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Konsten att undervisa ryttare: En studie om ridlärares pedagogiska praktik
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
The art of teaching riders – a study about riding teachers’ pedagogical practice (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns how riding teachers’ reflect upon their teaching and how they teach. The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute with knowledge about how riding lessons are organized, regarding both the accomplishment of lessons as activity systems and the interactional organization of instructional work. Horseback riding can be understood as an embodied and practical knowledge, and includes communication and collaboration between horse and rider, sometimes referred to as equestrian feel (Dashper, 2016). Two different theoretical perspectives were applied to explore how such knowledge is taught. Activity theory (Engeström, 1987) was used to analyze interviews with and observations of ten riding teachers about their understanding and implementation of their pedagogical practice. Teachers’ and students’ interactions during riding lessons were examined using an ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approach (Goodwin, 2000; Schegloff, 1996). The analyses were based on video-recordings of ten group lessons and 40 one-on-one riding lessons.

The results show that riding lessons can be conceptualized as activity systems where the focus of teaching constantly changes; from horse to student to routine. Traditions and safety regulations are shown to generate contradictions that may hinder the teachers from developing their teaching. However, the teachers express a wish to use more student collaborative methods, and display an intention to communicate with students about equestrian feel. Another result unveils how the teacher and the individual students, within the mobile context of riding lessons, make instructional sequences possible by co-creating instructional spaces. A third result illuminates the participants’ collaborative work to make equestrian feel available for instruction. The teacher molds equestrian feel through online instructions, i.e., instructions produced during the students’ active riding. These instructions shift focus between the students’ seat and influence, the horse’s actions and the student’s embodied feel. Moreover, the teachers are shown to use visual, verbal and embodied resources as they interpret equestrian feel for the student. In sum, the studies shed light on the complex art of teaching practical and embodied knowledge of riding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2020. , p. 97
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences ; 18
Keywords [en]
activity theory, ethnomethodological conversation analysis, instruction, multimodal interaction, mobility, pedagogical practice, riding teacher, riding lesson
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406227ISBN: 978-91-513-0892-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-406227DiVA, id: diva2:1412349
Public defence
2020-04-24, Eva Netzelius 10:K102, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers Allé 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-04-03 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2020-05-19
List of papers
1. Ridlärares pedagogiska praktik: En verksamhetsteoretisk studie
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ridlärares pedagogiska praktik: En verksamhetsteoretisk studie
2013 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Riding Instructors´ Pedagogical Practice : An activity-theoretical study
Abstract [en]

The riding lesson situation is complex and dynamic. Riding instructors must look at both the horse’s and the rider’s actions in order to provide useful and relevant instruction. The aim of this study is to describe and understand riding instructors’ pedagogical practice when giving riding lessons. The theoretical basis for the study is Engeström’s model for studying activity. His analytical model consists of six interrelated ”knots”. The activity system is continuously active through contradictions between the knots, ”knotworking”. These contradictions can occur at four different levels. By studying them we can arrive at an understanding of the structure of an activity system, in this case riding lessons.

Ten riding instructors were interviewed and a number of riding lessons were observed. In collecting data, it was important to capture the use of language in pedagogical terms. The themes that formed the basis of interviews and observations were the concepts of communication, feeling and communication of feeling, as well as the roles of the riding instructor, the pupil and the horse. When the activity model was applied to the data, a number of knots could be observed, with the riding instructor as the subject and the pupil as the object. For example, the tools were horses and instructions. Parents and the riding hall were identified as rules and other riding instructors were the community. Finally, young people assisting the instructors and the pupils with grooming were identified as division of labour.

Many of the statements and actions observed during riding lessons can be summarised in that they reflect a focus on the horse. Some riding instructors state unequivocally that what is most important to them is what is best for the horse. I call this an ”activity system with horse focus”. Another variety of statements and actions from the instructors shows an orientation towards the pupils. The instructors say that they have ambitions to support pupils in their learning. This is what I call an ”activity system with pupil focus”. Finally, there are statements and actions by instructors that can be explained by such things as ignorance, indifference or incompetence. One riding instructor says that there is a considerable amount of routine in her lessons. I call this an ”activity system with routine focus”. In this activity system the objects and goals often change places, unlike what happens in the other two activity systems. For different reasons, occasionally the routine focus switches into the other two activity systems.

