NAFOL profile: Nora Sitter

Pedagogical documentation as a transformative potential in aesthetic learning processes

Nora SitterPedagogical documentation as a way of looking at, reflecting upon and developing practice has during the past decade been tried out and discussed in kindergartens and preschool teacher education in Norway, due to the Reggio Emilia- influence and implementations in preschools, and in accordance with the national framework plan for kindergartens in Norway.  But neither the term nor the practical work of pedagogical documentation seems to be well known in schools or teacher education programs in Norway.  My ongoing PhD-study´s   focal point is to explore pedagogical documentation as a reflexive practice. My major research question is:

What is the transformational potential in working with pedagogical documentation in teacher education and in schools?

In my PhD-project I want to investigate if working with multimodal pedagogical documentation can create self-reflective rooms where participation, transformative learning and change can be supported.

The study is set within the frame of a research and development project, SPACE ME, (, combining art and science in education.  The project involves teacher educators, teacher students, teachers, pupils and artists. Two secondary schools participate in the project, having the classroom as one point of departure and the outer space as a thematic destination, working with a variation of components including storyline, playback theatre and science theatre workshops.  The SPACE ME project aims at contributing to the development of knowledge about a potentially broadened concept of what knowledge is – and can be – within education of teachers in arts and science. The R & D project brings transformative processes into focus. Key concepts are multidisciplinarity, multimodality (Kress, 2010), inquiry-based and aesthetic approaches to learning and the possible transformation of the participants’ concepts of knowledge.

The empirical foundation of my research is an ongoing inquiry and collection of various multimodal documentations from this project, such as video and photographic documentation and journals from the participants. My next step is to create formal and informal rooms for self-reflexivity in small focus groups of participants by introducing edited multimodal documentations as a starting point for a multimodal, reflexive dialogue.

In writing the thesis, I will experiment with multimodal presentation forms, using the mirror, the self-reflexive eye and the reflective room as key metaphors in the thesis.

Pedagogical documentation is very much about reflecting upon practice by looking at multimodal documentation and asking questions about what happened and why.  In my research I will add another meta-layer to this, by analyzing and reflecting upon the appearing meta-reflections. As for the room-metaphor, I am devoted to questions about how we can design different forms of self-reflective roomsin schools and teacher education through pedagogical documentation.










Eksempler på multimodal refleksjon, fra Sitters undervisning og datainnsamling.

Bilde 1: Visuell refleksjon ved hjelp av fotodokumentasjon fra SPACE ME-prosjektet.

Bilde 2 og 3: visuell refleksjon over framtidas skole med PPU-studenter.
Foto: Nora Sitter.