Silent knowledge in the learners' world of experience

Year: 2012

Author: Jonsson, Gunnar, Högström, Per

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Learning is always situated in the children's life-world. The knowledge that the learning give rise to, is in itself a phenomenon with its origins in social contexts. The views and feelings the learner has regarding the context may therefore have impact on the learning that will be enabled. This presentation puts attention to the context of a playful snowball fight as an arena for learning.


The aim is to give voice to children's unspoken but nonetheless expressed thoughts and opinions about having a playful snowball fight. How is this particular context expressed by children?


Children in the age of 11-12, in grade five in an ordinary school class in Northern Sweden were taking part in a playful snowball fight. The children had in advance been given the task of making a drawing that depicted a snowball fight. The "fight" was video recorded and the film was afterwards shown for the children. While watching the film, they could simultaneously comment on what they saw on the film.


In the analysis, three different themes of the context emerged. The first theme could be described as an arena where interactions take place. The second theme as an arena for play and construction, and the third theme as an arena filled with emotions. Short video clips and drawings that illustrate these themes will be shown during the presentation.


The outcome of the study will be discussed in relation to what meaning the context will have for learning and to the importance of really listening to the children, both the pronounced as well as the unspoken sentences. It is a truism that all understanding is contextual. For learning to happen, teaching should proceed from the learner's full world of experience. Therefore the importance to start in the life-world of the children will be emphasized.