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  • 1.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Att få gymnasieelver att välja rätt: Relationen mellan gymnasieelevers valfrihet och gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion i utbildningspolicy mellan 1960- och 2010-talet2015In: Curriculum and national identity - Nordic divergences? 6th Nordic Curriculum Theory Conference, 21-22 October, Örebro University, Sweden, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Med en arbetsmarknad som kännetecknas av att vara såväl kunskapsintensiv som differentierad lyfts många gånger skola och utbildning fram som något helt avgörande för både den enskilde individens och nationens sociala och ekonomiska välstånd. Detta är dock inget nytt fenomen. Gymnasieskolans betydelse för ekonomisk tillväxt och konkurrenskraft är något som starkt har betonats i svensk utbildningspolicy från 1960-talet och framåt. Även om detta ekonomiska imperativa har haft och har mycket stort inflytande på gymnasieskolans läroplan är det dock inte det enda. Vid sidan om uppfattningen om utbildningens ekonomiska potentital växte sig tidigt, med inspiration från bland annat progressivismen, idéer om den individualiserade undervisningen fram. Elevens behov, aspirationer och möjligheter att själv ha inflytande över sin utbildning skulle med detta sättas i centrum för undervisningen. Inte heller dessa idéer har kommit att minska i betydelse över tid utan snarare stärkts. Två idésystem går därmed att urskilja i gymnasieskolans utbildningspolicy alltsedan 1960-talet och framåt. Å ena sidan bör gymnasieskolan anpassas till de krav som arbetsliv och samhället i övrigt ställer samtidigt som det å andra sidan också bör ges möjligheter för den enskilda eleven att själv kunna välja och bestämma inriktning och innehåll över sin egen utbildning. Syftet med detta paper är att studera hur spänningsförhållande mellan dessa två idésystem, gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion och elevers valfrihet, har hanterats i gymnasieskolans utbildningspolicy mellan 1960-talet och 2010 - talet.

    Utifrån ett ”klassiskt” läroplansteoretiskt perspektiv (Lundgren, 1979, 1983; Englund, 1986) och med inspiration från Carol Lee Bacchis (1999) ”what’s the problem”-ansats riktas i studien intresset mot de utbildningspolitiska problem och tillika lösningar som tre gymnasiereformer (Lgy 70, Lpf 94 och Gy11) över tid varit uppbyggda kring och hur det i sin tur format synen på gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion och gymnasieelevens valfrihet. Följande frågor står specifikt i fokus för studien:

    -          Vilka förskjutningar respektive kontinuiteter går att urskilja i gymnasieskolans utbildningsreformer mellan 1960-talet och 2010-talet med avseende på uppfattningen om elevens förmåga, eller oförmåga att göra rationella val inom ramen för sin utbildning?

    -          Hur har samtidigt denna uppfattning om elevers valfrihet hanterats i relation till gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion?

     

    Tre större gymnasiereformer har implementerats i Sverige efter det andra världskriget: Lgy 70, Lpo 94 och Gy 11.  Fokus för studien utgörs av respektive reformperiods huvuddokument (SOU 1963:43; SOU 1992:94 och SOU 2008:27). I ett första steg riktas intresset mot de problembilder som målades upp i respektive utbildningsreform samt vilka utbildningspolitiska idéer som samtidigt presenterades som lösningen på dessa problem. I ett nästa steg studeras vad dessa idéer innebar för hur relationen ovan skulle hanteras på ett effektivt och legitimit sätt. Till sist fokuseras de förändringar och kontinuiteter som kan urskiljas över tid, från 1960-talet fram till 2010-talet.  

    Under alla tre reformperioder framhölls explicit betydelsen av en gymnasieskola av hög kvalitet för att därigenom underbygga ekonomisk tillväxt och konkurrenskraft, men beroende på den historiska och samhälleliga kontexten kom olika utbildningspolitiska lösningar för att erhålla en sådan utbildning att vinna legitimitet. Detta fick i sin tur implikationer för hur relationen mellan gymnasieelevers individuella aspirationer och gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion hanterades inom ramen för samma utbildningsreform. På 1960-talet kom lösningen att behandlas inom ramen för en centraliserad välfärdsorienterad utbildningsdiskurs där statens uppgift och förmåga att styra skolan och samhällsutveckling på ett rationellt och effektivt sätt starkt betonades. Även om en individualiserad undervisning framhölls som något eftersträvansvärt inom den utbildningspolitiska retoriken gavs liten eller ingen tilltro till den enskilda elevens förmåga att göra rationella val. Under 1990-talets reformperiod går det att urskilja en tydlig förskjutning mot en marknadsorienterad utbildningsdiskurs. Studenters valfrihet och inflytande över sin utbildning sågs nu på många sätt som lösningen på flera utbildningspolitiskaproblem, i synnerhet hur kvalitén på gymnasieskolan skulle öka. Under den tredje reformperioden (2010-talet) sker en förskjutning mot en reglerad marknadsorienterad utbildningsdiskurs. I denna diskurs kritiseras elevers valfrihet och ses på många sätt som orsaken till flera problem såsom sjunkande elevresultat och att elever överlag är dåligt förberedda för framtida studier och arbetsliv.     

     

    Med en arbetsmarknad som kännetecknas av att vara såväl kunskapsintensiv som differentierad lyfts många gånger skola och utbildning fram som något helt avgörande för både den enskilde individens och nationens sociala och ekonomiska välstånd. Detta är dock inget nytt fenomen. Gymnasieskolans betydelse för ekonomisk tillväxt och konkurrenskraft är något som starkt har betonats i svensk utbildningspolicy från 1960-talet och framåt. Även om detta ekonomiska imperativa har haft och har mycket stort inflytande på gymnasieskolans läroplan är det dock inte det enda. Vid sidan om uppfattningen om utbildningens ekonomiska potentital växte sig tidigt, med inspiration från bland annat progressivismen, idéer om den individualiserade undervisningen fram. Elevens behov, aspirationer och möjligheter att själv ha inflytande över sin utbildning skulle med detta sättas i centrum för undervisningen. Inte heller dessa idéer har kommit att minska i betydelse över tid utan snarare stärkts. Två idésystem går därmed att urskilja i gymnasieskolans utbildningspolicy alltsedan 1960-talet och framåt. Å ena sidan bör gymnasieskolan anpassas till de krav som arbetsliv och samhället i övrigt ställer samtidigt som det å andra sidan också bör ges möjligheter för den enskilda eleven att själv kunna välja och bestämma inriktning och innehåll över sin egen utbildning. Syftet med detta paper är att studera hur spänningsförhållande mellan dessa två idésystem, gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion och elevers valfrihet, har hanterats i gymnasieskolans utbildningspolicy mellan 1960-talet och 2010 - talet.

    Utifrån ett ”klassiskt” läroplansteoretiskt perspektiv (Lundgren, 1979, 1983; Englund, 1986) och med inspiration från Carol Lee Bacchis (1999) ”what’s the problem”-ansats riktas i studien intresset mot de utbildningspolitiska problem och tillika lösningar som tre gymnasiereformer (Lgy 70, Lpf 94 och Gy11) över tid varit uppbyggda kring och hur det i sin tur format synen på gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion och gymnasieelevens valfrihet. Följande frågor står specifikt i fokus för studien:

    -          Vilka förskjutningar respektive kontinuiteter går att urskilja i gymnasieskolans utbildningsreformer mellan 1960-talet och 2010-talet med avseende på uppfattningen om elevens förmåga, eller oförmåga att göra rationella val inom ramen för sin utbildning?

    -          Hur har samtidigt denna uppfattning om elevers valfrihet hanterats i relation till gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion?

     

    Tre större gymnasiereformer har implementerats i Sverige efter det andra världskriget: Lgy 70, Lpo 94 och Gy 11.  Fokus för studien utgörs av respektive reformperiods huvuddokument (SOU 1963:43; SOU 1992:94 och SOU 2008:27). I ett första steg riktas intresset mot de problembilder som målades upp i respektive utbildningsreform samt vilka utbildningspolitiska idéer som samtidigt presenterades som lösningen på dessa problem. I ett nästa steg studeras vad dessa idéer innebar för hur relationen ovan skulle hanteras på ett effektivt och legitimit sätt. Till sist fokuseras de förändringar och kontinuiteter som kan urskiljas över tid, från 1960-talet fram till 2010-talet.  

    Under alla tre reformperioder framhölls explicit betydelsen av en gymnasieskola av hög kvalitet för att därigenom underbygga ekonomisk tillväxt och konkurrenskraft, men beroende på den historiska och samhälleliga kontexten kom olika utbildningspolitiska lösningar för att erhålla en sådan utbildning att vinna legitimitet. Detta fick i sin tur implikationer för hur relationen mellan gymnasieelevers individuella aspirationer och gymnasieskolans ekonomiska funktion hanterades inom ramen för samma utbildningsreform. På 1960-talet kom lösningen att behandlas inom ramen för en centraliserad välfärdsorienterad utbildningsdiskurs där statens uppgift och förmåga att styra skolan och samhällsutveckling på ett rationellt och effektivt sätt starkt betonades. Även om en individualiserad undervisning framhölls som något eftersträvansvärt inom den utbildningspolitiska retoriken gavs liten eller ingen tilltro till den enskilda elevens förmåga att göra rationella val. Under 1990-talets reformperiod går det att urskilja en tydlig förskjutning mot en marknadsorienterad utbildningsdiskurs. Studenters valfrihet och inflytande över sin utbildning sågs nu på många sätt som lösningen på flera utbildningspolitiskaproblem, i synnerhet hur kvalitén på gymnasieskolan skulle öka. Under den tredje reformperioden (2010-talet) sker en förskjutning mot en reglerad marknadsorienterad utbildningsdiskurs. I denna diskurs kritiseras elevers valfrihet och ses på många sätt som orsaken till flera problem såsom sjunkande elevresultat och att elever överlag är dåligt förberedda för framtida studier och arbetsliv.     

