Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige http://pedagogiskforskning.se ISSN 1401 - 6788 Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:59:57 +0000 sv-SE hourly 1 Summaries nr 4 1999 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summaries-nr-4-1999/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 19:05:01 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=236 Björn Skogar, 1999: Christian religious studies in the Swedish schools in the 20th century ­ Some theological perspectives/Kristendomsundervisningen i 1900-talets svenska skola ­ Några teologiska ansatser/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 4, pp 305­326. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788.

The article is a part of a project, Didactic Perspectives on Religious Studies in School and University, made in cooperation with Edgar Almén at the University of Linköping. Its focus is the theological perspectives of the most important contributions to the subject during the century. Two fundamental changes of the curriculum have been made: In 1919 the Swedish compulsory schools got an, in principle, independent position in relation to the churches ­ including the Lutheran State church. The period before 1919 is characterized as cathechistic, after 1919 until 1962 as a period of a liberal, Christian teaching and the present period as secular. Now the teaching is intended to be neutral and the aim is an orientation in different religions and worldviews.

In the article George A. Lindbeck’s typology is used to characterize the different theological perspectives. His models (from The Nature of Doctrine 1984) are called propositional, experimental-expressive and cultural- linguistic. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a vital movement among liberal theologians (they were very few) and the schoolteachers in supporting an experimental-expressive perspective in religious education. An important theologian in the background was the Göttingen professor Albrecht Ritschl and Swedish representatives of a similar perspective were Fredrik Fehr, Dean in Stockholm and Pehr Eklund, Dean and professor in Lund. In the next generation the most important and prominent profiles were Nathan Söderblom, one of the fathers of Phenomenology of Religion, and Einar Billing, an early representative of modern research in the theology of Martin Luther. Söderblom and Billing were both professors at the university of Uppsala and ended their lives as bishops of the Swedish, Lutheran church. It is evident that the main contributions to the subject of Christian teaching were made at the beginning of the century. After 1962 Religious education in school has become more descriptive, often combining propositional views and religious exotism.

The author of the article proposes a distinction between looking upon the Christian heritage as ideology and, on the other hand, as cultural fund of ideas and language. In the first case the Christian belief is defined by the authoroties of Christian churches or other groups, in the second the interpretation is primarily made by the individual. The little Cathechismus of Martin Luther was in the very centre of the debate of the first decades of the 20th century. Finally the author tries to illuminate some of its theological challenges for a modern or perhaps post modern reader.

Björn Skogar, Södertörn University College, PO Box 4101, SE-141 04 Huddinge, Sweden

 

pp 375-376


Boel Englund, 1999: Textbook knowledge, textbook control and student-influence/Lärobokskunskap, styrning och elevinflytande/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 4, pp 327­348. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788.

The use of ready made teaching materials or textbooks has often been cast in a negative light in the Swedish school debate. It is seen to entail undesirable consequences in schools where pupil activity, pupils’ own ways of learning and their own constructions of knowledge are important. This article offers a critical survey of Swedish research on textbooks and textbook control over the last two decades, focussing mainly on empirical research. Conclusions are drawn concerning the functions of textbooks. The question of positive or negative control and the consequences of textbook control for pupils’ influence on the teaching process and their own learning are discussed.

Three main concepts, teaching materials, control and pupil influence, are discussed. It is pointed out that the question of control is not relevant if we use a wider concept of teaching materials, defined in Swedish curriculum documents as ”what teachers and pupils choose to use to reach intended goals”. The complexity of the concept of control is indicated. It is argued that the concept of control, governance or influence, when used in relation to textbooks, should be understood in terms of people’s conceptions. If textbooks ”control teaching”, they do this because they represent something to teachers, parents, pupils and others, on a conscious or unconscious level. The concept of pupil influence has becomea Swedish political-administrative notion, which should itself be scrutinized and analyzed from the point of view of the generic functions of schooling and the social and political context of the concept. In this article the term is used in a restricted sense, meaning pupils’ direct influence on teaching and learning. The complexity of the concept is stressed. The concept may involve either the direct or indirect influence of pupils; it may concern different dimensions of the teaching and learning process; and it could be understood as either a decision-making or a participatory influence. Further, the concept implies that pupils are seen as a collectivity; and it is by no means clear that the question of pupil influence on their own learning should be seen that way. Another, long-term aspect of pupil influence is caught up with notions of empowerment, thus making the concept still more complex.

The article gives an account of a number of empirical studies, special attention being given to larger studies focussing directly on textbooks/ teaching materials and control. These studies convey an image of the role of textbooks similar to the one found in international research: textbooks do exert an influence on teaching, but the kind and strength of this influence varies. Factors influencing this variation include: who is teaching (primarily), nature of school subject, level of education, and assessment demands. The influence on methods appears negligible. It is pointed out that research on textbook control ought to distinguish between different kinds of texts; between textbooks and workbooks, grammars and literary anthologies etc.

Taking as a starting-point the concept of immanent pedagogy, and its counterpart surreptitious learning, a Swedish theoretical reflection on educational texts is presented. In this tradition, the textbook is seen not only as a source of knowledge but as a norm for knowledge, being in itself an instance of what counts as knowledge at school. The actual teaching process should, however, also be taken into account. In fact, the actual teaching is just as normative for what counts as school knowledge as texts. The question of textbook control thus becomes a question of the relation between the knowledge ideal of the textbook and the knowledge ideal expressed in teaching; a relation which is likely to be a dialectical rather than a one-way relation.

The survey of research gives rise to conclusions as to the reasons why the textbook, in the restricted sense of ”the pupil’s book”, is often regarded as having such a strong position in teaching, ”controlling” teaching. These conclusions are formulated in terms of functions of the textbook. The textbook has a knowledge-warranting, authorizing function; the textbook provides community and coherence, both cognitively/ideologically and in practical matters; it facilitates teachers’ assessment of the pupils and their achievements through the combination of the two functions first mentioned; it facilitates in other ways work and life above all for teachers (and probably for pupils as well), for instance, by providing a support for teachers who are not sure of their knowledge in a subject and by making it unnecessery for them to become producers of teaching materials themselves. Finally, it serves a disciplinary function, keeping the pupils occupied and helping to prevent chaos in the classroom, disciplining pupils to actual and future work and study.

The consequences of textbook use and textbook control for pupils’ ability to exert influence over teaching and learning are also discussed. The main phases of a teaching process, planning, implementation and evaluation of the school work, are used as point of departure for the discussion. It is concluded that if the contents and the texts of a textbook define, in the eyes of the teacher, a development desirable for all pupils as well as the results of this development, and if, in addition, the textbook serves as the basis of the assessment, then pupils’ influence over their own learning becomes very restricted indeed – and that this may still quite often be the case.

