we demonstrate how teaching networks in different stages of development differ, and how networks change over time. In addition, we go one step further by showing that teaching networks can be strengthened. As such, this book deepens our understanding of how higher education institutes may capitalize on interactions among university teachers.
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Contributing to sustainable development remains a challenge for most private companies and many scholars have attempted to identify factors that can facilitate the adaptation process that is needed for effective sustainable practices (hereafter referred to as corporate social responsibility or CSR). This PhD thesis examines the role of learning and human resource development in the CSR adaption process. The key message of this thesis is two-fold. Firstly, because CSR managers are the ones who actually manage the adaptation process they can play a crucial role in this process if they possess the right individual competencies. In order to develop these individual competencies, CSR managers should take ownership of their learning process and seek opportunities to learn with and from others. Secondly, adequate leadership and connecting with external parties are of particular importance to the CSR adaptation process. We hope that by developing the relevant CSR-related competencies, CSR managers will effectively manage the CSR adaptation process and more ambitious sustainability challenges are successfully addressed by private companies.
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