     

     

     

  • 2.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    How to Get Pupils To Make the Right Choice2012In: ECER 2012, The Need for Educational Research to Champion Freedom, Education and Development for All: Network: 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With a critical approach the aim of this paper is to investigate how the relationship between upper secondary schools’ economical functions and students’ freedom of choice have been handled in Swedish educational policy between the 1960s and the 2010s.

    In a society characterized of being both more and more knowledge intensive and differentiated in the labor market, education has become increasingly important for the capitalist states integrative functions as for the competitiveness in the global economy (Jessop, 2002). Parallel processes can be found in a European context. Different movements have resulted in the creation of supranational systems with the aims of converging nations’ education policy and comparing pupils’ knowledge standards on an international basis (Ringarp & Rothland, 2010).  In other words – knowledge has become high politics (Apple, 2003). 

    This “economics of knowledge” is in no way a new phenomenon. The paper shows that the upper secondary education’s importance for a country's economic growth and international competitiveness is something that has been emphasized in the Swedish education policy since the 1960s until today (see for example the Committee reports SOU 1963:43, SOU 1992:94, SOU 2008:27). But what becomes important in this paper – in combination with such integrated pronounced intentions the upper secondary educational system also, to become legitimate, must comprise some differentiation principles. One is, as demonstrated in the paper, that the students must have an opportunity to choose direction and determine the formation and content of their education, so the schooling to some extent will correspond with students own aspirations and dreams. This freedom of choice has in last two decades also included the ability for students to choose between different schools, public as well as private ones (Lindensjö & Lundgren, 2000). 

    In this paper focus is directed towards how this relationship, i.e. the balance between the secondary school’s economic functions and students' ability to choose, has been handled in education policy over the period 1960-2010. How have students' abilities, or disabilities, to make rational choices been discussed in educational policy in different periods? And how have these individual aspirations been handled in relation to the upper secondary school’s important function to strengthen the nation economic growth and competitiveness? In Sweden three major reform periods of the Swedish upper secondary school after the Second World War are distinguished. The first one in the 1960s, the second one in the 1990s and the third one in the 2010s. In each reform period a number of so-called “discursive breaks” in education policy have been identified where new ideas win legitimacy of how this relationship should be managed in an effective and legitimate way. Each reform period’s main documents (SOU 1963:43, SOU 1992:94 and SOU 2008:27) have been analyzed and compared in order to explicate these discursive shifts in regard to how education policy has attempted to manage this problem.

    Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used With methodological inspiration from the Critical discourse analysis (CDA) (Fairclough, 1992, Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 1999) the paper investigate educational policy from the viewpoint of three different dimensions: text, discursive practice and social practice. With a focus on how policymakers talk about students, knowledge and society I try, on the text level, to elucidate and analyze the essential concepts, or what I will call them, semantic magnet, in the policy texts. In the next step, i.e. in the analysis of the discursive practice, I see how these concepts underlie and create different types of education discourses. The concept orders of discourse (Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 1999) enables an analysis of the relation between the discursive- and the social practice and to visualize changing patterns of dominance and legitimate education discourses in a specified historical and sociopolitical context, and how this order changes (ranging from 1960s to the 2010s) in relation to societal changes. With a methodological approach as described above it is possible to understand how this relation between students’ individual aspirations and freedom of choice and the secondary educations economics functions has been handled in educational policy in relation to broader societal changes. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings In all three investigated reform periods the importance of a high quality- secondary education to reinforce economic growth and competitiveness is emphasized. But depending on the historical and the societal context different legitimate solutions are presented for how the secondary school should be organized to achieve such an education. This has implications for how the relationship between students' individual aspirations and the education’s economical functions are handled in policy. In the 1960s, the answer was discussed within the scope of a centralized welfare-oriented educational discourse. In this discourse, the state's capacity to manage the school and the society in a rational way, was highly emphasized. Therefore no or very little confidence was given to the individual student’s rational ability. In the 1990s, a significant shift occured toward a market-oriented educational discourse. Students’ freedom of choice was accordingly here seen as the solution to many problems, especially how the quality would increase. In the current reformation a shift towards a regulated market-oriented educational discourse is discerned in the paper. In this discourse the 1990s freedom of choice is criticized and blamed for causing bad results, particularly in different international knowledge assessments, and that students are too ill-prepared for future employment. References Apple, Michael (2003). The state and the politics of knowledge. London: Routledge Chouliaraki, Lilie & Fairclough, Norman (1999). Discourse in late modernity – Rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University press Fairclough, Norman (1992). Discourse and social change. Oxford: Polity Press. Jessop, Bob (2002). The future of the capitalist state. Cambridge: Polity Lindensjö, Bo & Lundgren, Ulf P (2000). Utbildningsreformer och politisk styrning. Stockholm: HLS. Ringarp, Johanna & Rothland, Martin (2010). “The effects of the PISA results on Education Debates in Sweden and Germany” European Educational Research Journal. Vol. 9, Nr. 3 SOU 1963:42. 1960 års gymnasieutredning. 4, Ett nytt gymnasium. Stockholm: Ecklesiastikdepartementet ( SOU 1992:94. Skola för bildning: Huvudbetänkande av Läroplanskommittén. Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartementet SOU 2008:27). Framtidsvägen – En reformerad gymnasieskola. Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartementet

  • 3.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Kunskapsfrågan: En läroplansteoretisk studie av den svenska gymnasieskolans reformer mellan 1960-talet och 2010-talet2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In a society where the labour market is becoming increasingly knowledge intensive and more differentiated, education has assumed greater importance for the capitalist states integrative functions as for the competitiveness in the global economy. As a consequence, the educational system has become a key governing resource for the state to meet and manage different kinds of social changes and problems. Against this background the thesis raises the main question - “what kind of societal problems are the educational reforms studied here considered to be the solution of?” The aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of the changes of the formation of knowledge in Swedish upper secondary curriculum between the 1960s and 2010s. In what way attained these changes in view of knowledge legitimacy in relation to the socioeconomic context? And what do these changes mean in terms of the attribution of the positioning of upper secondary school pupils and teachers?

     

    This thesis draws on a “classical” theoretical framework of curriculum theory (i.e. the frame-factor theory) this means that the analytical focus is directed at the relationship between the content of the curriculum and the social context. With theoretical and methodological inspiration from critical realism and critical discourse analysis (CDA) the thesis argue for an alternative way to theoretical and empirical examined this relationship. Three historical reform periods are used to explore the discursive changes in the formation of knowledge in the Swedish upper secondary education reforms.

     

    The results show how changes in socioeconomic conditions, such as economic crisis, over time have acted as important triggers for governing mechanisms embedded in the control of the educational system. These changes and mechanisms, in turn, have resulted in some major discursive knowledge shifts between the reforms studied, from the 1960s combination of an economic-rational and an objective-subject knowledge discourse, through the deregulated goal-rational and socio-cultural oriented knowledge discourse of the 1990s towards the 2010s knowledge discourses that are characterized by an increased focus on learning outcomes and measurability. Against the background of these discursive shifts, the analysis also points to some underlying continuities in terms of a general “reform imperative”, based on a number of overarching values ​​such as efficiency and rationality. The result show how this imperative was embedded in all three educational reforms and has ruled the order of discourses about what was deemed to be legitimate curriculum knowledge, a professional teacher and a desirable pupil.

  • 4.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Legitimitetskris, styrning och kunskap2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Läroplansteorin efter den ”realistiska vändningen”: exemplet kunskapsfrågan2013In: Den femte nordiska läroplansteorikonferensen i Uppsala : Curriculum and/or didactics – a discussion revisited. Towards a transnational curriculum theory?, Uppsala universitet, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Läroplansteorin har de senaste två decennierna kommit att präglas av en så kallade språklig eller diskursiv vändning. Med det använda språkets konstituerande funktion som en central utgångspunkt uppfattas språket som en aktiv social handling som inte kan skiljas från den sociala praktik som denna sker inom. För det läroplansteoretiska forskningsfältets vidkommande har detta medfört flera viktiga analytiska möjligheter inte minst när det gäller exempelvis att studera läroplansförändringar över tid samt hur policy rör sig och omformuleras mellan olika kontexter. I detta paper kommer jag dock argumentera för att denna diskursiva vändning i flera fall dragits för långt. Konsekvensen har blivit att språkets konstituerande effekter i alltför stor utsträckning kommit att överbetona med en långgående kunskapsrelativism som följd och där exempelvis icke-diskursiva element av verkligheten tappats bort i de läroplansteoretiska analyserna. Jag kommer i detta sammahang därför lyfta fram behovet av en realistisk vändning inom läroplansteorin som delvis återvänder till den klassiska läroplansteorins utgångspunkter men där samtidigt vissa betydelsefulla analytiska insikter från diskursteorin tas med.

    Syftet med detta paper är att med utgångspunkt från den kritiska realismen samt med några exemplifierande empiriska nedslag diskutera innebörden av en sådan realistisk vändning. Utifrån den kritiska realismen förstås verkligenheten som såväl strukturerad som stratifierad. Detta innebär att diskursers konstituerande effekter inte negligeras men samtidigt understryks att dessa inte heller utgör fritt flytande meningssystem utan är såväl förankrade som villkorade av reella (i betydelsen icke-diskursiva) betingelser. Analytiskt fokus riktas utifrån detta realistiska perspektiv mot de strukturer och tillhörande mekanismer som finns inbäddade i en viss praktik samt den kontext (som innefattas av såväl diskursiva som materiella element) som kommer att påverka (men inte determinera) utfallet av dessa mekanismer. Med detta möjliggörs en förklarande analys som, i enlighet med den klassiska läroplansteorins utgångspunkter, rör sig bortom läroplanstexten till de bakomliggande strukturer och kontextuella villkor.        