Remedies to this problem are proposed. Finally, textbook control and pupil influence are discussed in relation to the goals expressed in the National Compulsory School and Upper Secondary School curricula. It is pointed out that several of these goals may conflict with a powerful or decisive influence of the pupil on his or her own learning. The knowledge-warranting, authorizing function of textbooks is discussed in relation to the goal of democracy and its central value equality. Here, a case is made for the textbook which, despite all its negative sides, does provide a certain amount of common knowledge to all pupils and offers a socially authorized and probably requested knowledge of a kind which could be seen as empowering. A decisive pupil influence over the contents and qualities of their own learning might in fact work against this central goal, increasing differences between pupils instead of reducing them.

Boel Englund, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE-750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

 

pp 376-378


Dennis Beach, 1999: On democracy, reproduction and renewal in todays upper-secondary school/ Om demokrati, reproduktion och förnyelse i dagens gymnasieskola/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 4, pp 349­365. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788.

Policy ethnography is research about the processes of value dispute and material influence which underlie and invest the formation of policy discourses and which relate policy texts to practice. It does this by highlighting the processes of mediation or recontextualisation in policy making and the differences between intended policy and policy in use. The present paper has been written from a policy ethnographic study of upper-secondary school (gymnasium) mathematics education, the mundane activities of which have been shown in the paper to be relevant to key aspects of social reproduction.

The official policy in mathematics education is to do with broadening access and creating a more self-determined and reflective learning environment. However, shown by the investigation materials and analysis of the present paper, is the way in which the classification and framing of pedagogical communication in mathematics leads to quite a different outcome; regardless of whether it was intentionally designed for this outcome or not. This outcome is accomplished I argue, through the workings of hegemony in an education in which understandings of education production and its injunctions with society, ideology and cultural requirements for the perpetuations of the necessary fractals of capitalism are obscured and/or distorted.

The paper is substantively about the education made available in the upper- secondary school secondary mathematics course A (and to a lesser degree B), to ­ on the one hand ­ formally successful students (in a natural science programme/ Nv-programmet) and ­ on the other ­ formally unsuccessful ones (from a practical-vocational programme/ Handelsprogrammet). These educations are shown in the paper to differ quite substantially and in several different respects. This, despite the fact that they are described in identical terms in official policy and are said to offer the same educational opportunities to the students taking them.

The differences produced in the education are discussed in the paper at some length. In these discussions the differences are shown also to be grossly misunderstood as resting at the last instance on exactly and specifically what they are not; natural differences in ability, interests and motivation between students rather than (what they actually are) something culturally necessary to the reproduction and ideological justification of the capitalist social/ production relation.

The paper argues that the roots of education differentiation rest within the (cultural) creation and maintainence of differences between pupils/students, which respond to a culturally specfic requirement rather than being reflections of individual differences between learners of a conventional ability related ilk. It also shows however, that despite compelling evidence for this being available to (and even implicitely understood by) the agents in school, the reverse is still nevertheless generally accepted to be true; at least in mathematics education and in relation to student/pupil learning in that subject area. This is made possible according to the paper because of a relation of resonance between ideologically conditioned agency anticipations of education outcome and a highly ideological and arcane discourse of education success which has also been socially and materially wedged into place in education in this country over the past 50 years; the principle of meritocracy.

In the situation which is described in the paper then, education agents are said to be standing in the shadow of the past and recreating its dominant ideologies discursively behind and in front of present practices, as well as through them. In making this and other claims, the paper then also supports the idea of upper secondary school mathematics playing a major role in social reproduction. However, the arguments also refute the more mechanistic versions of reproduction theory, as reproduction is described as highly reliant on the availability (and specifically unreflected normative application) of an ideologically dominated discourse in the creation of education identities: viz. ”good” science students and ”poor” vocational ones. This is not the same thing as mechancially producing the dispositions and agents necessary for the different positions available in the capitalist apparatus of goods and service production. Reproduction is far more subtle than this.

The denial of the mechanistic version of reproduction theory and its replacement by a theory of reproduction influenced by a discursive availability and appropriation, is accomplished straightforwardly in the paper, by it showing firstly, that neither cultural nor social reproduction was what education agents foresaw, intended or described themselves as doing in their engagements in the curriculum. And secondly, and more importantly than this, that they were also able to make partial penetrations of reproduction which fell short of a full and radical critique of the capitalist education relation, because of the lack of availability of a radical discourse (or radical discourses) to attach these penetrations to and deepen them by. Quite the reverse, the only discourses available were local versions of the arcane ideological discourse of meritocracy and this inverted their understandings of the situations they met and worked in, rather than helping them deepen their genuine first hand knowledge of them.

This locates at least part of the blame for reproduction in education at the feet of researchers, rather than resting with education practitioners alone. Researchers have failed to deliver radical discourses and have failed to successfully and compellingly deconstruct the class-antagonistic discourse of derision of meritocracy. Indeed, they have usually; particularly in ideologically dominated forms of normative assessment based research practices; actually helped to continually reinstate it. This means that the paper also (if indirectly) indicates the need for new partnerships in education design, development and evaluation in the movement towards more democratic and honest education forms. This, in that in and through the paper, what is shown is that cultural and social reproduction are accomplished when rather than reflecting over the ways ideology is made real in education praxis and through education discourses, the agents most involved in education accept the physical, social and ideological symptoms and requirements of capitalist society ­ which we for the sake of clarity can call exploitable differences ­ as representing individual traits and naturally occuring distributions of interest and ability among successive cohorts of pupils in our schools.

Dennis Beach, Department of Education, Göteborg University, PO Box 300, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden

 

pp 378-380

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Summaries nr 3 1999 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summaries-nr-3-1999/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 19:03:24 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=234 Mats Alvesson, 1999: Education is the solution. What is the problem? On education fundamentalism /Utbildning är lösningen. Vad är problemet? Om utbildningsfundamentalism/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 3, pp 225-243. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788.

The article is a broad, critical discussion of the notion of the knowledge society and the rapid expansion of education, in particular higher education. It is argued that dominating notions of increased need for knowledge is exaggerated and is grounded in a wish to make the present and the future look bright. Expansion of the school and higher education system is an easy, and for politicians therefore grateful, way to exercize influence and seemingly to solve problems. Education is easily presented as the solution to a wide range of problems, in particular it canbe used to reduce unemployment in the short term. Expansion of the education system may, however, also create problems: Increasing number of students may lead to quality problems. If a longer education is seen as the norm, to which the majority of people feel that have to adapt to, also those with limited interest in higher education participate.

