Patrik Johansson

Patrik Johansson


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A, plan 3,4,5
Room P 514
Postal address Institutionen för de humanistiska och samhällsvetenskapliga ämnenas didaktik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I continued my PhD-studies in the fall of 2016 after having finished my licentiate dissertation in 2014. Besides continuing the research I teach at Globala gymnasiet, an upper secondary school in Stockholm. I teach history, social studies, philosophy and English. My field of research is history teaching and I am interested in investigating students' learning of historical sourcing, that is the interpretative work with original historical sources of various kinds. Previously, I conducted a Learning study where the object of learning was students' learning of interepreting and using historical original sources in enquiry work. In my continued research the focus is on investigating primary school pupils' work with, and learning in relation to, original sources and material artefacts. The primary school curriculum in Sweden states that one purpose of the history subject is that pupils should understand the nature of historical knowledge is, and learn how historical original sources are the basis for historical narratives. The function of the sources is to "narrate aspects of the past", in connection to peoples' living conditions and cultural encounters. The curriculum suggests that a variety of artefatcs should be used in the teaching; archaelogical objects, letters, diarys, documents and archival materials. The sources should be used as evidence for inferences about living conditions. The question I deal with is what this learning entails, and what challenges follows for the students in relation to this learning? What does it mean that sources "narrate aspects of the past"? What opportunities can be found in working with original sources with younger children? How can artefacts and objects create curiosity for the past, provide perspectives and knowledge about the past?


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Patrik Johansson. Nordidactica (1), 78-104

    The article contributes with knowledge of primary school pupils’ learning of historical enquiry with an intercultural perspective on the Viking age and investigates what it means for pupils to learn to interpret archaeological artefacts. Research was conducted as a Learning study with 10 and 11-year-old pupils and lessons were performed as historical enquiry with archaeological artefacts. Three questions are posed: (1) how were the pupils’ historical consciousness activated by the archaeological artefacts, (2) how did the pupils experience the task of interpreting archaeological artefacts with an intercultural perspective, and (3) what are critical aspects for this learning? Three variation patterns that activated pupils’ historical consciousness are identified, including (a) material, (b) cultural and (c) normative contrasts. Four perception categories for historical interpretation of archaeological artefacts and three critical aspects are also identified. It is suggested that it is critical for the pupils to discern (i) historicity, (ii) historical representativeness and (iii) intercultural interaction in relation to artefacts and historical narratives. The study suggests that teachers could start from archaeological artefacts to activate pupils’ historical consciousness, rather than from textbook narratives and that pupils’ perceptions should be seen as a resource in enabling historical learning. Also, historical enquiry appears to be a reasonable approach to teaching intercultural perspectives on a historical content. These findings can be valuable for history educators and researchers who engage in teaching historical enquiry with an intercultural perspective from material culture.

  • 2019. Patrik Johansson. History Education Research Journal 16 (2)

    The article aims to explore how learning historical interpretation of Viking age archaeological artefacts from an intercultural perspective could be facilitated through historical enquiry in primary school. Three design principles were formulated for the teaching: 1) enquiry based upon an authentic intercultural question, 2) enquiry with a focus on source interpretation, and 3) enquiry using material culture in the form of archaeological artefacts. Two questions were addressed: first, how did the teaching design and practice facilitate the intended learning, and second, what obstacles to learning were encountered as a result of the design? Research data was analysed qualitatively using content-focused conversation analysis and variation theory. The findings in relation to the first question indicated that the design principles helped teachers facilitate learning through historical enquiry from an intercultural perspective, and that archaeological artefacts can inspire investigations into history by activating pupils’ historical consciousness. The answer to the second question indicated that pupils had difficulties responding to historical enquiries with synthesised inferences based on historical evidence. A revision of the final phase of the enquiry suggests that focus is on discussing reasonable explanations in relation to artefacts, rather than synthesising historical inferences based on evidence. This study points to possibilities of teaching historical interpretation and intercultural perspectives through historical enquiry in primary school and suggests that archaeological artefacts can be used to initiate historical learning.