    Med resultat hämtade från en studie av kunskapens formering och legitimering i gymnasieskolans reformmaterial mellan 1960-talet och 2010-talet påvisas empiriskt innebörden av en sådan realistisk vändning. Resultaten pekar på flera diskursiva förskjutningar av kunskapens konstituering över tid men också hur dessa diskursers legitimitet var kopplade till de inbäddade strukturer och mekanismer som förstås forma utbildningspolitiken i relation till den samtida samhällskontexten. Med denna analys visar jag bland annat hur förändrade reella samhällsekonomiska villkor över tid utgjort en viktig påverkanskraft på utbildningspolitiken samt i förlängningen läroplansförändringar.

  • 6.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Skolstorlekens påverkan på elevers skolprestationer och sociala situation i skolan:En forskningsöversikt2014Report (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The Selection of Content and Knowledge Conceptions in Teaching in the era of standard based policy reforms2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Selection of Content and Knowledge Conceptions in Teaching in the era of standard based policy reforms

     

    Proposal information (research question, theoretical framework so on) (600 words) 

    This study is part of the project 'Understanding Curriculum Reforms - A Theory-Oriented Evaluation of the Swedish Curriculum Reform Lgr 11'.  In the last two decades transnational organizations and agreements have become increasingly important as driving forces in the making of curriculum. The international education policy movement towards so-called standards-based curricula has been characterized by top-down accountability and linear dissemination (Andersson-Levitt, 2008; Sivesind & Karseth, 2010). This also applies to the formation of Swedish curriculum policy discourses. The latest Swedish curriculum for compulsory School “Lgr11” can foremost be described in line with such a standards-based curriculum, where the objectives and standards, but also the content, are prescribed and put in the foreground for what students ought to do and know (Sundberg & Wahlström, 2012).

    Although these policies are transnational and nationally oriented, it is in the same time up to schools and teachers on the local level to interpret and enact the curriculum, in classrooms and in the interaction between teachers and students. This unarguably raises questions about the curriculum-in-use, i.e. how is teaching performed? The ‘what’ that is prescribed in the (trans-)national policy is one thing, but researchers rarely take notice of the fact that recontextualisation, selection, translation, relocation and refocus of content indeed occurs in the local school setting. Therefore, the overall aim of this paper is to explore how a standards-based oriented curriculum, Lgr 11, is enacted at the local school level.

    In a first step, the process of the selection of teaching content will be studied. A central question here is how and on what foundations the selection of teaching content is made when prescribed content and learning outcomes is given a central role in the curriculum structure? Secondly – which relates to the selection of content – we examine how the same curriculum is achieved in teaching and learning practices at classroom level in terms of knowledge content. What content seems to dominate the teaching in favour for another under a standard-based oriented curriculum like Lgr 11?

    To understand the conditions for teachers’ selection of content we bring theoretical inspiration from a “classical” framework of curriculum theory in terms of the “frame-factor theory” (Dahlöf, 1967; Lundgren, 1989). This theoretical perspective puts the relationship between teaching processes, outcomes and external (frame-) factors in focus. In other words, to understand processes and outcomes in the teaching practice you have to, from this theoretical perspective, analyse the frame-factors, for example time, equipment, the composition of the class and (of course) the current curriculum, that in different ways enable and limit these processes and outcomes.  When we in a next step examine the curriculum content in teaching we bring inspiration from Deng & Luke’s (2008) discussion about different knowledge classification schemes and conceptions. From this discussion we derived three conceptions of knowledge, in terms of an academic disciplinary knowledge conception; a practical knowledge conception and an experiential” knowledge conception. These knowledge conceptions will be used to identify and discuss different aspects of lesson content in the investigated teaching practice.    

    Methodology and method (400 words)

    With a classical curriculum theory framework, the present study focus on teaching and lesson content in terms of enacted and achieved curricula. In other words, and with Doyle’s (1990) conceptual framework, we are interesting in the relationship between the programmatic and classroom level of the curriculum. This in turn links us to classic classroom studies addressed by e.g.  Bellack, Kliebard et al.1966; Gustafsson 1977; Jackson 1968/1990; Lundgren 1981, but now against a backdrop of the ‘new’ scenario of transnational policy.

    The study is based on an extensive empirical material from six municipalities in Sweden and consists of three different sources. Firstly, semi-structured interviews with representatives from the local school authority, teachers, principals and students in grade 6 (12-13 years old) where the main focus has been their views on the impact of the curriculum for the compulsory school Lgr11 with particular attention on the organisation of teaching, the dominating content in teaching and the interaction between teacher and students and students and students. Secondly, documents related to teaching such as local pedagogical plans, lesson plans, tests, work sheets, material produced by students and so on have been analysed. Thirdly, 71 lessons of teaching in the social studies subjects Civics, History, Geography, Religion have been video-recorded, transcribed, coded and analysed from organisation of teaching, content and the interaction in the classroom. The study on teachers’ selection of content will mainly draw from interviews and documents in order to look at contextual factors, while the analysis of knowledge content in teaching generally is based on interviews with teachers and 71 video-recorded lessons.

    Conclusion (300 words)

    In the last section of the paper, we will discuss the empirical results in relation to our theoretical points of departure. Here we show how the Swedish curriculum in great extent is influenced by a standards-based tradition where both content and performance are put in the foreground. From a frame-factor theoretical perspective we then discuss the consequences on the possibilities for the teachers selecting content. Besides struggling with the crowding of content teachers are under constant pressure to hold on to a tight schedule in order for the different curriculum tasks to fit into an over-arching plan for the whole semester. The teachers have to make sure that they can assess knowledge and competences according to the knowledge requirements in the “time slots” reserved for each curriculum task in the subjects. Teachers indeed focus on central concepts deriving from academic disciplines foregrounded in the syllabuses, while they at the same time employ a strategy to patch subjects and their specific content together.

    The analysis of the video recorded lesson show that the general pattern of teaching comes in the shape of whole class teaching with the teacher as central actor. Because the teacher has to ensure that all students get the ability to reach the knowledge requirements, the lesson content to a great extent is prescribed and comes in the shape of subject matter-oriented facts, concepts and competences. Because of the combination of crowding of content, teachers’ time constraint and the knowledge requirements in the curriculum, our results also show that teachers – more or less – have to neglect initiatives from students in order to keep the lesson on the “right” track. Content that is not considered to fit in the current lesson, for example student’s experiences, interests and questions, is to a high degree dismissed.

     

    References

    Andersson-Levitt, K. M. (2008), Globalization and curriculum, in M. F. Con-nelly, red, The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum and Instruction, (s 329-348), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California.

    Bellack, A.A.; Kliebard, H.M.;Hyman, R.T. & Smith, F.L. (1966). The language of the classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

     

    Deng, Z & Luke, A (2008). Subject matter. Defining and theorizing school subjects. In connnelly, Michael (Ed). The SAGE Handbook of Curriculum and Instruction. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication.

    Dahllöf, U. 1967: Skoldifferentiering och undervisningsförlopp [School differentiation and teaching processes]. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.

    Gustafsson, C. (1977). Classroom Interaction. A study of pedagogical roles in the teaching process. Stockholm: Gotab.

     

    Jackson, P. W. (1968/1990). Life in classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press.

     

    Lundgren, U. P. (1981). Model analysis of pedagogical processes. Lund: Liber/Gleerup.

     

    Lundgren, U. P. (1989), Att organisera omvärlden [Organising the world around us], Utbildningsförlaget, Stockholm.

    Sivesind, K. & Karseth, B. (2010), Conceptualising curriculum knowledge within and beyond the national context, European Journal of Education 45 (1),103- 120.

    Sundberg, D. & Wahlström, N. (2012), Standards-based curricula in a denationalized conception of education: The case of Sweden, European Educational Research Journal 11 (3), 342–356.

    Utbildningsdepartementet (The Ministry of Education) (2011). Läroplan för grundskolan, förskoleklassen och fritidshemmet 2011 (Lgr 11). [Curriculum for the Compulsory School, Preschool Class and the Leisure-time Centre 2011; in Swedish]. Stockholm: National Agency for Education.

     

     

     

  • 8.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Vad räknas som kunskap i den svenska gymnasieskolan?2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    I ett samhälle där arbetsmarknaden utvecklats mot att bli alltmer kunskapsintensivt och differentierat har utbildningssystemet kommit att framhållas som betydelsefullt för den kapitalistiska statens såväl integrativa funktioner som för dess möjligheter att skapa ekonomisk tillväxt och konkurrenskraft. Kunskap har med andra ord kommit att bli ’High politics’ (Jessop, 2006, Apple, 2003) vilket inneburit att ett lands utbildningssystem betraktas som en allt viktigare resurs och tillika ”styrnings-medium” för det byråkratiska och politiska systemet försök att möta olika samhälleliga förändringar och problem (Lundgren, 200xx).

     

    Med en sådan utgångspunkt argumenteras det i detta paper att om en ny utbildningsreform ska framstå som legitim måste densamma framställas som lösningen på ett eller flera problem (jmf Forsberg, 2008). Problem som den samtida skolan således inte anses vara kapabel att lösa. Det är med en sådan utgångspunkt som den pågående reformeringen av den svenska gymnasieskolan i detta paper studeras. Med ett intresse för den politiska dimensionen av läroplanens kunskaper analyseras den nya gymnasiereformen (SOU 2008:xx, prop. 2008/09:xx) genom frågan – vilka problem är den pågående reformeringen av gymnasieskolan att betrakta som lösningen på? Med 1990-talets gymnasiereform som fond är syftet att försöka urskilja vissa diskursiva förskjutningar över tid, från 1990-talet fram till idag, med avseende på vad som, i reformtexterna, framställs som god kunskap samt hur denna kunskap framställs som legitim.