Quality – the degree of learning and development of intellectual skills – may suffer. If there is a misfit between the increased length of study and a working life that is not changing in a corresponding way, then there will be increased competition among people with the same formal qualifications and a high likelihood that many people will get jobs in which their education have limited relevance or value. This may lead to frustration and low job satisfaction. Another, more subtle and farreaching, consequence is the power effects of the expansion of the school system and the norm of a long education being necessary for contributing to working life and society. A raising of the norm for acceptable level of education means that those not meeting the norm become increasingly caught in what Foucault refers to as disciplinary power. This power catches and forms both the education-oriented and those less so. In school society, there is little space for people to develop and contribute in ways not grounded in sufficiently long and repeated formal education. Those not conforming to the standards are singled out as problems to be ‘worked upon’ and to be subordinated to processes of normalization.

Mats Alvesson, Department of Business Administration, Lund University, PO Box 7080, SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden

 

pp 301


Simon Wolming, 1999: A fair selection? /Ett rättvist urval?/ Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 3, pp 245-258. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788.

In this article the concepts of fairness and justice are discussed in relation to the selection to higher education. Selection to higher education is generally required to be a fair process. For example, research has focused on differences between boys and girls and between social and ethnic groups. Thus, the issue of fairness is central to the selection procedure. Justice and fairness can also be regarded as a question about the distribution of resources in the form of course places.

Different countries have different procedures for admission to higher education. Different selection instruments are used but the significant differences between the countries are the principles for the distribution of the course places. This article describes the selection to higher education in some countries. Theories about distributive justice identify at least three different perspectives that the selection can be based on. This article gives a short presentation of these three perspectives of distribution.

(ii) The first perspective is when the selection is based on an egalitarian principle of distribution. This principle implies that the course places should be distributed equally between different subgroups (e.g. males-females, social groups, etc). (ii) The second perspective is the utilitarian principle for distribution. This principle means that the selection process strives to identify those applicants who will contribute to the common good after they have finished their studies. And (iii) the third perspective is the principle of meritocracy. The selection processes are usually connected with this principle. The indicators for merit in this case could be the levels of the applicantís grades or their results on selection tests.

When the Swedish selection to higher education is viewed in the perspective of principles for distribution, several different principles can be identified. The first is that of meritocracy since the main instruments used in the selection process are the applicantsí grades and their results on the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT).

Other principles for distribution can also be identified in the Swedish selection process. One important aspect of the Swedish educational system has over the years been the emphasis on the leveling between different social groups. Several reforms have been carried through over the years with this purpose. These reforms can be said to be based on the egalitarian principles of distribution, for example the introduction of different quotas depending on the educational background of the applicants or the possibilities to use credits for work experience in the selection. The utilitarian principle can be connected to the selection, in terms of the subsequent study success of the applicants. One major issue for research on selection has been the predictive ability of the instruments. The focus has generally been on the studentsí study achievement and not on their contribution to the common good after they have finished their studies.

The mix of distribution principles makes the concepts of justice and fairness problematic. The selection can in one perspective be quite fair to the applicants, but rather unfair in another perspective. Fairness is one criterion for the quality of the selection, and an another criterion is the validity of the selection procedure. The final part of this article discusses the relation between justice/fairness and validity in the context of selection to higher education. One central question that deals with the validity of the selection procedure is the purpose of the selection. It is quite easy to identify several, and sometimes opposite purposes of the selection procedure. One purpose is for example the leveling of differences between different social groups and another is that the selection procedure shall be an indicator of the quality of the studentsí ability.

Another issue is the consequences that may be the result of a certain distribution principle. These consequences must be taken into consideration in order to make the selection as valid as possible. Thus, distribution principles are a central question in the perspective of validity. When the selection procedure aims to fulfill different purposes, and when the consequences are contradictory, this leads to a validity problem for the selection process. The article concludes that no selection process can be valid to any higher extent when different principles of distribution are applied.

Simon Wolming, Department of Educational Measurement, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

 

pp 302-303

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Summaries nr 2 1999 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-2-1999/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 19:01:53 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=232 Bengt AbrahamssonGunnar Berg & Erik Wallin, 1999:Perspectives on organisations and curricula: toward a theory of the school as an institution/Organisations- och läroplansperspektiv: På väg mot en institutionsteori om skolan/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 2, pp 145 – 161. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

During the last three decades we have been engaged in research focusing the school as an organisation. This focus has gradually moved towards a combined organisational and institutional prospective. In this article we elucidate some characteristics of this perspective and argue for the presence of an affinity between it and curriculum theory as it is grounded by Dahllöf in frame factor theory. The primary aim of the article is to contribute to the educational discourse by relating two perspectives to each other.

Generally an institution may be characterised as a sanctioned establishment. Many perspectives on institutions have their base in functionalistic theories. We see an advantage in a structuralistic perspective as it opens for an organisational theory that pays attention to those interests that motivate and surround the organisation and its existence. An institution can be said to be built on interest group related value bases in this perspective. These have societal sanction and are thus given general acceptance as systems of aims and rules for the operative level.

In its Greek origin, organisation means tool or instrument for performing a certain task. The basic perspectives of institutional theory, functionalistic and structuralistic, have their organisation compatible with a neo-rational perspective of organisations. This is as follows: An institution is a systematically established body of persons with the aim to achieve certain aims.
When the school is studied empirically as an institution an attempt is made to find the values that in a general sense define its base. When the school is studied as an organisation the primary focus is on (i) how a school fulfils its mission according to the mandators’ intentions and (ii) the local values establishing a local school culture. This allows us to discuss possible interfaces between the institutional perspective of the school and a curriculum theory perspective.

Frame factor theory is the base of the curriculum theory perspective that we consider as having features relating to a neo-rational perspective of the school. In Sweden, curriculum has mostly been considered as synonymous with State documents for the governing of the school. In this context, curriculum is studied with different foci. One is with a focus on the principles behind the selection of knowledge to be transmitted and the values that determine the curriculum text. Another is with focus on the process of developing a curriculum document and yet another is the focus on the curriculum text as an instrument for governing the school. These foci, by themselves, do not open up for an analysis of the school as an institution from the perspectives of curriculum theory and organisational theory. The concept of curriculum code used by Lundgren and Englund does. This expresses principles behind Swedish curriculum texts that might also be worked in terms of the institutional concept of value bases.

An important common denominator for curriculum theory and school institutional studies is a knowledge interest directed at scrutinising and finding principles (both historical and present day) that contribute to the further growth of and insights into curricula as social constructs. This defines a most interesting affinity between, on the one hand, the neo-rational institutional and organisational perspective referred to above and, on the other hand, the curriculum theory perspective based on frame factor theory. The affinity and similarity between these perspectives are evident both as regards choice of research object and knowledge interest and regarding conceptual frames to be used in the research. As to the first mentioned aspects of research, the societal and stateinduced governing of the schools are of the same high priority irrespective of which of the two perspectives are the point of departure for research. The interest of the researcher with roots in the institutional and organisational perspective is focused on the interests and interest groups that determine what is actually going on in schools. The interest of the curriculum theory researcher could be to find out what the principles are behind the development and change over time. This interest has given Swedish curriculum theory research an orientation towards educational history.