  • 2018. Patrik Johansson, Cecilia Axelsson Yngvéus. Historiedidaktik i praktiken, 101-124

    Att undervisa i historia på mellanstadiet är både roligt och utmanande. Ämnet kan göras medryckande med hjälp av färgstarka händelser och personer. Eleverna kan leva sig in i levnadsvillkor under andra tider och betrakta sina egna liv som en del av historiens gång. Föreställningarna om dåtid, nutid och framtid samspelar med varandra, och det är lärarens uppdrag att hjälpa eleverna att utveckla sin förmåga att relatera de olika tidsskikten till varandra. Detta är viktigt men inte alltid enkelt, och historieundervisningen ställer höga krav på både lärare och elever. Historiedidaktik i praktiken – För lärare 4–6 är en introduktion till undervisning i historia i grundskolans årskurs 4–6 och tydligt grundad i historiedidaktisk teoribildning. Resonemangen i boken är praktiknära och knyter an till kursplanen i historia för grundskolan.

  • 2019. Patrik Johansson. NOFA7 Abstracts, 104-104

    A current challenge in history education is to counteract the construction of strong ethnocentric master-narratives which may limit pupils’ understandings of the dynamics of history in terms of migration and cultural encounters (Rüsen, 2004). One approach is to develop pupils’ intercultural competencies, i.e. their abilities to interact appropriately in intercultural situations, using intercultural knowledge, skills and attitudes to orient themselves in the world (Deardorff, 2006). History education has a role to play in enabling the development of these competencies through intercultural historical learning (Nordgren and Johansson, 2015). The paper tests the relevance and effectiveness of three design principles through their operationalisations as teaching in enabling the learning of intercultural perspectives on the Viking age in historical inquiry with archaeological artefacts in primary school, years 4 and 5. The design principles connect archaeological artefacts to historical inquiry, contextual facts and evidence. Two research questions are addressed: how do the operationalisations of the design principles enable learning and how may operationalisations impede learning? The research project was designed and carried out by a group consisting of one researcher (the presenter) and three experienced teachers from three schools (56 pupils from three classes) in Stockholm, Sweden. The study is framed as educational design research and data was analysed qualitatively with content-focused conversation analysis and variation theory. Hence, learning is understood as changed co-participation in the practice of historical inquiry (Rogoff, 2003) and as discernment of aspects of the learning object (Marton, 2015). During the research lessons, the pupils investigated the past by seeking answers to a historical inquiry question through the interpretation of archaeological artefacts. Based on previous research (Levstik, Henderson, and Lee, 2014) the research group assumed that starting form material culture in the form of archaeological artefacts would be beneficial in teaching intercultural perspectives to young learners. An intervention in the form of research lessons and associated tools were designed and implemented. The findings indicate that the design principles are relevant in enabling learning (connecting intercultural archaeological artefacts to inquiry, connecting artefacts to context and exploring multiple artefacts). It is suggested that the final step in the enquiry sequence is revised to put focus on historical reasoning rather than on historical evidence. The study points to possibilities in teaching intercultural historical perspectives through historical inquiry in primary school and archaeological artefacts can be powerful in initiating historical reasoning.

  • 2018. Patrik Johansson. In session: Identity Development and Humanities Instruction, Sat, April 14, 2:15 to 3:45pm, Millennium Broadway New York Times Square

    The paper reports from a Swedish action research project in year 4 and 5 in elementary school concerning encounters and migration in Viking age Scandinavia. The purpose is to examine what it means for elementary school children to learn to interpret and use original sources in a historical inquiry. Two questions are addressed: how do students perceive the process of interpreting original sources in a historical inquiry, and what are critical aspects of the learning of historical source interpretation? The qualitative analysis shows that students’ perceptions can be grouped into five progressing categories. Based on these four critical aspects are identified, i.e. aspects that are necessary to discern and particularly difficult for the students to learn.