     

    Med metodologisk inspiration från den kritiska realismen och den kritiska diskursanalysen blir en viktig utgångspunkt i analysen att försöka förstå och förklara utbildningspolitiska processer i sitt historiska och sociopolitiska sammanhang. I ett första steg i analysen har fokus riktats mot respektive reformtexters bärande begrepp, eller som de kommer att benämnas här, semantiska magneter, som respektive reform ses vara uppbyggd kring. Dessa semantiska magneter ses i ett nästa analytiska skede konstituera olika diskurser som ses sätta ramarna för vad som är att betrakta som ett problem och lösningen på densamma under respektive reformperiod. Slutligen diskuteras dessa diskurser och de diskursiva förskjutningar som kan påvisas mellan de två reformperioderna i relation till den samhälleliga praktik som desamma ses ha skapats inom.

     

    Resultatet av analysen pekar mot ett antal diskursiva brott och vissa diskursiva förskjutningar mellan de två reformperioderna. På 1990-talet hanterades de aktuella problemen inom ramen för en hybridisering av en marknadsorienterad- och en sociokulturellt orienterad kunskapsdiskurs medan problemen inom den senaste gymnasiereformen kan ses hanteras inom ramen för en mer reglerad marknadsorienterad- och en essentialtiskt orienterad kunskapsdiskurs. Hur denna förändrade kunskapssyn vinner legitimitet diskuteras till sist utifrån en pågående samhällsutveckling i termer av legitimitetskriser inom, en ökad uppmärksamhet kring internationella kunskapsmätningar och en hög ungdomsarbetslöshet.    

  • 9.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Vad räknas som kunskap i den svenska gymnasieskolan?: En kritisk diskursanalys av förändrade policyformeringar mellan 1990-talet och 2010-talet i svensk gymnasieskola2012In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 21, no 2, 15-38 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the question – what problems is the current reform of the Swedish upper secondary school considered being the solution of – this article analyzes the political dimension of knowledge in the way it is discursively visualized in policy texts. With methodological inspiration from the Critical discourse analysis (CDA) two education policy reforms, published for the 1990s- and the 2010’s reformation of the upper secondary school, have been compared with an aim to study discursive shifts over time concerning changing politics of knowledge. To understand and explain these shifts the relation between declared knowledge discourses and the social practice, that these discourses are embedded in, is discussed. The results in the article point to some discursive shifts. The 1990’s policy texts were dominated by a hybridization of a deregulated objective-rational- and a socio-cultural oriented knowledge discourse. These discourses have now been challenge by a form of hybridization of a regulated working lifeoriented and a content- and result oriented knowledge discourse. These discursive movements are finally discussed in relation to what different societal problems these reforms are considered to be a solution to.

  • 10.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    What count as knowledge?: A critical analysis of the ongoing reformation of the Swedish upper secondary school in the age of “standards-based education”2011In: ECER 2011, Urban Education: Network: 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a society that is characterized of being both more and more knowledge intensive and differentiated in the labor market, education has come to be increasingly important for the capitalist states integrative functions as for the competitiveness in the global economy. Parallel processes can be found in a European context. Different movements have resulted in the creation of different supranational systems with the aims of converging nation’s education policy and compare pupils’ knowledge standards on an international basis (Ringarp & Rothland, 2010).  In other words – knowledge has become high politics! This means, just like Apple (2003) emphasizes, that schooling by its very nature is political. Apple also suggests that analyses of the politics of knowledge are crucial if a deeper understanding of the complex connections between education and power is to be examined.

     

    In regard to, among others, Swedish results in the international knowledge comparison between countries and an increasingly youth unemployment, the Swedish school system, and especially the upper secondary school, has had to endure a lot of criticism. These critics resulted in a reformation of the Swedish upper secondary school system. With a general interest in understanding the relationship between the constitution of knowledge in education policy and broader social changes - this paper analyses the political dimension of knowledge in the way it is materialized in this reformation. Two education policy reforms will be compared with an aim to study discursive shifts over time concerning the formation of knowledge in educational policy. In 2009 the Swedish government handed over the proposition “Higher standards and quality in the new secondary school” (2008/09: 199) to the Parliament. Foregoing this proposition was the government committee report “the path to the future – a reformed upper secondary school” (SOU 2008:27), which proposed the most extensive changes in the Swedish upper secondary school since the 1990s. This government committee report, with the subsequent proposition, will in this paper be analysed in relation to one of the most influential committee reports (School of education, 1992:94) and propositions (1992/93:250) which in the same way can be regarded as the most important policy texts in the reformation of the 1990s upper secondary school. The interest of this study is to examine discursive and social changes by comparing the content in these policy texts with regards to the constitution of knowledge in the way it manifest itself in how policymakers talk about the concept of student, education and society. With a critical approach it is crucial to understand and explain policy processes of education in its historical and sociopolitical context. The educational system is then, in this study, theoretically positioned in terms of its embeddedness in a prescribed dilemma by the welfare states politics to, in a as well legitimately and efficiently ways, reproduce the capitalistic system (Offe, 1984; Jessop 2002). In this processes the educational system seems play an important role.

     

    With methodological inspiration from the Critical discourse analysis (CDA) (Fairclough, 1992, Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 1999) I study educational policy from the viewpoint of three different dimensions: text, discursive practice and social practice. With a focus on how the policymakers talk about knowledge I try, on the text level, to elucidate and analyse the essential concepts in the policy texts. In the next step, i.e. in the analysis of the discursive practice, I see how these concepts underlie and create different types of knowledge discourses. The concept orders of discourse (Chouliaraki & Fairclough, 1999) enable an analysis of the relation between the discursive and the social practice. In this dimension I analyse the relation between this different types of knowledge discourses. The aim is to visualize changing patterns of dominance and legitimate knowledge discourses in a specified historical and sociopolitical context, and how this order changes (in this case from 1990s to 2009) in relation to social changes. With a methodological approach like the above describes it is possible to understand the constitution of knowledge in educational policy in relation to a broader sociopolitical and historical context.

     

    In preliminary results of the analyzed policy texts I can see discursive shifts in the formation of knowledge from the 1990s until today. The 1990s policy texts were dominated by a form of a hybridization of a market- and a socio-cultural knowledge discourse. This discourse has now been challenge by, what I will call, an economic neo-conservative knowledge discourse characterized by an explicitly and defined knowledge content in each syllabus and with major differences between vocational education and theoretical educations. These movements can be understood in relation to the processes of the increasingly standard based education trend we can see in a European context. In conclusion, Habermas (1984) concepts system and life world, help us to understand how different rationalities are working within theses different discourses of knowledge. From this analysis I then discus in which direction the current reformation of the upper secondary school seems to move in terms of what is considered to be a desirable student, a good education and a desirable society.

     

    References

     

    Apple, Michael (2003). The state and the politics of knowledge. London: Routledge

    Chouliaraki, Lilie & Fairclough, Norman (1999). Discourse in late modernity – Rethinking critical discourse analysis. Edinburgh: EdinburghUniversity press

    Fairclough, Norman (1992). Discourse and social change. Oxford: Polity Press.

    Habermas, Jürgen (1984). The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume 1: Reasons and the Rationalization of Society: Cambridge : Polity Press

    Jessop, Bob (2002). The future of the capitalist state. Cambridge: Polity

    Offe, Claus (1984), Contradictions of the welfare state. London: Hutchinson

    Ringarp, Johanna & Rothland, Martin (2010). “The effects of the PISA results on Education Debates in Sweden and Germany” European Educational Research Journal. Vol. 9, Nr. 3

  • 11.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Alvunger, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The nested systems of local curriculum innovation2016In: ECER 2016, Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers, Dublin, 22-26 August, 2016, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In school systems around the world there is an increasing focus on students' academic achievement and performance and higher demands for school decision makers to gradually improve school results. In this respect Sweden is no exception. The last years you find a number of different national policy initiatives in line with these transnational policy trends: a new curriculum for the compulsory school (Lgr11) and the upper secondary school (Gy11), a new school law (SFS 2010:800), a reform for career services for teachers with the introduction of “first-teachers” in 2013 and the establishment of new authorities like the School Inspectorate in 2008. In turn, all these reforms have resulted in intensive school improvement work in Swedish municipalities.

    Curriculum innovation is a dynamic research field. During the last decades important empirical findings have emerged as well as theoretical models explaining and supporting successful school development and school leadership (cf Fullan, 2001; Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012; Hallinger, 2011). Recent research has also pointed out how strategies and aspects of different actors and levels in the school system interact. A current discussion concerns how school reforms and improvement efforts are used to increase student achievement, with special regard to significance and potential of the local and regional leading and management. Another question is how school improvements solutions on a more general basis is possible to roll out when research also argues for the need of versatile and context-specific school improvement efforts (Hopkins, Stringfield, Harris, Stoll & Mackay 2014).

    The aim with this paper is twofold. Firstly, the paper wants to contribute to and develop a deepened theoretical understanding of local school curriculum innovation. The local curriculum context is defined as an “open nested school system” with different sub-systems, e.g. the classroom, teacher work-units, school leadership teams, the local school authority etc. (Resnick, 2010). Although these systems are internally related, the curriculum actors in each system stand on its own logic and conditions (i.e. loosely coupled). Therefore you will find different arguments, perceptions and notions in the sub-systems and that they are nested in context-specific ways (Resnick 2010). Our primary hypothesis is that centrally initiated curriculum changes and improvement initiatives are unlikely to be successful, unless these actively engages all the sub-systems and re-couples the nested systems of the curriculum (Adolfsson & Håkansson, 2015).