Gunnar Berg, University of Dalarna, SE 791 88 Falun, Sweden

 

p 216-217


Ingrid Heyman, 1999: : A self-reflexive dimension in scientific work /En självreflexiv dimension i vetenskapligt arbete/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 2, pp 162 – 180. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

Pierre Bourdieu began to claim the significance of epistemological reflection already in the end of the 1960´s. In his inaugural lecture, delivered at the Collège de France in 1982, Bourdieu made his standpoint very clear concerning epistemological vigilance and reflective thinking. Among other things, he stressed that reflection must contain a systematic scrutiny of ”the unthought categories of thought which limit the thinkable and pre-determine what is actually thought” (1989 p. 178).

In this article I have reconsidered and revisited the historical conditions which influenced three pieces of scientific work which I published in 1987, 1995 and 1998. However, the main focus of the article is a presentation of a part of Bourdieu’s epistemological programme.

The tool of analysis emanates from Pierre Bourdieu’s socio-analytical programme. Loic Wacquant (1992 p. 2 ff) has discussed this programme and consequently formulated three questions. In the present context, I restrict my attention to the third of these three questions.

– What forces drive a researcher to study the object she has chosen to study?

– What makes a researcher observe what she really observes? What about her social origin and co-ordinates (class, ethnicity, gender, etc.)? What about the position the analyst holds in the micro-cosms of the academic field, and beyond that ­ in the field of power?

– What consequences does the intellectual bias bring about? This bias entices us to construe the world as a set of significations to be interpreted rather than as concrete problems to be solved practically. According to Wacquant this kind of bias is more profound and more distorting than those rooted in social origin or position in the academic field, because we tend to totally miss the specific features of the practice.

Social scientists frequently claim that knowledge is construed in the space between the researcher and her object. She has a preunderstanding, an experience, a history, she has a kind of appreciation and view of the world, which influences her ability to perceive her own system of categorisation and her structure of thought. All these components have been incorporated during the life of the researcher. These components can be looked upon as her acquired dispositions, dispositions that force her to make exactly the choices she has actually made. If knowledge is socially and culturally constructed and dependent upon the dispositions of the researcher, this is a central area to focus and to reflect upon.

In Homo Academicus (Bourdieu 1988 p. 13) we can read that:

[A]ny position adopted towards the social world orders and organises itself from a certain position in the world, that is to say from the viewpoint of the preservation and augmentation of the power associated with this position.

The position people take in a social field is connected with the resources and dispositions of the individuals. Every single person has a set of dispositions formed by the historical and social conditions at hand ­ something brought about by our ancestors ­ close kin, as well as the existing traditions in the social groups we belong to ­ these dispositions must be contemplated and discussed.

Bourdieu expressed this as follows:

In each one of us, in differing degrees, is contained the person we were yesterday, and indeed, in the nature of things it is even true that our past personae predominate in us, since the present is necessarily insignificant when compared with the long period of the past because of which we have emerged in the form we have today. It is just that we don’t directly feel the influence of these past selves precisely because they are so deeply rooted within us. They constitute the unconscious part of ourselves. (Bourdieu 1990 p. 56)

Of course, the scientific habitus of a researcher is formed in her practice ­ anything else is impossible. Theoretical perspectives and tools are chiselled in the concrete scientific work in collaboration with colleagues and in contrast to other scientific perspectives.

Whenever we meet a person for the first time, we get to know different things about her ­ place of birth, interests, working conditions, number of children, etc. When we classify her, her way of moving, gesticulation, modulation of voice, her choice of words, etc. give distinct information. This kind of classification belongs to everyday life, and is rich enough in cues to treat the person in the most appropriate way.

Researchers, working with large groups of individuals, sometimes need to classify them in a small amount of categories. Different social groups have been construed with the point of departure in people’s work, salary, education, etcetera.

Different systems of categorisation have different conditions of origin and have also different fields of application. It is very important not to forget these differences. If one does, then complications arise. Practitioners and researchers have their residence in different locations. A researcher has to have free time for thinking. She picks up a certain competence during a long post- graduate education, based on free time ­ skholè. Whenever we fail to subject to systematic critique the ”presuppositions inscribed in the fact of thinking the world, of retiring from the world and from action in the world in order to think that action” (Bourdieu 1990 p. 382), we risk collapsing practical logic into theoretical logic. Thoughts coming up, have their origin in a certain academic universe; they tend to consolidate in the Denkkollektiv (Fleck 1997) where they belong and they are seen as perfectly natural as time goes by.

In this article, I have claimed the necessity of close observation of the relation between an analyst and her objects. It is quite obvious that my positions, external as well as internal in the academic field, have had an impact on my perspective. As a teacher, a doctoral student or as a newly graduated doctor of philosophy, I have had different positions, which have had an impact on the choices I made in scientific questions. In every single position, it is possible to choose in different ways. The choices I have made have, of course, been influenced by the researchers I have collaborated with and their competencies, by my wish to be looked upon as a talented teacher, a doctoral student, ready to learn, or a researcher who contributes to the scientific production in a research group. Such desires have to do with power and influence a desire not easy to concede officially.

My conclusion is that it is not enough to account for the positions taken and their consequences. Epistemic reflexivity must be part of the practice of research. It is a necessity for analysts to contemplate why they think and act as they do. The most important result of reflecting on your work is the changes in research practice which ensue.

If researchers replace the logic of practice with a logic, construed in an academic universe, they fail to take the practice earnestly, and, therefore, can never understand it. If, on the other hand, a reader or a layman, replaces the scientific construction by everyday knowledge, she can never reach scientific insights. The phenomenon under scrutiny exists in both worlds but is governed by different logics and rationalities. Thus, scientific knowledge and everyday knowledge are of different kinds and cannot easily be transferred, some sort of ”translation” between them is necessary. Such an insight is basic and has profound consequences for the co-operation between practitioners and scientists. The fact that contamination often occurs, has to do with the social construction of knowledge. We are all, as individuals, imprisoned in the systems of categorisations where we live, are shaped and educated.

Ingrid Heyman, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

 

pp 217-220


Birgitta Davidsson, 1999: Separate and joint worlds: Two teachers’ perspective on integrated preschool-school activity /Skilda och gemensamma världar: Två lärares perspektiv på integrerad förskola-skolaverksamhet/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 2, pp 181 – 197. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

The background for an ongoing study, of which parts are presented in this article, is the debate during the 1990s on problems related to efforts in integrating pre-school and compulsory school. One of the major issues in the debate has been the question of what constitutes an integrated practice. In the first common Swedish curriculum for pre-school and compulsory school (LpoÝ94 1998) it is stated that in an integrated practice the two educational traditions should complement each other in order to develop a new pedagogical practice. This is assumed to come about through contributions from the teachers and their specific professional competence, but also through mutual influences from both traditions.

