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Problem-based and project organized learning is increasingly gaining traction as a pedagogical model suitable for supporting transversal competencies. Characterized by starting the learning process in authentic and exemplary problems, students at Aalborg University (AAU) engage in lengthy project-organized PBL often spanning an entire semester. The curriculum of each semester is organized in thematic blocks consisting of a large project supported by smaller individual disciplinary subject courses. The integration of the disciplinary subjects in the project is, is however, debatable. Answers from a survey distributed to 5th semester Medialogy students show that students found it challenging to integrate course content into their projects in the previous semester. Some students even found the course content irrelevant to their projects. In other words, a dissonance exists in the perceived relation between content presented in courses and content applied in projects. The situation has implored teachers to rethink the curriculum and pedagogy on the 4th semester of Medialogy.

Applying Bernstein's concepts of classification and framing as an interpretive framework to interviews with teachers and semester descriptions, we will analyze the classification and framing at this re-thought 4th semester. Classification conceptualizes the insulation between subjects and contents and framing the structuring of pedagogic communication such as pacing and sequencing. Specifically, we investigate how classification is described in the formal curriculum and in interviews with teachers. Further, we will briefly analyze how teachers reflect on the framing of the courses and projects. Bernstein's concepts of classification and framing appear to be useful when addressing the assimilation and levels of control of subjects and projects in project-organized problem-based learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducate for the future : PBL, Sustainability and Digitalisation 2020
EditorsAida Guerra, Anette Kolmos, Maiken Winther, Juebei Chen
Number of pages11
PublisherAalborg Universitetsforlag
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7210-313-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIRSPBL 2020: Educate for the Future: PBL, Sustainability and Digitalisation - Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 16 Aug 202021 Aug 2020


ConferenceIRSPBL 2020: Educate for the Future: PBL, Sustainability and Digitalisation
LocationAalborg University
Internet address
SeriesInternational Research Symposium on PBL


  • Bernstein
  • Classification
  • Framing
  • Curriculum Analyse
  • Problem-based learning


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