    Secondly, the empirical aim is to explore how different curriculum actors in a medium-sized Swedish municipality understand their functions, interact and respond to central aspects in local curriculum work. By looking into and explaining relationships between the sub-systems – the local school authority, principals and teachers – important features and factors for organising robust school improvement processes can be identified. Of particular interest is the introduction of first-teachers in 2013. First-teachers are a new function in Swedish public and independent schools, engaged in school improvement and thus curriculum actors. Previous research has shown that first-teachers might strengthen the idea of distributed leadership in schools, but at the same time also challenge, to some extent, existing leadership relations and authority – primarily that of the principal (Alvunger, 2015). However, we know – so far – little of how this might impact the school organization and relationships between the sub-systems in school improvement. Our aim is guided by the following research questions:

    -        How do the curriculum actors understand and describe their functions in relation to each other in local curriculum work?

    -        What are perceived as primary challenges and needs among the curriculum actors? What strategies do they suggest and use to deal with these challenges and needs?

    -        How can the local curriculum work be explained and understood from the perspective of nested school systems?

    Methods and material (400)

    The study draws on material from two recently finished “ongoing evaluation” projects conducted in a medium-sized municipality (65,000 inhabitants) in the southeastern part of Sweden. As a way to support schools’ improvement work, researchers in the first project have studied processes and outcomes of nine schools’ development work over three years by collecting and analysing data from different levels of the local school system. The second project focused and analysed the implementation of the national reform for career services for teachers. Together the projects have resulted in a rich empirical material from various contexts in the local school organisation that enable a thorough analysis of the school improvement work on different levels (i.e.in different sub-systems).

    This paper is based on a “mixed-method” design (Cresswell, 2010). Along with Cresswell and Clark (2007) we argue that such a methodological research design is a way of preserving the complexity and deepening the perspective of the research questions being addressed while at the same time it is possible to obtain different but complementary data on the same phenomenon. In line with the theoretical points of departure and the general aim to elucidate patterns of actors’ understanding, interaction and responses on general aspects of improvement work, following methods and empirical data have been used: i) a content analysis of central policy documents ii) questionnaires and iii) semi-structured focus group interviews.

    As a first step central documents regarding the local school organisation, policy and vision, leading and management structure, evaluations, school improvement strategies were analysed. The purpose was to conduct a contextual analysis and to create a map of the organisation, central strategies and content of the improvement work in the municipality.

    During the project three different teacher surveys were conducted (n=250; n=160; n=157). In these online questionnaires teacher’s perceptions of central dimensions of the local improvement work was investigated. Another important purpose was to explore teachers’ notions of patterns of changes as a result of the improvement work.    

    Finally, as a way to deepen the understanding of the improvement work in the municipality semi-structured focus group interviews with representatives from the local school authority (8 interviews), principals (12 interviews), and first-teachers (14 interviews) were carried out. The main focus in these interviews was the experiences and notions of the schools’ improvement work.

    Expected outcomes/Results (300)

    The results of the study clearly show that the local school organisation consists of different nested sub-systems. Both similarities and differences in how the curriculum actors interact and respond to central aspects in curriculum work can be identified. There is a common view that the work should be based on teaching practices and collegial learning, where the themes “classroom leadership” and “language and concept development” have been agreed upon collegially (bottom-up). However, the sub-systems argue for different strategies and disagree on how to work with these themes. The development unit on local authority level has decided that specific resources and interventions are to be directed for peer observation and feed-back sessions between teachers (top-down). This limits the possibilities for principals to respond to the requests from the teachers who favour pedagogical dialogues for exchanging experiences and developing teaching. All in all, this presents challenges for the school improvement work. In this respect first-teachers as a new sub-system may create conditions for better communication between other sub-systems (e.g. subject teacher teams, work-units, principals) because they operate on different levels. However, there are almost no collaborative arenas or networks for communication within the first-teacher system. Furthermore, the introduction of first-teachers seem to present challenges for the principals who must improve their internal communication as a sub-system in order to be educational leaders and to on-ward engage first-teachers and teachers in school improvement work. The results support our hypothesis that centrally initiated curriculum innovation initiatives are unlikely to be successful, unless these actively engages all the sub-systems and re-couples the nested systems of the curriculum.

    References

    Adolfsson, C-H & Håkansson, J (2015). Building School Improvement Capacity and Learning Capital – A Swedish Case Study. Contribution to the ECER-conference in Budapest, September 2015.

    Alvunger, D. (2015.) Towards New Forms of Educational Leadership? – The Local Implementation of Förstelärare in Swedish Schools. Special issue: Educational Leadership in Transition. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 2015, 1: 30103, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/nstep.v1.30103

    Creswell J, & Plano Clark, V. (2007), Designing and conducting mixed methods, SAGE Publications, London.

    Cresswell, J.W. (2010). Mapping the developing landscape of mixed methods research. I Abbas Tashakkori & Charles Teddlie, red: Sage Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social & Behavioral Research, s 45-68. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications

    Fullan, Michael (2001). The new meaning of educational change. 3. ed. New York: Teachers College Press

    Fullan, M. (2006). Turnaround leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Hallinger, Philip (2011). Leadership for Learning: Lessons from 40 Years of Empirical Research. Journal of Educational Administration, v. 49 n. 2 p. 125-142.

    Hargreaves, Andy & Fullan, Michael (2012). Professional capital: transforming teaching in every school. New York: Routledge.

    Hopkins, D., Stringfield, S., Harris, A., Stoll, L. & Mackay, T (2014). School and system improvement: a narrative state-of-the-art review, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 25:2, 257-281.

    Resnick, Lauren B. (2010). Nested System for the Thinking Curriculum. Educational Researcher, vol. 39 No. 3  183-197.

  • 12.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Alvunger, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The nested systems of local school development: Understanding improved interaction and capacities in the different sub-systems of schools2017In: Improving Schools, ISSN 1365-4802, E-ISSN 1475-7583, Vol. 20, no 3, 195-208 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In school systems around the world, there is an increasing focus on students’ academic achievement. The challenge of how to improve schools is an important issue for all levels in the school system. However, a central question of both practical and theoretical relevance is how it is possible to understand why (or why not) school-development efforts are successful. The purpose of this article is to explore the ecology of local school development through the case of a medium-sized municipality in Sweden, based on empirical data from two follow-up research projects. The analytical framework draws from organisational theory and new institutional theory, where focus is directed towards how different sub-systems of the school organisation interact with and respond to aspects of development work and the implications for outcomes of school-development initiatives. Findings show that great investment of resources from the central level in the local school organisation necessarily does not lead to changes in teaching practice. School-development initiatives are unlikely to be successful unless they engage and re-couple the involved sub-systems. Finally, we discuss how the introduction of Expert Teachers as a new sub-system has the ability to work as a link between other sub-systems and to promote school development.

  • 13.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Alvunger, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The selection of content and knowledge conceptions in the teaching of curriculum standards in compulsory schooling2018In: Transnational Curriculum Standards and Classroom Practices: The New Meaning of Teaching / [ed] Ninni Wahlström & Daniel Sundberg, London: Routledge, 2018, 98-115 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Håkansson, Jan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    En slutrapport från projektet: Lärande skolor och förskolor i Kalmar kommun: Forskning och lokalt skolutvecklingsarbete i samspel2015Report (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Håkansson, Jan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lärande grundskolor i Stockholm stad: En slutrapport2017Report (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Håkansson, Jan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    sundberg, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Karlsdotter, Anna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lärande skolor och förskolor i Kalmar kommun: Forskning och lokalt skolutvecklingsarbete i samspel - En delrapport2014Report (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sundberg, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Att forskningsbasera den svenska skolan: Policyinitiativ under 25 år2017In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Även om ”en skola på vetenskaplig grund” idag är ett högaktuellt ämne är det ingalunda något nytt fenomen. I artikeln studeras tendenser i policyinitiativ som de senaste 25 åren haft till syfte att forskningsbasera den svenska skolan. Utgångspunkt tas i de problembilder som framkommer i policy samt vilka modeller för forskningsbasering som samtidigt lyfts fram som lösningen på dessa problem. Resultatet pekar mot att det de senaste 25 år har skett en succesiv förskjutning från indirekta till mer direkta initiativ. Under 1990-talet och det tidiga 2000-talet var många policyinitiativ ordnade utifrån att främst vilja skapa de rätta förutsättningarna för en forskningsbasering av skolan. Under 2000-talet blir initiativen alltmer fokuserade och ambitiös med syfte att åstadkomma direkta förändringar i lärares undervisning. När det kommer till modeller för forskningsbasering blir det samtidigt alltmer tydligt hur policy vänder sig till och söker legitimitet hos delvis nya aktörer och institutioner, som exempelvis hälso-sjukvården. Med detta går det också att urskilja en insnävning vad gäller att definiera och innehållsligt välja ut vilken forskning som bör sprids till skolans aktörer. Konsekvensen med en sådan modell för forskningsbasering menar vi kan bli att läraren främst får inta rollen som passiva mottagare av forskning.

  • 18.
    Alvunger, Daniel
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Introducing a Critical Dialogical Model for Teacher Education/Att införa en kritisk dialogisk modell i lärarutbildningen2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Alvunger, Daniel
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Introducing a critical dialogical model for vocational teacher education2016In: Nordic Journal of Vocational Education and Training, ISSN 2242-458X, E-ISSN 2242-458X, Vol. 6, no 1, 53-75 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose with this article is to conceptualise and present what is referred to as acritical dialogical model for vocational teacher education that takes into account the interactionbetween theory/research and practice/experiential knowledge. The theoreticalframework for the model is based on critical hermeneutics and the methodology ofdialogue seminars with the aim to promote the development of a ‘critical self’ amongthe vocational teacher students. The model enacts an interface between theory andpractice where a number of processes are identified: a reflective-analogical process, acritical-analytical process and an interactive critical self-building process. In order toinclude a theoretical argument concerning the issue of content, the concept of ‘learningcapital’ and its four sub-categories in terms of curricular capital, instructional capital,moral capital and venture capital is used. We point at content-related aspects of studentlearning and how a critical self has the potential to promote various kinds of ‘capital’and capacity building that may be of importance in the future work-life of the vocationalteacher student.