One of the aims in the present study, is to identify conditions, which support or restrain the construction of such a new integrated practice. A second aim is to identify how teachers’ representations of the new practice change during a period of co-operation. It is assumed that a process of change takes place at an individual as well as at a group level.

In the study, one teacher-team (two teachers) was followed during a two month period on an effort to elaborate and develop methods and a theoretical perspective. Data was collected by participant field observations, by individual interviews and group-interviews, and by narratives. The narratives were written before the observations started. The data was analysed in order to discern the teachers’ representation of integration.

The interpretations and analyses were based on a socio-cultural research approach, mainly following the theory of social representations. According to Serge Moscovici a social representation is defined as ”a system of values, ideas and practices” which is shared by members in specific social groups and which is constructed, confirmed and developed through interaction among group members. Social representations establish a consensual order among phenomena and they enable communication between group-members by providing them with a code for social exchange. The function of social representations is to make unfamiliar objects, events or ideas familiar and useful in communication and in collective understanding of the world. For a social group, social representations constitute a network of concepts through which the group members make sense and elaborate meaning. A social representation is a socially developed and shared form of knowledge and it influences the image of the reality, which is socially constructed in a group. Furthermore a social representation concerns how persons think about certain social phenomena and how they act in relation to this. According to Farr social representations constitute a social reality, which can influence individual as well as collective behaviour.

The results of the study indicate that the social representations of integrated educational practice, shared by the two teachers, are constituted in a negotiated contract based on each teacher’s professional knowledge about six- and seven-year-old children and their development. This unique knowledge, constitutes each teacher’s professional identity and seems to be one major element in the process of integration of pre-school and compulsory school practice. These results can be interpreted as based on fortifications of the two involved educational traditions of pre-school and compulsory school.

According to the results of the analyses, some areas have been identified which indicate specific contents in the teachers’ representations of integration. These domains are; notions about their competence; notions about the children; notions about instructional content and methods. The domains are constituted by negotiations and expressed in a pedagogic contract. Furthermore the results show that the teachers’ notions about the integrated practice are somewhat contradictory, in that the social representations contain ideas of both integration and separation. The teachers’ traditional knowledge about children’s learning and development seems to recognise the two teachers’ professions as well as it constitutes the united practice. The competence as revealed in the contract, seems to be situated and expressed through ”children of the right age and with the right instructional content”. This separation of unique knowledge is the fundament in the social representations and in the pedagogical contract and seems to be based upon the two earlier traditions, in pre-school and compulsory school. The educational mission is interpreted as creating a professional practice which gives space for common as well as separate worlds.

Birgitta Davidsson, Department of Education, University College of Borås, SE 501 90 Borås, Sweden

 

pp 220-221


Paula Berntsson, 1998: The curriculum of pre-school and the professionalisation of preschool teachers/Förskolans läroplan och förskollärares professionalisering/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 2, pp 198 – 211. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

In 1998 the pre-school in Sweden obtained its first National Curriculum­ Läroplan för förskolan, Lpf-98. (The designation preschool refers to what earlier were called day-care centers). The aim of this article is to discuss the preschool curriculum in relation to the professionalization of preschool teachers. In the article different theories of professions are presented. They describe professionalization and professions in partly different ways. However, they are agreed that there is an important relation between knowledge and professionalization. They also agree that a profession is an occupational group with specialist knowledge, often one that requires special formal education and examination.

In theories of professions a monopoly of knowledge, a monopoly of exercising an occupation, the enjoyment of autonomy in the exercise of an occupation, trust in an occupational group, and the value and usefulness of the work of the occupational group are mentioned as important aspects of professionalization. In the article, the preschool curriculum is discussed in relation to these dimensions of professionalization.

The preschool curriculum focuses on the pedagogical function of preschool. Preschool also has a caring function. Very often, attention is paid mostly to the caring dimension of preschool. If the function of preschool is looked upon as taking over the role of parents as care-providers, then preschool teachers can hardly claim to possess any more special skill and knowledge than parents usually have acquired. In other words, according to the theories of professions the caring function cannot be referred to when preschool teachers are laying claim to a professional status.

The pedagogical function of preschool, on the other hand, I argue, is of great importance in the professionalization of preschool teachers. As mentioned above, in theories of professions the knowledge of an occupational group is highly important in its struggle for a professional status. Different kinds of knowledge are valued differently. Scientific and technical knowledge is more highly valued than pedagogical knowledge. This is important, but the aim of the article is not to develop the latter discussion further but to point to the fact that the accomplishment of the pedagogical goals of preschool require certain theoretical, practical and personality-related qualifications. The article focuses on theoretical knowledge since in the theories of professionalization theoretical knowledge is most important. Abbott as well as Macdonald argue that abstract knowledge is a significant characteristic of a profession.

A monopoly of knowledge is important in the struggle for a professional status. My opinion is that preschool teachers have a monopoly of preschool- pedagogical knowledge. Not only a monopoly of knowledge but also a monopoly of occupational control is essential in the professionalization of an occupational group. Macdonald talks about the professional project and argues: ”Social closure is one of the most important means by which the professional project is pursued … The occupation and its organization attempts to close access to the occupation … only ðeligiblesð will be admitted”. The theories of professions pay attention to different occupational closure strategies. In the article exclusionary, inclusionary, demarcationary and dual closure strategies are described.

Preschool teachers work in teams together with nursery nurses. The education of preschool teachers and nursery nurses differ. Preschool teachers are university-trained and among other things their education includes pedagogy and methodology. Nursery nurses do not possess this training. However, Skolverket (the Swedish National Agency for Education) decided to order preschool teachers as well as nursery nurses to be responsible for the pedagogical work in preschool. Considering the theories of professions and the discussion about monopoly of knowledge and occupational closure strategies, I argue that the decision of Skolverket implies obstacles to the professionalization of preschool teachers.

The concept of autonomy is discussed in relation partly to the fact that the curriculum is a binding regulation, partly to the fact that the curriculum prescribes parents’ rights to affect and control the pedagogical activities of preschool. My opinion is that it is very important that parents have rights to affect and control the activities of preschool, but according to the theories of professions, this is also problematic.

Another aspect of professionalization concerns the relation between an occupational exercise and its usefulness. In the article I argue and exemplify that the goals of the preschool curriculum are of great advantage to society as well as to families. Above all I focus on the purposes of the curriculum to develop communicational and social competence in children and to teach them how to learn. This is knowledge that is highly valued today and therefore these purposes of the curriculum should be a resource in the professionalization of preschool teachers.

According to the theories of professions my conclusion is that the preschool curriculum and its pedagogical focus are of great importance in the professionalization of preschool teachers, but that the fact that preschool teachers as well as nursery nurses are responsible for the pedagogical function interrupts the professionalization process.

