JU alumnus wins prize for best essay

This summer, Martin Jakobsen graduated from the Teacher Training Program in grades 4–6 at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University (JU). Martin's essay was awarded yesterday, October 19, for this year's thesis by the Swedish National Centre for Science and Technology Education (NATDID).

Martin Jakobsen together with Fredrik Hedenberg and Linn Hedenskog at Karlstad University, were awarded this year's prize for the best degree project in teacher training, with a focus on science and technology education at NATDID's conference FobasNT23 in Norrköping on18–19 October. At the conference, they presented their work to roughly 80 participating teachers and researchers.

Martin Jakobsen mottar priset.

Andreas Larsson, director of NATDID, givs the award to Martin Jakobsen. Photo: Olivia Hugoo, Linköping University

“Of course I am happy and proud. I am particularly happy that NATDID chose to reward work that examines the students' perspective, that is where pedagogy must always begin,” says Martin Jakobsen.

Creative method to capture students' impressions

In a previous work, Martin found that within sciences, it is the lab work that the students describe as the most engaging. During his final year, Martin wanted to investigate the student perspective on the issue and, with a creative method, got the students to share their perceptions of these lessons. He had 135 students in grades 4-6 draw what a fun or interesting science lab might look like.

Martin Jakobsen, Linn Hedenskog and Fredrik Hedenberg.

The winners Martin Jakobsen, Linn Hedenskog and Fredrik Hedenberg. Photo: Olivia Hugoo, Linköping University.

“Letting students draw their perceptions was both fun for me to implement and it also gave a slightly different result. I would advise others to think a little outside the box when it comes to data collection. I had very inspiring meetings with my supervisor Per Askerlund to find this method. Don’t just carry out your interviews on autopilot - come up with something of your own or talk to the supervisor about how you can make your work more unique, then it will be much more fun,” says Martin.

Martin believes that teachers could focus more on keeping interest in sciences rather than forcing the students to write a log book as standard, although of course they should practice that as well.

Read Martin Jakobsen's essay "Pupils' image of engaging science laboratories
- A qualitative study where middle school students draw their perceptions of a fun or interesting science lab" here. Opens in new window.

(”Elevers bild av engagerande NO-laborationer
- En kvalitativ studie där mellanstadieelever tecknar sina uppfattningar av en rolig eller intressant naturvetenskaplig laboration”)