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  • 1.
    Bergh, Andreas
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Local educational actors doing of education: A study of how local autonomy meets international and national quality policy rhetoric2015In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article studies how local autonomy meets international and national quality policy rhetoric. The research question asked is: How can the local doing of education be understood in relation to international and national quality policy rhetoric, and how does this affect teachers’ autonomy to realise nationally formulated goals? To answer this, two sets of theoretical concepts are combined: horizon of expectation and space of experience (Koselleck, 2002) and autonomy and control (Cribb & Gewirtz, 2007). An earlier study (Bergh, 2010) of how the use of the quality concept has successively changed in Swedish authoritative educational texts from the 1990s and onwards provides a broader context for the local study, which empirically builds on interviews with local politicians, civil servants, school leaders and teachers. The results show that the national policy rhetoric has a strong impact on local practice, but also that certain interpretations are taken further in the local context, such as an emphasis on market forces. Although possible conflicts in the national context are concealed by the use of positive concepts like quality, these conflicts eventually erupt in the local setting, often with far reaching consequences for its different actors and for the education in question. 

  • 2.
    Englund, Tomas
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Toward a deliberative curriculum2015In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 1, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, I introduce a deliberative understanding of the formation of the curriculum and school subjects, going beyond a view of subjects as distinctive and prescribed purpose-built enterprises. The basic idea of a deliberative curriculum is developed in relation to curriculum theory and didactics (didaktik), and the disposition of the paper is as follows: I begin by presenting a short conceptual overview of curriculum history,based on Pinar’s (1978) threefold categorization. I then present what I term ‘didactic typologies’, implyingdifferent interpretations concerning the formation of curriculum and the content of school subjects. I exemplify the need for a problematization of curriculum by analyzing a recent article by Zongyi Deng (2009) on how to deal with curriculum questions at different levels with reference to ‘liberal studies’, in which he claims ‘that a school subject is a distinctive purpose-built enterprise’. I then make an extended case for what I call, with reference to Null (2011), a ‘deliberative curriculum’, and try to analyze some of the characteristics and consequences of this perspective for curriculum making, teachers’ professionalism, and classroom activities.Finally, I link and exemplify these three areas to the recent Swedish educational and curriculum history.

  • 3.
    Lilliedahl, Jonathan
    School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    The recontextualisation of knowledge: towards a social realist approach to curriculum and didactics2015In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 40-47Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the relationship of curriculum and didactics through a social realist lens. Curriculum and didactics are viewed as linked and integrated by the common issue of educational content. The author argues that the selection of educational content and its organisation is a matter of recontextualising principles and that curriculum and didactics may be understood as interrelated stages of such recontextualisation. Educational policy and the organisation of pedagogic practice are considered as distinct although closely related practices of ‘curricularisation’ and ‘pedagogisation’. Neo-Bernsteinian social realism implies a sociological approach by which educational knowledge is recognised as something socially constructed, but irreducible to power struggles in policy arenas. More precisely, curriculum and didactics are not only matters of extrinsic standpoints. Recontextualising practices may also involve intrinsic features, that is, some kind of relatively generative logics that regulate curriculum design as well as pedagogic practice. In order to highlight certain implications for both curriculum and didactic theory, the author develops a typology that is analytically framed by principles of extrinsic relations to and intrinsic relations within curriculum or didactics.

  • 4.
    Lilliedahl, Jonathan
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art.
    Rapp, Stephan
    School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    The status of aesthetic education in a revised centralized curriculum: A theory-based and content-oriented evaluation of the Swedish curriculum reform Gy112019In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 43-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on a study of the recent curriculum reform of the Swedish upper-secondary school, Gy11. Although aesthetics were not made compulsory subjects by this reform, all students have a statutory entitlement to be offered a minimum of one course in an aesthetics subject. We wished to determine whether students are actually being given the opportunity of choosing such subjects.

    The study is a theory-based and content-oriented evaluation. Data are based on curriculum studies and a comprehensive survey of upper-secondary school principals.

    Our findings indicate that while principals have generally organized aesthetics courses, students seldom choose this kind of educational content. Instead, students’ selection is ruled by indirect methods of manipulation.

  • 5.
    Lundahl, Christian
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Hultén, Magnus
    Department of Social and Welfare Studies (ISV), Linköping, Sweden.
    Tveit, Sverre
    Department of Education, Agder University, Kristiansand, Norway.
    The power of teacher-assigned grades in outcome-based education2017In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 56-66Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In arguing for alternatives to test-based accountability, researchers have suggested that teacher-assigned student grades could be used for high-stakes purposes. In this study, Sweden serves as an example of a school system in which teacher-assigned grades have a major role in performance management and accountability. We study how politicians view and legitimise the strengths of grading in an outcome-based accountability system. Based on two-part analysis, we show how grades, through complex processes of legitimation, have acquired and retained a central position in governing the overall quality of the educational system in Sweden. We argue that in the Swedish system, grades used in an administrative rather than a pedagogical way function as a quick language that effectively reduces the complexity of communication between various actors with regard to what students learn and accomplish in education. As such, grades are legitimate in terms of their communicative rationality. However, their use in communicating student learning has not been sufficient to meet the needs of government. We conclude that in order to turn grading into an instrument that can moderate some of the downsides of testing regimes, a broader view of what constitute outcomes in education needs to follow. 

  • 6.
    Lundahl, Christian
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Serder, Margareta
    Is PISA more important to school reforms than educational research? The selective use of authoritative references in media and in parliamentary debates2020In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two separate data searches underlie this analysis of how references to educational research and to PISA are used in the Swedish education debate. Our data consists of 380 newspaper articles from the eight largest print media outlets in Sweden and 200 protocols from parliamentary debates (2000 to 2016) that made explicit references to “PISA” and/or to “educational research”. Based on a content analysis of this material, in which notions of policy borrowing and de-/legitimisation are central, we describe the result as a selective use of PISA data and of educational research in the education debate. PISA is used to legitimise selective (party political) solutions, and these solutions are oriented towards problems of teaching. The analysis also shows that politics and the media debate concerning education seems disinterested in educational research in a broader sense and that PISA seems to offer sufficient and ‘neutral’ expert knowledge and support for policy and reforms. When educational research is called for, it is a practice-oriented form of educational research with expectations to provide evidence to the PISA data on how to improve teaching and learning. The paper will show that PISA has become the first way to obtain legitimate support for educational reforms. In so doing, the kind of problems that these reforms aim to solve have been narrowed down to teaching- or practice-oriented problems.

  • 7.
    Westberg, Johannes
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    A conflicted political will to levy local taxes: inequality and local schoolpolitics in Sweden, 1840–19002018In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 3-12Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Through an extensive study of 12 parishes in the Sundsvall region, this article, informed by studies in the economic history of education, examines changes and continuities in local school politics during the period of 1840–1900. Using the Sundsvall region in the northern part of Sweden as its point of departure, this article shows how basic political conflicts shifted when political franchise, tax regulations and the social structure of the region changed during the second half of the nineteenth century. At the end of the investigated period, the basic conflict of school politics was no longer between those who owned land and those who did not but rather between high- and low-income groups. Judging from local school politics, the local elites of the Sundsvall region, in contrast to local elites in the USA, England, Spain and Prussia, focused their attention on school funding. The main conflicts between the social groups not only concerned the distribution of school expenditures but also included issues, such as the location of schools.

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