Paula Berntsson, Department of Sociology, Göteborg University, PO Box 720, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden

 

pp 222-223

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Summaries nr 1 1999 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-1-1999/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:59:50 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=230 Summaries

Donald Broady & Sverker Lindblad, 1998: Frame-factor theory revisited: Introduction/På återbesök i ramfaktorteorin: Introduktion/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 1 – 4. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

This issue of Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige presents seven contributions to the conference ”På återbesök i ramfaktorteorin” (Frame factor theory revisited) which took place at Uppsala University in March 1997. Frame factor theory was first introduced by Urban Dahllöf in order to explain differentiations within the Swedish comprehensive school. However, he did not develop the theory further to any great extent. Instead this was done by Dallöf’s former Ph.D. student Ulf P. Lundgren, who broadened the scope of the theory and helped it play an important part in Swedish educational research. From different perspectives the conference papers discuss the genesis, development and reception of frame factor theory, its relations to other research traditions, its use in historical studies and its applicability in research on schooling today, thirty years later.

Donald Broady, Department of Teacher Training, Uppsala University, PO Box 2136, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden
Sverker Lindblad, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

 

p 123


Urban Dahllöf, 1999: The early frame-factor theoretical thinking in retro-spect /Det tidiga ramfaktorteoretiska tänkandet. En tillbakablick/. Pedago-gisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 5 – 29. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

In connection with the Swedish school reforms in the 1950s and 1960s, orga-nizational frames became key issues. In an extensive report by Nils-Erik Svensson ability grouping was treated as an independent variable directly related to performance in elementary achievement tests, but showed small and insignificant differences for students of equal initial ability and social background. From the reform spokesmens’ point of view, many of whom were prepared to pay a certain price on the achievement side of the reform components for favors in social respects, that outcome was almost too good to be true. But the project could not offer any explanation, since it was a typical descriptive input-output analysis without theoretical considerations.

In a parallel study of curriculum content, the present author had access to information about methods of instruction and the allocation of teaching time in different curriculum units. However, those data were first used for purposes of curriculum planning and it only later became possible to supplement the Svensson analysis with this. When this was done a quite different outcome structure emerged: (i) Individualization was, contrary to recommendations and expectations, almost non-existent and no more frequent in the expe-rimental comprehensive school than in the traditional secondary classes. (ii) The tests were very elementary ones with a low content validity when compared with the curriculum units actually taught, particularly in the secondary school settings. (iii) Great differenses were found in the amount of teaching time spent on various topics in favor of less time on elementary units in the secondary classes and more time there on more advanced units that were not covered by the test battery.
The critical reanalysis of the material available led to the development of a theory about the specific mechanisms of ability grouping in two special cases; the one when traditional class-centered instruction was the dominant pattern of teaching, the other when a far-reaching individualization over curriculum units was practised. In both cases ability grouping was regarded as a fixed frame condition that cannot be changed by the individual teacher during the school year, even though it is a factor under control by local or central school authorities.

In combination with another key condition such as lack of competence or teaching aids to individualize instruction, this combination of frames set in the first case limits for what is possible to do with respect to the pacing problem. Thus, there were strong indications that the progression over the school year was heavily influenced by the achievement of a certain group of pupils that the teacher used as a reference group for her decision of when to introduce a new concept or curriculum topic. For elementary units, that ”steering group” seemed in most cases to be located among pupils in the 10th – 25th percentile range of the distribution of initial abilities, something that was later confirmed by Lundgren in an extended replication study at the senior secondary school level.

In the article it is argued that this specific theory of ability grouping and teaching progression represents an example of a ”theory of the middle range” according to Merton, since it is valid only under the condition of a traditional classroom instruction in which a new concept or unit is introduced on a collective basis for the class as a whole. Consequently, when a far-reaching individualization over curriculum units is practiced, the steering group phenomenon should not be expected to appear, nor any improductive waiting time for the slower class-mates among more advanced students.

The two specific theories outlined above, may in turn be seen as special cases of a more general model that substitutes the old descriptive input-output analysis with process links that represent a necessary condition in order to understand how and why different organizational arrangements and other educational frames affect the teaching and learning patterns in the classroom. Outcomes are never a direct consequence of an independent variable like the size or composition of the class but are dependent upon the kinds of interaction that actually take place within the degrees of freedom that the frame conditions permit.

This means that the research on ability grouping presented here shows that there is an interdependence between the general model and a theory for a specific combination of organizational and other frame conditions. A general model is at best a helpful tool for sorting out principal possible relations between different components in a complex problem-chain of actors-frames-processes-outcomes, which in turn may enhance the design of research projects about such problems. However, the model will gain in credibility if it can be shown that it facilitates the creation of good designs as well as the formulation of fruitful theories about specific frame/process phenomena and it is important to underline that it is not meaningful to talk about the frame factor theory as a general (or still worse: universal) theory attempt. Instead, every unique combination of frame conditions requires a theoretical under-standing of the key mechanisms of the educational processes involved in each specific case depending upon both goal dimensions, available resources of different kinds and on the competence and intentions of the actors involved.

A good theory gets explanatory power through a detailed and realistic analysis of the educational processes that take place as a consequence of the actors moves and underlying perceptions and intentions within the constraints set by organizational and other kinds of frames such as the total time at disposal. Therefore, the components in a theory-chain should be expected to vary both in kind, size and importance with the specific context even though the general model may have facilitated the researcher’s perception of the problem field, the research design and the formulation of the specific theory.

The remaining part of the article discusses some other early contributions that were made in direct connection with or soon after the original report in Swedish (Skoldifferentiering och undervisningsförlopp), which was later followed by an abridged version in English (Ability grouping, content validity and curriculum process analysis). The big project reported by Lundgren which confirmed and deepend the first theory version with data from another part of the school system should once again be mentioned, because of its prominent role in renewing classroom interaction studies on the micro level of the problem area. Before that, another replication in the field of teaching Swedish provided additional support to the basic components of the theory.

Besides the direct replications mentioned above, the principal model provided a baseline for a number of early papers about general consequences for evaluation, planning and research. Most of them had Swedish school authorities as their main target group, even if some of them were later also published internationally. Among those addressing the international comm-unity of researchers, the following should be mentioned here.

A message to the IEA consortium at the Lake Mohonk conference concerned the need in the next IEA-phase to concentrate more intensely on process directed studies. This message was in wain.

An invitational address to Division B at the 1973 AERA annual meeting was delivered in New Orleans, in which the new approach was discussed in relation to some at that time prominent American contributions in research on classroom behavior and interaction (Rosenshine, Furst), teacher effectiveness (Gage) and aptitude – treatment interaction (Cronbach, Bracht). While these American researchers had recommended still more detailed-controlled expe-rimental designs, the Swedish speaker took the opposite view underlining the need of broadened paradigms that take a greater variety of field conditions into due account.