Contradictions were seen at four different levels within the three activity systems identified, e.g.: (1) riding instructors wanting to communicate with their pupils about the feeling of riding but lacking the words for it; (2) parents expecting that their child will get the opportunity to ride at every lesson and riding instructors feeling a pressure to meet these expectations even though they believe that the pupils need theory as well as practice; (3) the instructor wanting to improve her teaching but being inhibited by old traditions; and (4) modern teaching methods having developed within the general school system that require pupils to assume a degree of responsibility for their own learning. This stands in contradiction to the controlled riding lesson where pupils do not have much scope for acting on their own.

Riding instructors give priority to the pupils or the horses to different degrees. They often act more or less subconsciously when they give pupils instruction or give them feedback. The horses are at the centre of the riding school and the riding lesson. The horses are a large part of the riding instructors’ everyday life and influential on their thinking about riding instruction. From an educational perspective, however, it would be desirable for instructors to place pupils and their learning at the centre. The need for and importance of pedagogical and didactic education for riding instructors ought to be emphasised. It is a challenge to develop riding lessons with an emphasis on optimising the conditions for pupils’ learning without taking the focus away from the horse and its wellbeing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Hippologenheten, SLU, 2013. p. 164
Series
Pedagogisk forskning i Uppsala, ISSN 0348-3630 ; 164
Keywords
Riding instructor, riding lesson, activity theory, pedagogical practice, communication
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-206769 (URN)978-91-506-2362-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-06-04, Blåsenhus, Eva Netzelius-salen, von Kraemers Allé 1, Uppsala, 15:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-09-10 Created: 2013-09-04 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved
2. Instructions in horseback riding - The collaborative achievement of an instructional space
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Instructions in horseback riding - The collaborative achievement of an instructional space
(English)In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657XArticle in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

In this study, the interactional organization of multimodal instructions and instructed actions during mobile horseback riding lessons in groups will be analyzed. The theoretical and analytical point of departure is the ethnomethodological and conversation analytic research tradition and the expanding “multimodal interaction analysis” that derives from this area of research. The data in this study consist of video recordings of riding lessons with groups of four to eight students. The results show that there are moments, limited in time and space, when the instructor and the individual students collaboratively establish what are here called “instructional spaces.” These spaces are co-created through addressivity work made by both instructor and student. Within each instructional space an instructional sequence is accomplished. They often begin with an instruction towards a specific student that comes close. The student directly performs an instructed action followed up by further instructions – either immediately or when next opportunity for an instructional space can be co-created. Students also initiate instructional spaces by riding close to the instructor. This article highlights the importance of collaboration, addressivity, timing, and space during mobile group lessons in horseback riding.

Keywords
Instruction; multimodality; addressivity; timing; space; horseback riding
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406137 (URN)10.1016/j.lcsi.2018.10.002 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2020-03-11Bibliographically approved
3. Instructing equestrian feel: on the art of teaching embodied knowledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Instructing equestrian feel: on the art of teaching embodied knowledge
2022 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 66, no 2, p. 290-305Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores the instruction of equestrian feel as an interactional accomplishment. Equestrian feel is an embodied knowledge encompassing riders’ ability to feel the horse’s actions and to act appropriately. Building on ethnomethodological and conversation analytic analyses of video-recordings of riding lessons, we explore how equestrian feel is instructed in interaction between riding teachers and students. The results show how teachers use verbal resources, e.g. metaphors and similes, to describe embodied feel, as well as perceptual resources that are made relevant by orienting to the horse’s body as a semiotic field. Moreover, the teachers produce online instructions in the shape of directives, metaphorical vocal descriptions, and embodied demonstrations, thus molding the equipage by bringing attention to different aspects that together shape an embodied experience. In all, the study sheds light on communicative practices during riding lessons and on the interactional work involved in the art of instructing embodied knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa UK Limited, 2022
Keywords
embodied knowledge, equestrian feel, ethnomethodological conversation analysis, instruction, molding, multimodality
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406226 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2020.1869076 (DOI)000607419500001 ()
Available from: 2020-03-05 Created: 2020-03-05 Last updated: 2022-07-14Bibliographically approved

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