  • 2017. Anja Thorsten, Patrik Johansson. Undervisningsutvecklande forskning - exemplet Learning study, 31-44
  • 2017. Patrik Johansson, Anja Thorsten. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies 6 (1), 45-55

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss experiences, in terms of challenges and opportunities, of teacher-researchers who engage in research on the learning study approach. The following two questions will be addressed: how can the teaching experience influence, and become an asset, in the research process and what challenges do teachers face when they enter the research practice?

    Each question will be explored through some empirically grounded themes. The analysis is based on experiences from participation in a PhD program, where learning study was used as a method and variation theory was the main theoretical framework. One learning study was focusing on creative writing in primary school and the other was focusing on historical primary source analysis in upper secondary school.

    The first question is addressed through the following themes: choosing and identifying research problems; planning and conducting research lessons; analyzing research lessons and students’ learning; and process of self-reflection, and the second question through: teaching as an object of research; to use and develop theories; and communication and review in research. The findings indicate that learning study is a practice-based research approach where teaching experience and academic skills are intertwined in many ways. Both approaches bring opportunities as well as challenges.

    The paper is expected to contribute insights and knowledge about the advantages, as well as hindrances to overcome, for teacher-researchers who use learning study as a research method. The results can also be related to the performing of action research in teachers’ classroom practice.

  • 2017. Patrik Johansson. Educational action research 25 (1), 167-181

    There is a demand for educational research that addresses questions found in teachers’ practice. This line of research can be referred to as practitioner research, and it is motivated by the realisation that teacher professionalism is one of the most in uential factors in determining student achievement. One question is whether the primary purpose of practitioner research should be to improve teaching practices, or to contribute to theoretical knowledge. Some argue that the primary concern should be contributions to changing practices, whereas others suggest that contributions to theory are equally important. The purpose of the article is to discuss how Learning study, regarded as a clinical research practice, can contribute to developing teaching practices and theory of history didactics in conjunction. Learning study is commonly described as an interventionist, iterative and collaborative research approach, focusing on the teaching of an object of learning, which in this case was the learning of primary source analysis in history. Examples of how the Learning study contributed to practice and theory are presented. Contributions include the suggestion that knowing primary source analysis involves the ability to distinguish and separate three critical aspects in a temporal, human and contextual dimension, and that the students’ personal perspectives are vital and should be regarded in the design of tasks and teaching. Based on the ndings it is argued that practitioner research could aim at developing educational practices in conjunction with contributions to theory, and that practice and theory are necessarily entwined in the research process.

  • 2018. Patrik Johansson (et al.).

    Migration och kulturmöten är centrala i historieundervisningen och av stor betydelse för att ge elever förståelse för att möten mellan människor formar historiska skeenden. Carolina K Mossfeldt, Per Sahlström, Kristina Wilhelmsson och Patrik Johansson ville komma från en undervisning som utgår från etniska grupper och nationsgränser, och istället sätta platser och historiska artefakter i centrum. Därför undersökte de hur historiska källor från olika kulturer kan möjliggöra att elever ser migration och kulturmöten under vikingatiden. De utvecklade ett redskap som satte källorna i centrum, och kunde se hur eleverna utvecklade sin förmåga att tolka källorna som representativa för historiska fenomen och se rationella aktörer som samverkade genom handel.

  • 2014. Patrik Johansson. Nordidactica (2), 180-207

    The article uses a form of content focused conversation analysis to explore processes of learning and attributing meaning when upper secondary students work with two primary source assignments in history. Empirical data was collected through audio recordings of students’ collaborative work on the assignments, which consisted in analysing two primary sources in small groups. The article addresses one primary research question: what is characteristic for the processes of learning and meaning-making when students work with two source analysis assignments? As a first step, the students’ learning processes, understood as a change in participation in the learning activity, are described. As a second step, the article describes how the students’ construct meaning when working with the primary sources. The main results are descriptions of the students’ learning, and meaning-making, processes. Based on the analysis of the students’ conversations it is suggested that the temporal aspect is discerned in a contrastive process between the present and the past in terms of values, ideas and societal conditions. In relation to the human aspect the students experienced a difficult balancing act in contrasting their own perspective with the historical actor’s perspective. However, a successful strategy was to take on the role of hypothetical historical agents. Finally, in relation to the contextual aspect once the students were involved in a process of inquiry and reasoning they managed to discern subtexts of the sources in relation to the historical context. It is suggested that certain aspects of school culture might inhibit the students’ learning of primary source analysis, as they occasionally strive to find the "right answers" rather than engaging in interpretative work. One interesting finding was the vital role of the students’ life-world perspective in creating meaning while working with the primary sources, and it is suggested that this perspective should be regarded in educational design.