  • 20.
    Håkansson, Jan
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Learning schools in Sweden – principals understanding of on-going school improvement in an era of accountability2014In: ECER 2014, The Past, the Present and the Future of Educational Research: 03. Curriculum Innovation, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the last two decades there has been a general transnational policy trend towards major emphasis on learning outcomes. In Sweden – like in many other countries – there is an on-going discussion about pupils’ academic achievement, not to mention due to Swedish pupils’ low results in different international knowledge comparisons (cf. Ball et al., 2012; Grek, 2009).

    During the last years there has also been an extensive discussion on how research can help developing schools in terms of professional development for teachers and principals but also raising students’ achievement. School improvement combining scientific evidence and the proven experience is attracting a wide interest, especially in the international research. There are several attempts from different perspectives addressing questions related to professional learning and development for teachers and principals, school and teacher effectiveness, school improvement, curriculum innovation et cetera (cf. Day et al., 2012).

    In Sweden the situation is more modest according to research efforts in the school development field, although there are important and interesting results from collaborations between school researchers and school improvement efforts (cf. Håkansson & Sundberg, 2012; Blossing, 2008).  

    The Education Act of 2010 is part of a top-to-bottom curriculum reform in Sweden, which has put further pressure on municipalities and schools to implement new syllabuses, clearer goals and knowledge demands and a new grading system (cf. Utbildningsdepartementet (The Ministry of Education), 2008; 2011). At the same time there is still high expectations and demands on performance improvements and school-based development work. So what does it mean working with school-development under the external pressure? Our previous research shows that there is a differentiated picture appearing when it comes to local actors’ arguments of content areas of curriculum development. Howsoever the strongest arguments were the result and the inspection argument, there are also other motives for choosing specific curriculum areas as a starting point for school-improvement, for example previous development work adjusted to the new curriculum, lack of competencies, signals from the staff et cetera (cf. Sundberg, Håkansson, Adolfsson, 2013)

     

    The starting point for this paper is an on-going three-year research project in six Swedish compulsory schools with the general purpose of exploring and developing theoretical, methodological and practical knowledge for school improvement. A vital question is how local actors (i.e. principals in this case) comprehend the parallel process of local improvement work and external pressure in terms of accountability and performance improvement. As part of this broader aim the purpose of the research presented in this paper is to elucidate principals’ understanding of the school improvement work after one year, in regard to estimated changes/results, chosen strategies and local conditions. The following research questions are addressed in the paper:

     

    • In what way do principal understand school changes related to local conditions and strategies in terms of:

     

    a)     content areas covered on teacher level?

    b)    their own leadership and learning?

    c)     capacity-building for school development?

     

    The first theoretical starting point in this paper is a “classical” framework of curriculum theory (i.e. the frame-factor theory with its different levels of analysis – the societal/ideological level, the curriculum level and the teaching and classroom level, cf. Lundgren 1989).  In this context we above all use elaborations of the frame-factor theory describing pedagogical processes in terms of frames/conditions – processes – results (c.f. Lindensjö & Lundgren, 2000).  A second theoretical starting point used in this research is aggregated knowledge from the field of school effectiveness and improvement. During the last decades important empirical findings has emerged as well as theoretical models explaining and supporting successful school development and school leadership (cf Fullan, 2001; Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012; Hallinger, 2011).

    Method

    In connection to the mentioned elaboration of the frame-factor theory, Fullan (2001) means that educational processes must be studied and analysed in relation to its external and its internal conditions. Stoll (2009) emphasizes the importance of internal and external actors supporting and creating the necessary conditions, culture and structures. The concept “capacity-building” is used trying to take into consideration the “multifaceted” characteristics of school development and also show that school improvement essentially deals with creating capacity for learning (c.f. Stoll 2009; see also Fullan, 2006). Our analytical framework and the tools for analysing data, take into consideration the mentioned starting points searching for evidence related to changes in the schools linked to capacities in terms of research-based strategies but also principals insights in i) curriculum content areas, ii) teaching and student learning, iii) the school’s potential for educational change, iv) morals and values in their leadership (cf. Stoll, 2013). In order to explore and analyse the on-going school improvement process and changes after one year through principals’ understanding, different qualitative methods have been used. The most important sources are the qualitative group interviews with principals (n=13) at the end of the first year, but also sound recordings and field notes from eight planning meetings with the principals during the first year (from January to December 2013). Furthermore we have also analysed planning documents from the schools showing local goals, school-based activities and evaluation plans. The group interviews were carried out in two groups in December 2013 following a semi-structured interview-guide. Each group consisted of six or seven principals and the interviewer was a research assistant who had not met the group before. The questions were structured according to the above-mentioned structure for pedagogical processes: frames/conditions – processes – results, but organized in the other way (i.e. observed changes/results were discussed first). Each interview were taped and lasted for approximately one and a half hour. All sound recordings, field notes and other documents (approximately 50-70 pages of text) have constituted the foundation for the analysis in several steps.

    Expected Outcomes

    The results of the empirical analysis will be presented in terms of qualitative differences in principals descriptions of changes in teacher consciousness related to for example curriculum areas like classroom management, or support to pupils’ development of language. These qualitative differences can also be about – in a general sense – teachers’ consciousness of curriculum reform, content areas or school improvement (question a). Secondly the results will show patterns of principals learning related to leadership in school development, ability of analysis and time perspective in school improvement (question b). Finally the result and discussion will pay attention to capacity-building in schools related to Swedish curriculum reform (Lgr 11), different forms of external support from the research group and teaching improvement (question c).

    References

    Ball, Stephen, Maguire, Meg & Braun Annette (2012). How Schools du Policy. Policy enactments in secondary schools. London and New York: Routledge. Blossing, Ulf (2008). Kompetens för samspelande skolor: om skolorganisationer och skolförbättring. 1. uppl. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Fullan, Michael (2001). The new meaning of educational change. 3. ed. New York: Teachers College Press Fullan, M. (2006). Turnaround leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Grek, Sotiria (2009). Governings by numbers: the PISA effect in Europe. Journal of education policy, 24(1), p. 23-37. Hallinger, Philip (2011). Leadership for Learning: Lessons from 40 Years of Empirical Research. Journal of Educational Administration, v. 49 n. 2 p. 125-142 2011. 18 pp Hargreaves, Andy & Fullan, Michael (2012). Professional capital: transforming teaching in every school. New York: Routledge Håkansson, Jan & Sundberg, Daniel (2012b). Utmärkt undervisning. Framgångsfaktorer I svensk och internationell belysning. [Excellent teaching. Success factors in the light of Swedish and international research; in Swedish]. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur. Lindensjö, Bo & Lundgren, Ulf P. (2000). Utbildningsreformer och politisk styrning. [Curriculum Reforms and Policy; in Swedish]. Stockholm: HLS förl Lundgren, Ulf P. (1989). Att organisera omvärlden: en introduktion till läroplansteori. 2. [dvs 4.] uppl. [Organizing the Surrounding World: Introduction to Curriculum Theory; in Swedish] Stockholm: Utbildningsförl. på uppdrag av Gymnasieutredningen. Stoll, Louise (2009). Capacity building for school improvement or creating capacity for learning? A changing landscape. Journal of Educational Change. 10:115–127. Stoll, Louise (2013). Leading Professional Learning Communities. In Wise, Christine, Bradshaw, Pete & Cartwright, Marion (ed). Leading Professional Pracitce in Education. London: SAGE. Sundberg, D., Håkansson, J. & Adolfsson, C. (2013). The Recontextualisation of curriculum reform: Local curriculum innovation under the accountability regime of the New Swedish Curriculum, Lgr11. Paper presented at the ECER 2013, Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research. Utbildningsdepartementet (The Ministry of Education) (2008). Regeringens proposition 2008/09:87. Tydligare mål och kunskapskrav – nya läroplaner för skolan [Government Bill 2009/09:87. Clearer Goals and Knowledge Demands – new curriculums for the school: in Swedish]. Utbildningsdepartementet (The Ministry of Education) (2011). Läroplan för grundskolan, förskoleklassen och fritidshemmet 2011 (Lgr 11). [Curriculum for the Compulsory School, Preschool Class and the Leisure-time Centre 2011; in Swedish]. Stockholm: National Agency for Education.

  • 21.
    Håkansson, Jan
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Learning schools in Sweden – principals understanding of on-going school improvement in an era of accountability2014In: Teachers Matter - But how?, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Learning schools in Sweden – principals understanding of on-going school improvement in an era of accountability

    Over the last two decades there has been a general transnational policy trend towards major emphasis on learning outcomes. In Sweden – like in many other countries – there is an on-going discussion about pupils’ academic achievement, not to mention due to Swedish pupils’ low results in different international knowledge comparisons (cf. Ball et al., 2012; Grek, 2009). The Education Act of 2010 is part of a top-to-bottom curriculum reform in Sweden, which has put further pressure on municipalities and schools to implement new syllabuses, clearer goals and knowledge demands and a new grading system. At the same time there are still high expectations and demands on performance improvements and school-based development work. So what does it mean working with local school-development under such an external pressure?

    The starting point for this paper is an on-going three-year research project in six Swedish compulsory schools with the general purpose of exploring and developing theoretical, methodological and practical knowledge for school improvement. The purpose is to explore how local school actors (principals in this case) understand and handle the parallel process of, on the one hand, external pressure to improve students achievement and, on the other hand, the local school-based curriculum development. In the light of such a tension, what are the principals understanding of:

                          - The selection of content areas for curriculum development?

