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  • 1.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Upgraded curriculum?: An analysis of knowledge boundaries in teaching under the Swedish subject-based curriculum2018In: Curriculum Journal, ISSN 0958-5176, E-ISSN 1469-3704, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 424-440Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article offers a contribution to the current debate about knowledge and the curriculum, especially initiated by social realist writers. The enacted Swedish subjects-based curriculum for compulsory schooling is examined and is also used as a significant case with the aim of discussing practical implications of social realist claims regarding knowledge and the curriculum. Video-recorded lessons from grade six in six different Swedish schools, in combination with teacher interviews, are explored within the scope of a curriculum theory framework with the purpose of illuminating dominant patterns of knowledge boundaries and knowledge conceptions. The study shows how the Swedish subject-based curriculum frames teaching in a direction where a disciplinary knowledge conception with fixed knowledge boundaries predominates over other knowledge forms. The subject-based curriculum also appears to produce an ‘overloading’ of content, which implies that pupils’ questions and experiences are avoided and dismissed in the teaching practice.

  • 2.
    Alvunger, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Teachers’ curriculum agency in teaching a standards-based curriculum2018In: Curriculum Journal, ISSN 0958-5176, E-ISSN 1469-3704, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 479-498Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2011, Sweden introduced explicit standards for the curriculum used in compulsory schooling through the implementation of ‘knowledge requirements’ that align content, abilities and assessment criteria. This article explores and analyses social science teachers’ curriculum agency through a theoretical framework comprised of ‘teacher agency’ and Bernstein’s concepts of ‘pedagogic device’, ‘hierarchical knowledge structure’ and ‘horizontal knowledge structure’. Teachers’ curriculum agency, in recontextualisation of the curriculum, is described and understood through three different ‘spaces’: a collective space, an individual space and an interactive space in the classroom. The curriculum and time are important for the possibilities of agency – the teachers state that the new knowledge requirements compel them to include and assess a lot of content in each ‘curriculum task’. It is possible to identify a recontextualisation process of ‘borrowing’ and combining content from curriculum tasks across the different subjects. This process is explained by the horizontal knowledge structure and ‘weak grammar’ of the social sciences. Abilities, on the other hand, stand out as elements of a hierarchical knowledge structure in which a discursive space is opened for knowledge to transcend contexts and provides opportunities for meaning-making. The space gives teachers room for action and for integrating disciplinary content.

  • 3.
    Bergh, Andreas
    et al.
    Örebro University.
    Wahlström, Ninni
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Conflicting goals of educational action: a study of teacher agency from a transactional realism perspective2018In: Curriculum Journal, ISSN 0958-5176, E-ISSN 1469-3704, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 134-149Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study focuses on the different ways in which teachers relatetheir situational agency and professional assignment to the nationalcurriculum content and curriculum dilemmas. It builds theoreticallyon transactional realism and empirically on analyses of interviewswith teachers, exploring the nature of teacher agency during theenactment of a new Swedish curriculum reform. To uphold a dualperspective of teachers’ relation to the curriculum as bothcollectively and individually experienced and as both an ideal andrealistic–practical relation, we term the future as ‘projectiveexperiences’, the presence as ‘practical-evaluative experiences’ andthe past ‘iterational experiences’ in relation to agency. Especially,we are interested in the ‘what’ in the curriculum – what theteachers find intriguing, important or impossible and what affectshow they relate to the curriculum as part of the multidimensionalstructures influencing their agency. This approach reveals that thecrucial issue of teacher agency is related to the policy discourse onknowledge and equity as standards and the uniformity ofassessment and its pedagogical consequences.

  • 4.
    Tahirsylaj, Armend
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Wahlström, Ninni
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Role of transnational and national education policies in realisation of critical thinking: the cases of Sweden and Kosovo2019In: Curriculum Journal, ISSN 0958-5176, E-ISSN 1469-3704, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 484-503Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Against the backdrop of the push from the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for competence-based curricula, this article problematises the complexity of developing 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, by addressing the role transnational and national policy contexts play in realising critical thinking in the national contexts of Sweden and Kosovo. The article distinguishes between policy-critical thinking and civic-critical thinking. Relying on analyses of curriculum and policy documents, it is concluded that while in the Swedish context critical thinking competence (or ability) seems to be much more implicit than explicit, in Kosovo, the national curriculum makes explicit references to thinking competences as a form of policy-critical thinking and civic competencies as a form of civic-critical thinking. Thus, students in both contexts have opportunities to develop critical thinking skills. Further, Sweden emerges as a divergent case and Kosovo as a convergent case with regard to transnational policy flow research paradigms.

     

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