  • 2014. Patrik Johansson (et al.).

    This licentiate thesis explores the activity of historical reasoning in terms of primary source analysis among upper secondary school students. The thesis is a compilation of two scientific articles in history didactics. Two Learning studies, a theory-informed and interventionistic research methodology, were organised to explore historical reasoning. Three research questions are ad- dressed: (1) what does it mean to be able to analyse historical primary sources, (2) what is critical to discern when learning primary source analysis, and (3) what is characteristic for the processes of learning and meaning- making when students work with source analysis assignments? The first article uses phenomenography to explore fifteen students’ perceptions of a historical primary source and the difficulties they face when examining the source. Data was collected through a series of group interviews where stu- dents were asked to respond to a historical letter. The analysis resulted in four qualitatively different categories of perceptions of the source and three critical aspects that emerged between the categories. It is suggested that it is critical to (1) discern and separate the historical perspective, (2) to discern and separate the perspective of the historical actor and (3) to discern and separate the subtext of the source in relation to the historical context. The second article uses a form of content focused conversation analysis to ex- plore the processes of learning and attributing meaning when students work with primary sources. Data was collected through audio recordings of stu- dents’ collaborative work on two assignments. The main results are descrip- tions of the students’ learning and meaning making processes. For instance, when students discern and separate the historical perspective and historical actors’ perspectives. An interesting finding was a strategy used by students to take on the roles of hypothetical historical agents. It is suggested that cer- tain aspects of school culture might inhibit students’ learning of primary source analysis and that students’ life-world perspective is vital in creating meaning. Finally, historical reasoning is discussed in relation to the concept of historical consciousness and it is argued that historical reasoning should include the perspectives of deconstruction, subjectivity and interpretation to better comply with history teaching.

  • 2014. Patrik Johansson. Symposium paper presented at ECER 2014 in Porto, Portugal - The Past, the Present and the Future of Educational Research.Part of session 27 SES 07 A, How Can a Clinical Research Approach Contribute to Knowledge Building in The Teaching Profession? Symposium Time:2014-09-0317:15-18:45.Discussant: Jacquelien Bulterman-Bos & Marilyn Cochran-Smith

    The aim of this presentation is to show how results from a Learning study can contribute to knowledge building in the academic field of history didactics, regarding 16-17-year olds’ learning of primary source analysis. The research interest emerged from learning issues identified in practice by history teachers, but the question is topical in history didactics as well. The identified object of learning was the students’ ability to critically analyse and contextualise historical primary sources. A Learning study (Runesson et al, 2012), which is a theory-informed and interventionistic research methodology, was organised to explore the object of learning. A disciplinary approach to history teaching was adopted for assignments and lessons (Seixas et al, 2012). One result was the identification of three critical aspects of primary source analysis, e.g. that it is critical for the students to discern the subtext of the source. Critical aspects can be used for design purposes, but also to explore the students’ learning process, thus generating didactical knowledge. The paper exemplifies two such contributions through one of the critical aspects: firstly, how the critical aspect is discerned in social interaction, and secondly, how meaning is constructed in relation to the critical aspect.