                          - Principals own leadership and learning?

                          - The schools’ capital building, for school improvement?

    The first theoretical starting point in this paper is a “classical” framework of curriculum theory (i.e. the frame-factor theory with its different levels of analysis – the societal/ideological level, the curriculum level and the teaching and classroom level, cf. Lundgren 1989). A second theoretical starting point used in this paper is theories about school actors’ and organizations’ learning (Schulman & Schulman, 2004; Resnick, 2010). The concept capital refers to individuals and organizations resources, in terms of skills and abilities, which can be used to act and make desirable changes. Schulman & Schulman (2004) distinguish between four different aspects of the capital concept: Moral, Curricula, Venture and Technical capital. These distinctions make it possible, in the analysis process, to study and better understand what forms of capital building emerge in schools and which capital building that seems to be the most important, and why?

     

    Method

    In order to explore and analyse the on-going school improvement process and changes after one year through principals’ understanding, different qualitative methods have been used. The most important sources are the qualitative group interviews with principals (n=13) at the end of the first year, but also sound recordings and field notes from eight planning meetings with the principals during the first year (from January to December 2013). Furthermore we have also analyzed planning documents from the schools showing local goals, school-based activities and evaluation plans.

    Expected Outcomes

    The following aspects of the result will be discussed:

    -          Principals’ autonomy in relation to the local authority: a paradox?

    -          Principals’ learning – an unexpected result from the local school improvement work.

    -          The schools’ strategies focused, in the first hand, on the curriculum and technical capital building. How can this be understood in the light of an increased trend of accountability?

    -           Schools’ selection of content – accountability dependent but also challenged by local curriculum development.

    (some important) References

    Ball, Stephen, Maguire, Meg & Braun Annette (2012). How Schools du Policy. Policy enactments in secondary schools. London and New York: Routledge.

    Fullan, Michael (2001). The new meaning of educational change. 3. ed. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Grek, Sotiria (2009). Governings by numbers: the PISA effect in Europe. Journal of education policy, 24(1), pp. 23-37.

    Hargreaves, Andy & Fullan, Michael (2012). Professional capital: transforming teaching in every school. New York: Routledge.

    Lundgren, Ulf P. (1989). Att organisera omvärlden: en introduktion till läroplansteori. 2. [dvs 4.] uppl. [Organizing the Surrounding World: Introduction to Curriculum Theory; in Swedish] Stockholm: Utbildningsförl.

    Resnick, Lauren (2010). Nested Learning for the Thinking Curriculum. Educational Researcher. Vol 39 no. 3, pp. 183- 197. 

    Schulman, Lee S & Schulman Judith  (2004). How and what teachers lean: a shiftning perspective. Journal of curriculum studies, vol 36, no 2, 257-271.

    Stoll, Louise (2009). Capacity building for school improvement or creating capacity for learning? A changing landscape. Journal of Educational Change. 10:115–127.

  • 22.
    Håkansson, Jan
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sundberg, Daniel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Building School Improvement Capacity and Learning Capital: A Swedish Case Study2015In: Education and Transition. Contributions from Educational Research. ECER 2015, European Conference on Educational Research, Budapest, September 7-11, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In school systems around the world there is an increasing focus on students' academic achievement and school result. Sweden is no exception in that respect. Parallel to an intensified control of pupils' level of achievement (cf. PISA), there are increasing demands for school decision makers to gradually improve students' academic performance. The question of how schools are changing and improving thus becomes an important issue for all levels, from policy makers to professionals in schools, but also for researchers. Several decades of research on how school’s improvement efforts ultimately affect student learning highlights the importance of paying attention to the balance between "... individual initiative and school/system change, between internal and external resources and ideas, between pressure for accountability and support for change, and between independence and collaboration "(Hopkins et al., 2014). In this context, the coordination of top-down and bottom-up strategies in schools' improvement work seems to be crucial (Fullan, 1994). At the same time, research shows that the building of schools' development capacity is primarily focused on professional learning and development for principals and teachers, which in turn is expected to improve teaching and student learning (cf. Day, 2012; Stoll 2009). From previous studies of local school improvement work, the results show changes in aspects of principals’ and teachers’ learning, which can be connected to certain improvement strategies (Adolfsson & Håkansson, 2014). This paper will investigate these indications further.

    The focus of this paper is to explore schools' capacity building for improvement in terms of professional learning as strategies over time change character from top-down to bottom-up, a perspective seemingly little illuminated in past research. Within the framework of an ongoing three-year research project in six Swedish compulsory schools, the intention here is to elucidate the way in which top-down and bottom up strategies affect schools' improvement in general and the schools' capacity for development of different forms of learning capital in particular. The following research questions are addressed in the paper:

    •In what ways are principals' leadership and learning but also teachers' understanding of their teaching and the improvement work in terms of learning capital, related to changes in school improvement strategies?

    •What changes in schools overall learning capital and capacity building can be found in relation to changed strategies to initiate and manage local school improvement work?

    The theoretical foundation of this study is based on curriculum theory (cf. Lundgren, 1989). From school improvement research there are also certain concepts to acknowledge. One crucial concept is the “nested school system”. It consists of a number of nested sub-systems, e.g. the classroom, teachers working teams, school leadership teams, the local authority et cetera (Resnick, 2010). Although these systems are related internally, school improvement work in each system rests on specific rationalities and incentives (i.e. loosely coupled). Another important concept is “capital”, which refers to different learning qualities in the capacity building of school improvement. Shulman and Shulman (2004) distinguish four forms of capital defining different qualities of schools' capacity building in terms of learning: i) moral or cultural capital, ii) curriculum capital, iii) instructional capital, iv) change capital. The moral or cultural capital means ability to engage in school and teacher team collaborative work and learning about teaching, while curriculum capital involves significant dimensions of teachers' assignments, such as knowledge of school subjects, curriculum, syllabuses, teaching strategies, et cetera. Instructional capital is about the ability to translate theoretical knowledge into practical teaching, while change capital contains the step from participation and training in different school improvement activities to the incorporation of (more or less) changed and more effective ways of teaching (ibid.).

    Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used

    The paper draws on a “classical” theoretical and methodological framework of curriculum theory (i.e. the frame-factor theory), with its different levels of analysis – the societal/ideological level, the curriculum level; and the teaching and classroom level (cf. Lundgren 1989). In order to study and analyse ongoing school development processes and changes in schools’ capital building, different kinds of sources have been used. Throughout the ongoing evaluation project data from the schools’ improvement work have been collected (e.g. local documents, interviews and survey studies with students, teachers, principals, and officials from the local authority), to support analyses of learning capital on different levels.

    The main type of source used in this study is focus group interviews with principals (n=8) and teachers (n=80). Another is recordings and field notes from planning meetings that continually were held during the project with principals. In the beginning of the project two group interviews with all participating principals where carried out. After two years a second round of interviews followed up these interviews, with the same principals. A semi-structured interview-guide was used and the interviewer was a research assistant who had not met the group before. In addition approximately 20 group interviews with teachers were carried out. The main focus in these principal and teacher interviews was experiences and views on the schools’ improvement work in general and change in schools’ capacity building, principals’ and teachers’ learning in particular.

    Keeping with the theoretical points of departure, the analysis follows a two-step procedure. In the first step the newly collected empirical data was compared to data from previous interviews and planning meetings. With the capital concept (Shulman & Shulman, 2004), the focus in this step of the analysis was to elucidate patterns of change over time in the school’s capacity building. In connection to the frame-factor theory and in accordance with Fullan (2001), meaning that educational processes must be studied in relation to both their external and their internal conditions, these results were in a second step analysed in relation to a continous shift from top down strategies to bottom up strategies for initiation and implementation of local school improvement work.

    Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings

    The results of the empirical analysis will be presented in terms of changes in schools learning capital and capacity building in relation to changed strategies to initiate and manage local school improvement works. In light of the thesis that different strategies will support different qualities (capital) of the schools’ capacity building in their local improvement work, the results indicate that changes from an emphasis on top-down strategies to an emphasis on bottom-up strategies seems to create conditions for other forms of capital within the scope of the local school improvement work. For example, bottom up (horizontal) strategies seem to in greater extent support the schools’ moral and venture capital building, compared to top down (vertical) strategies. These changes will be discussed in terms of how shifts in school strategies appear in: i) principals' leadership and learning, and ii) teachers' understanding of their teaching and the improvement work.

    In light of the concept of the “nested school system” it will finally be argued that different aspects of learning capital are necessary for successful and solid school improvement work. Moreover the results indicates that the organization of local school improvement work has to actively engage all the sub-systems of the school system (i.e. re-couple the nested systems). In other words, successful school improvement strategies, where different aspects of the capital building are included, seem to comprise a balance between top down and bottom up strategies (c.f. Hopkins et al, 2014),

    References

    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik & Håkansson, Jan (2014). Learning schools in Sweden – principals understanding of ongoing school improvement in an era of accountability. Contribution to the ECER-konference in Porto, September 2014.

    Day, C. (Ed) (2012). The Routledge international handbook of teacher and school development. London: Routledge.

    Fullan, M. (1994). Coordinating Top-Down and Bottom-Up strategies for Educational Reform. In Anson, R.J. Systemic reform. Perspectives on Personalizing Education. Washington: US Department of Education.

    Hopkins, D., Stringfield, S., Harris, A., Stoll, L, & Mackay, T. (2014). School and system improvement: a narrative state-of-the-art review. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, vol. 25, No 2, 257-281.

    Lundgren, U.P., (1989). Att organisera omvärlden: en introduktion till läroplansteori. (Organizing the Surrounding World: Introduction to Curriculum Theory; in Swedish). Stockholm: Utbildningsförlaget på uppdrag av Gymnasieutredningen.

    Resnick, Lauren B. (2010). Nested System for the Thinking Curriculum. Educational Researcher, vol. 39 No. 3  183-197.