At a conference in Germany reported by Edelstein and Hopf, the consequences of the frame/process thinking for the mastery learning model was also critically discussed with emphasis on the fact that the total school teaching time after all is quite restricted, which will lead to serious priority problems in efforts to apply the mastery learning concept in a general way.

Finally, the frame/process-model led the author to enter upon another reanalysis, this time of the examination rates and student flow problems in higher education, since the model drew special attention to the working frame conditions for whole- and part-time students in different university environments and distance education programs.

It is also argued in the article, that teaching/learning processes are sometimes more heavily constrained by frame conditions than is always recognized, since cumulative effects don’t become visible until a longer time-span is studied. However well-controlled, experiments of a short duration are not able to catch those process characteristics, the effects of which don’t appear unless a long-term perspective is applied. This is one reason why it is so demanding for educational researchers to bridge the gap between micro- and macro studies and to do it with due regard both to the frame conditions surrounding the actors and to the complexities of the processes involved.

Already the early cases described here illustrate the very core of the message about the difference between a general model and a specific theory about organizational and other frame conditions and their effects in different respects. The theories about the phenomena outlined above do and should vary with the problem and its context, but they have in each case been if not entirely derived from, so at least inspired by the same basic model.

Urban Dahllöf, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

 

pp 123-126


Ulf P. Lundgren, 1999: The frame factor theory revisited /Ramfaktorteori. På återbesök/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 31 – 41. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

The present article examines retrospective support and treats frame factor theory as an analytical theory and as a model for school development. However, it also sets out to trace some of the developments of the Swedish school system as illustration; primarily of the compulsory comprehensive school. It does this both via a written account of the main cornerstones in recent school reforms and via reference to the role frame factor theory has played in planning and evaluation around these reforms. This means that the article describes both frame factor theory and the main lines of development in the post-war compulsory school with a point of departure in how the theory was first formulated and how it later also came to be used both as a model for education planning and as a theory for understanding the school reforms of the eighties and nineties and their actual effects; particularly those concerning education equality.

My own deep and personal involvement in the development of frame factor theory and school reforms during the period described in the paper, particularly the later periods, means that the account provided in the paper is in many senses very much a personal one, with all the problems this entails. This is reflected on in the paper in conjunction to deliberations over the intention to illustrate more than a flat historical account and to instead provide an account which is fleshed out with reflections concerning personal interpretations of frame factor theory as a practical, analytical device.

The emphasis in the article is on the political steering and control of education, with illustrations taken from the obligatory school system and a view of education as an instrument of modernity, the period of history where rational choice has overcome blind faith as a foundation for decision making at individual and collective levels. In my view the development and applications of frame factor theory are both a part and reflection of this, as in modern society the task of the school is no longer merely to reproduce and mediate existing norms and values, but rather to create the possibilities for citizens to obtain and shape their meaningful cultural activities and income generative employment. Frame factor theory has been about the development and analysis of ”frames of possibility” for this. This is a concern for democracy in and through education which implies breaking with deeply rooted long-lasting traditions; not the least in pedagogical theories concerning human abilities, knowledge, teaching and learning.

To attain the aims of reform, frame factor theory as a model for development included a formulation concerning the political steering of schools. At the base-line this saw the control of education as exercised principally via the allocation of resources and the use of regulations for guiding the appropriation of these resources. This cut back to Dahlöf’s work and his illumination of differentiation issues which showed how the teaching process is in effect steered by its frames. However, not in the sense that these work within a straightforward cause-effect system. Rather the frames were more ”frames of possibility”, which enabled or opposed the possibilities of or for certain kinds of processes. Coupled back to the issues of democracy and equality in and through education, this meant that the intention was to control schools via the control of framing processes and the allocation and appropriation of resources which made certain sorts of development likely and others less likely. In the event the fuller realisation of democratic ideals and education equality have proved more difficult than anticipated.

Steering via the control of frames for the teaching process implies a certain amount of decentralisation in which the school must become more a part of the local social and civic scene, with accordingly broadened social and civic responsibilities. This is a kind of community school idea, in which things like local free-time and leisure activities for youngsters become a part of the school, and the local or borough council (Sw. kommun) obtains some freedoms in the appropriation of the resources allocated to it from central government for schooling and other services. This needs to be controlled however, and in this vein all local and borough councils are required to produce a local plan of action for education and child-welfare which must also to be thoroughly evaluated in terms of its effects.

In summary, the main corpus of frame factor theory is built around the idea that changes in external frames limit and regulate changes in internal processes indirectly. Rather than in direct cause-effect relations, changes in frames enable or disable certain process possibilities. In application this can come close to a kind of aims directed control, and this was also the intention of frame factor theory as a model for developing schools in the eighties, in which light its implications for development and evaluation of outcomes are paramount in the current scenario of the decentralisation of education control and the marketisation of education. In this scenario Parliament supplies a definition and specification of the general aims of education/schooling, and the local and borough councils describe in a local plan of action the local interpretations and adaptations which are to be adopted in the realisation of these general aims.

Again frame factor theory is meant to function here in terms of both a tool for gaining leverage over education planning and a theory of education control with analytic and evaluative implications, and is still in line with the intentions behind the development of the theory over the last 30 years. This means that although the political control of Swedish schools has moved in this period from control of resources and the regulation of resource use to a system of control via the specification of aims and outcomes and their evaluation, and did not necessarily require frame factor theory, my point is that (as is stressed in the article) frame factor theory can support and has supported such developments (this is an empirical point) and is and has been an excellent evaluative foundation for monitoring this development.

Ulf P. Lundgren, National Agency for Education, SE 106 20 Stockholm, Sweden

 

pp 126-128


Christina Gustafsson, 1998: Frame factors and the educational process /Ram-faktorer och pedagogiskt arbete/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 43 – 57. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

In the year 1967 Urban Dahllöf presented a research study concerning ability grouping. His book was translated into English in 1971 and described a reanalysis of a study focused on the relationship between ability grouping and scholastic achievement. The outcome of the study was that achievement results have to be interpreted in relation to the preceding educational process and this process has to be interpreted in relation to factors limiting the process. Dahllöf called these conditions frame factors. Thus, the frame factor model says that factors such as time, ability grouping, and contents determine the teaching process. My article deals with an application of the frame factor model with a view to interpreting the development of a school project.

The concrete educational environment I studied was the upper level of the compulsory comprehensive school. During a quarter of a century the school staff have tried to meet increased demands concerning individualisation and the development of learning methods based on the pupils’ own activities and responsibility. School-leaders and teachers took advantage of all the freedom the regulatory system allowed.