  • 2014. Patrik Johansson. Faglig kunnskap i skole og lærerutdanning, 90-112

    The article uses phenomenography to explore how fifteen upper secondary school students perceive a historical primary source in an interpretative process, and the difficulties the students encounter when examining the source. Empirical data was collected through a series of group interviews where students were asked to respond to a historical letter. Three research questions are addressed: Firstly, how do students experience, or perceive, the historical primary source? Secondly, what is critical for the students to discern when they interpret the historical source? Thirdly, what does knowing how to interpret historical primary sources actually mean? The phenomenographic analysis of the interview material resulted in four qualitatively different categories of experiences of the historical source that the students examined. The first category constitutes a temporal dimension of experiences, the second a human dimension, the third a contextual dimension and the fourth category can be seen as an epistemological dimension. The main results, however, are three critical aspects that emerge between the four categories of experiences. The analysis shows, firstly, that it is critical to discern how temporal perspectives affect the way we interpret historical sources. Secondly, that it is critical for the students to discern the historical perspective on the source. Secondly, that it is critical for them to discern the perspective of historical actors. And thirdly, that it is critical for them to discern the subtext of the source in relation to the historical context. Based on the three critical aspects and their meanings, the meaning of knowing how to interpret historical primary sources is discussed, as well as the possible consequences for the teaching of history.

  • 2017. Patrik Johansson.

    Patrik Johansson och lärarkollegorna upptäckte att eleverna sökte alltför enkla förklaringar till historiska händelser. Eleverna tenderade att fokusera ett fåtal aktörer med tydliga avsikter som agerade inom tvingande strukturer. Risken är att historiska fenomen framträder som oundvikliga. Lärarna bestämde sig för att arbeta med begreppen aktör, struktur och historiesyn för att öva eleverna att formulera komplexa historiska förklaringar.

  • 2016. Patrik Johansson. SO-didaktik (2), 6-9

    Krönikan är en reflektion över hur arkeologiska föremål och artefakter i form av hällbilder kan öppna historieämnet för tolkningar av forntiden som något annat än en statisk, homogen och mytologiserad period. Texten pekar på mobilitet och kulturmöten. De arkeologiska förmålen kan skapa en känsla av kontakt med det förflutna och engagera barn i historiska resonemangoch därmed bidra till historiskt lärande. Det är dock lätt att dra snabba slutsatser och kanske också att fylla forntiden med fantasier. En medveten undervisning med hjälp av arkeologiska föremål kan öppna för mer relevanta och meningsfulla tolkningarav det förflutna - som dessutom är mer historiskt korrekta.

  • 2017. Patrik Johansson.

    The session discusses ongoing research. We present a German project involving students from Winneba (Ghana), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Hamburg, and proposes a concept for a teaching project structure focused on “de-constructing” memory culture(s)., that might facilitate multiperspectival history education. A recently initiated Swedish collaborative research project, “The common space” explores the ways that heritage can be incorporated into history education and used to address processes of migration and cultural encounters. The cultural heritage in Sweden is seen as part of "a common space" that affords rich opportunities to highlight the ways multiculturality has always been inherent to history. Researcher, museum educators and history teachers work together to develop an educational resource to guide intercultural education (school years 4, 5, 6 and newcomers). Finally, we report from an initial study associated with “The common space” project where one researcher and three primary school teachers collaborated in an action research project with inspiration from a History labs framework. The hypothesis was that concrete historical artefacts such as coins could be powerful in initiating and practicing disciplinary inquiry and promote intercultural historical learning with younger children. The presentation exemplifies how teaching can be designed around historical artefacts, and addresses the questions of what aspects of the teaching seem to enable, and impede, intercultural learning and the practice of disciplinary inquiry.

  • 2018. Patrik Johansson.

    Eleverna i åk 4 och 5 skulle lära sig tolka och använda arkeologiska artefakter med ett interkulturellt perspektiv för att besvara en historiska undersökningsfråga. Frågan var vad lärandet innebar, och vad som var kritiskt för att lärandet skulle ske? Carro, Per, Tina och Patrik arrangerade ett förtest för att undersöka elevernas uppfattningar av det historiska problemet. Elevsvaren analyserades med fenomenografi för att formulera kategorier av erfaranden och kritiska aspekter.

Show all publications by Patrik Johansson at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 17, 2019

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