    Shulman, L. S. & Shulman, J. H. (2004). How and what teachers learn: a shifting perspective. Journal of curriculum studies, vol. 36, No. 2, 257-271.

    Stoll, L. (2009). Capacity building for school improvement or creating capacity for learning? A changing landscape. Journal of Educational Change. 10, 115-127.

  • 23.
    Sundberg, Daniel
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Att forskningsbasera skolan: En analys av utbildningspolitiska frågeställningar och initiativ över en 20 års period, delrapport från SKOLFORSK-projektet2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    I föreliggande rapport analyseras policyinitiativ kring forskningsbasering av skolan de två senaste decennierna.Genomgången är disponerad efter fyra olika modeller och strategier som identifierats i forskningslitteraturen.(i) Forskningsbasering genom spridning av forskningsresultat; (ii) Forskningsbasering genom utbildning; (iii)Forskningsbasering genom mäklande; (iv) Forskningsbasering genom interaktiv kunskapsproduktion. Utifråndessa fyra grundläggande modeller synliggörs motiv, idéer och frågeställningar som ligger bakom försöken attnärma skolan och forskningen de senaste 20 åren. Resultaten pekar på att utvecklingen gått i riktning mot merdirekta försök att koppla skol- och undervisningspraktiker och de pedagogiskt yrkesverksammas aktivakonsumtion av utbildningsvetenskaplig forskning. I det avslutande kapitlet sammanfattas de viktigasteslutsatserna kring resultaten för Skolforskningsinstitutets vidkommande.

  • 24.
    Sundberg, Daniel
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Håkansson, Jan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science.
    Innovative leaning environments: a case study of entrepreneurial learning in the Swedish primary school2011Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    There is an increasing pressure for educational systems and schools to actively engage in a series of global changes and adjust to a growing knowledge-intensive society. Internationally, there is talk about certain “21st century competences” in order to equip the pupils for the challenges of the future. While the new reforms and policy initiatives were being introduced, the gap between theory and practice has become increasingly evident (something which is also called the great disconnect). The need for the contextual micro-cases in order to identify and analyse conditions and results of change is evident.

    In the current Swedish case-study, the teaching’s and learning’s core processes have been in focus. Based on case studies of entrepreneurial learning, which in many contexts is highlighted as a key competence for the future, we have analyzed how this innovative approach has been designed, implemented and resulted in changes concerning new learner identities, new pedagogical approaches (in terms of scheduling, grouping, interaction between substances, assessment of learning) and new content focus (entrepreneurial competences) in a Swedish primary school years 6 – 9. The research has been based on a variety of methods in  form of document analysis, interview with the headmaster, project managers and teachers, focus group interviews with students and classroom observations. ILE's framework "Learning Principles" of what characterises an effective learning environment have, on both empirical data collection and its analysis, served as an analytical framework.

    The results of the analyses point to a series of lessons learned on how to design, implement and maintain innovative learning environments. It concerns, for example, including different groups of students and supporting various successful learning identities, so as to balance the necessary subject knowledge with more generic skills / competencies and to organize a formative assessment that can follow and support such skills. The case study also takes up and demonstrates the role of the teacher's active leadership in the actual development of innovative learning environments. Lastly, the current study addresses what we have identified as key challenges in order to bring about changes by means of analysis of the empirical case.

  • 25.
    Sundberg, Daniel
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Håkansson, Jan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Adolfsson, Carl-Henrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The Recontextualisation of Curriculum Reform: Local Curriculum Innovation Under the Accountability Regime of the New Swedish Curriculum, Lgr112013In: ECER 2013, Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research: Network: 03. Curriculum Innovation, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the last two decades, transnational organizations and agreements are increasingly important as actors, networks and shaping forces in curriculum-making, and this also applies to the formation of the Swedish curriculum. The international education policy movement towards standards-based curriculum has been characterized by top-down accountability and linear dissemination (Andersson-Levitt 2008, Sivesind & Karseth 2011). However, several research studies reveal how the translation to national cultural education traditions also implies tensions and contradictions. Differences between different levels of curriculum has been theorized in for example distinctions between intended, implemented and enacted curricula (Conelly 2008). A major issue facing externally mandated reform is the ‘implementation gap’. In this paper we will address factors in how curriculum is contextualised and reconceptualised (Bernstein 2000, Wahlström & Sundberg 2012) as it translated from transnational curriculum scripts to national and local school curriculum development and innovation. The paper draws on a “classical” theoretical framework of curriculum theory (i.e. the frame-factor theory), with its different levels of analysis – the societal/ideological level, the curriculum level; and the teaching and classroom level (cf. Lundgren 1989). With reference to Bernstein (2000), the three different discursive levels can be related to each other, by the concept of recontextualisation. The concept of recontextualisation – how meanings travel between contexts - addresses crucial assumptions of curriculum reform. First, it challenges an assumption of curriculum as a means for direct policy control and secondly, it challenges the assumption that larger global macro-social contexts have unmediated impact on the local context. From Michael Fullan’s seminal study on educational change follows that to implement educational changes, the educational process must be studied and analyzed in relation to both its external and its internal conditions (Fullan 2001). Recent debate in the field of curriculum studies suggests that centrally initiated curriculum change is unlikely to be successful unless it actively engages the practitioners who are the local change agents. In mediating curriculum reform, the intrinsic logic of the curriculum policy is significantly modified to match the institutional logics of the setting where it is enacted (Meyer 2006). This paper draws upon empirical data to explore school-based curriculum development in response to the new curriculum policy, Lgr 11, in Sweden (the National Agency for Education 2011, Government Bill 2007:28). The purpose is to explore how the curriculum reform, Lgr 11, is reconceptualised, understood and related to school development by the local authority, school management and teachers in some selected municipalities. By questionnaires and interviews with local curriculum actors, the contextual adaptations in order to manage and organise new curriculum policies are analysed. The following research questions are addressed in the paper: 1. What are stakeholders’ understandings of the room for manoeuvre in curriculum innovation in implementing the new curriculum policy, Lgr 11? 2. How, and with what arguments is the selection of content areas for curriculum development made in implementing the new curriculum Lgr 11? 3. What change and improvement strategies have been used to meet the demands of the new curriculum policy, Lgr 11? Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used In order to explore and analyse how the curriculum Lgr 11 specifications are translated by the local authorities/schools into a school curriculum, local documents analysis, surveys and interviews with curriculum developers, school leaders and teachers have been conducted. The mixed-method approach followed a three-step procedure. In the first step, nine local educational authorities were selected representing a broad variety of municipalities in terms of population sizes, socio-economic conditions and educational achievement levels. Empirical data were collected by in a semi-structured questionnaire to key curriculum actors. In this, qualitative and explorative survey, key issues in implementing and adapting to the curriculum policy was identified. Based on these answers four cases for further investigation were selected. In the second step, follow-up, in-depth interviews with four informants (local authority development officers) from different local education authorities were conducted. In the semi-structured interviews the strategies for curriculum innovation and change was further elaborated and conceptualised. In the third step a teacher survey was constructed and conducted in one of the selected municipalities (n= 277). In this online questionnaire teacher’s perception of the intended curriculum, the implementation process of the new curriculum and; the relation between curriculum implementation and local development work was investigated. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings The results of the empirical analysis (question 1 and 2) will be presented in terms of patterns of arguments among key curriculum actors. The case studies show how different key players in local curriculum implementation raise arguments and prioritize areas for curriculum innovation variously due to local needs, national ambitions as well as international trends and future social and cultural scenarios. The results of the case studies also highlight central features of how central curriculum actors navigate in local change processes under the enactment of the curriculum Lg11 (question 2). The case studies indicate a wide variety of strategies used in trying to adapt and merge the local development work with external pressures on accountability. The results points to some central dilemmas in steering, organizing and drive local curriculum innovation. In addition, the investigation of curriculum recontextualisation also highlights mismatches between the intrinsic logics of the curriculum policy and the institutional logics when it comes to describing, valuing and judging the outcomes of curriculum innovation (question 3). There are, the results indicate, tensions between external expectations on short-term results on the improvement of pupils’ achievements and long-term improvement outcomes acknowledging the complex relations between institutional mechanisms and emerging practices. References Andersson-Levitt, Kathryn M. (2008). Globalization and curriculum. In: Michael F. Connelly, ed.: The Sage Handbook of Curriculum and Instruction. London: Sage Publications. Bernstein, Basil (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. Connelly, Michael F. ed. (2008): The Sage Handbook of Curriculum and Instruction. London: Sage Publications. Curriculum for the Compulsory School, Preschool Class and the Leisure-time Centre (2011). Stockholm: National Agency for Education. Fullan, Michael (2001): The New Meaning of Educational Change (3rd ed.). London: Routledge Falmer Press. Government Bill 2007:28. Tydliga mål och kunskapskrav i grundskolan. Förslag till nytt mål- och uppföljningssystem [Clear Goals and Knowledge Requirements in Compulsory School Education. Proposal for a New System of Goals and Monitoring]. Stockholm: Swedish Government Official Reports. Lundgren, Ulf P. (1989) Att organisera omvärlden [Organising the World Around Us]. Stockholm: Utbildningsförlaget. Meyer, John W. (2006). World models, National Curricula, and the Centrality of the Individual. In: Benevot, Aaron & Braslavsky, Cecilia: School Knowledge in Comparative and Historical Perspective. Hong Kong: CERC Studies in Comparative Education 18. Sivesind, Kirsten & Karseth, Berit (2010): Conceptualising curriculum knowledge within and beyond the national context. European Journal of Education( 45)1 Sundberg, Daniel & Wahlström, Ninni (2012). Standards-based curricula in a denationalised conception of education – the case of Sweden. European Journal of Education Research, Volume 11, Number 3, 2012.

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