In the seventies the Swedish school system was characterised by roles based management. Yet the school could organise school-work based on a combination of lectures and periods of individual work. During these individual work-periods the pupils could choose among various exercises offered in each subject. They could be at work with the task as long as they wanted and they were also allowed to work together. When I returned to this school in the middle of the nineties, I discovered that the pupils, compared to the pupils 10 – 15 years before, were more steered in their studies. The pupils themselves considered their schoolwork over determined and they thought that the teachers decided too much. The teachers wanted to give more traditional lectures and supervise the pupils more. This was a fact in spite of another steering system, i.e. management by objectives. Fewer limiting frames resulted in a more restricted learning situation! I was astonished. According to the theoretical model I expected the learning process to be comparatively free in a school managed by objectives. Did this mean that I showed that the frame factor discussion was wrong? Were the frame factors of no importance? I didn’t interpret my results in that way. Instead it seemed that the frame factors became so wide, and also so indistinct, in the latest curriculum reform that a need arose for the actors to create their own frame factors.

The conclusions of this study was that the frame factor model is still a useful tool when analysing educational processes. But, a more complex application of the model requires a data material which describes the processes but also illustrates how the actors interpret the conditions of the teaching- and learning-processes. The new question is: Who decides for whom something is a frame factor?

Christina Gustafsson, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

 

pp 128-129


Agneta Linné, 1998: On the question of ‘frame factor theory’ and historical change. Notes from a study of curriculum history /Till frågan om ‘ramfak-torteorin’ och historisk förändring. Noteringar utifrån en läroplanshistorisk studie/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 57 – 69. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

In this article, frame factor theory is discussed in relation to the problem of curriculum transformation over time and as a basis for an analysis of curriculum theory. My revisit to frame factor theory is a revisit to the ðframe factor theoryð outlined by Ulf P. Lundgren when he depicts the further development of his research programme from primarily an analysis of the framing of the classroom process towards an analysis of the societal and cultural transformations that created and moulded frames like time, space and class size. The discussion is made with reference to a concrete example: my investigation Moralen, barnet eller vetenskapen? En studie av tradition och förändring i lärarutbildningen. (Morality, the child or science? A study of tradition and change in teacher education). I have used the perspective of the frame factor theory as a starting point for an analysis of curriculum history.

The research problem of my study concerns the basic characteristics and major changes of Swedish education of elementary school teachers since its origin in 1842; particularly, contradictions and transformations until around 1920 are analyzed. Crucial concepts are frame, tradition, pedagogic text and curriculum code together with Basil Bernstein’s concepts classification and framing. Tentatively, Pierre Bourdieu’s concept social field is also introduced as a tool to analyze the discrepancies between different curriculum principles and to comprehend how encounters between different traditions, embodied by different agents, may take shape at one and the same time period. The empirical material consists of various texts relevant to the education of elementary school teachers.

Right from the start of a Swedish state regulated institution of teacher education, contradictory positions arose concerning the character and strength of state control over the seminaries. The external framing of teacher education was the object of continuous struggle. Another conflict focused upon principles to build up a method of transmission. To a great extent it was the division of labour and the classification and framing that was later reorganized, with the outspoken goal of enhancing the influence of the power of the teacher’s personality to reach each single child without any intermediaries. To accomplish this, a strong insulation and boundary maintenance between different categories of school life was recommended – between teachers’ talk and children’s talk, between speech and silence, between lessons and breaks. The pedagogic space was arranged so as to allow the teacher through his spatial location to have a more powerful control over what went on. The lesson was transformed into a pedagogic text by the pattern of recitation. In this process, the framing of the classroom discourse became stronger and the boundary maintenance of contents more powerful. The lessons took on a prescribed form, reinforced by the examination system of the seminaries.

From the 1880s onward, the dominating character of teacher education was deeply challenged and a reformed education was developing – an education preparing for the schooling of citizens for a new society. The principles of selection of goals, content and methods of transmission were becoming more and more problematic. But it was apparent that the curriculum was built upon the basis of selection. Conceptions of a biological human being that could be studied and influenced by scientific methods contributed to the principles of selection – however, counterbalanced by ideas of the nation, the sense of community and the value of work and ðpractical lifeð. The symbolic child, invariably given by nature, became visible in the pedagogic discourse. Physical education, biology and other natural sciences were given greater scope at the expense of religion and the catechism. A new generation of seminary teachers and directors engaged in formulating pedagogic texts reflecting the new curriculum.

To a large extent the history of teacher education for the elementary school has appeared to be a history of educational frames. Frames outlined by localization and the number of students admitted have been decisive to the formation and survival of the institution. Right from the start the agents of the field have struggled for these frames. There have been struggles for admission to the field, for the ownership of the arena and for the control of entrance and final examinations.

The study has demonstrated that Ulf P. Lundgren’s outline of a theory on the interaction between schooling and society point out extremely important questions and concepts for further analysis of the historical formation of an educational institution. Given its background in frame factor theory, a language and a perspective have been created that makes it possible to discover and describe the frames of the pedagogic space and their transformations. In the present study, adding new analytic devices has helped to identify crucial transformation periods, discern societal forces that have promoted change, identify the role of dominating agents and expose the dynamics of curriculum content.

The openness of the perspective, and its character of ðmethod of enquiryð, have made it necessary to widen and specify the original approach. Accordingly, the perspective of the frame factor theory has in a certain sense also been transcended.

Agneta Linné, Department of Education, Stockholm Institute of Education, PO Box 34 103, SE 100 26 Stockholm, Sweden

 

pp 130-131


Sverker Lindblad & Fritiof Sahlström, 1998: Old standards and new borders: on framefactors and classroom interaction /Gamla mönster och nya gränser: om ramfaktorer och klassrumsinteraktion/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 73 – 92. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

This article analyzes and compares classroom interaction in relation to the concept of framing. It relies on and develops both the framing concept from the Swedish frame factor theory, and the framing concept introduced by Bernstein. More specifically, the article attempts to do two things: to demonstrate how constraints and affordances in classroom interaction can be thought of as situationally and interactionally constituted ”inner frames”, and to use the developed concepts for analyzing historical changes in classroom interaction, using two materials, one collected in the seventies and the other in the nineties.

Teaching can be thought of as a locally and situationally construed process, occurring within limits. These limits can arise in many ways. Our focus is on the way constraints and affordances for interactional processes are construed as limits and affordances for the constitution of learning and socialization in classrooms. Another aspect of our study concerns comparisons between teaching processes taking place in different historical and social contexts. In this analysis, we use Basil Bernstein’s concepts of framing and classification to analyze and compare classrooms recorded twenty years apart, in 1973 and 1993.

These recordings were made in two research projects. The first was carried out by the authors in 1992 – 95, where two classes in two schools were followed from grade seven until grade nine. It is primarily this material that has been used for the analysis of ”inner frames”. The second material was recorded by Staf Callewaert and Bengt A. Nilsson in 1972 – 73, in an 8th grade class. The comparative analysis is carried out using both these materials.

Classroom interaction in the nineties material is dominated by two different processes: teacher-directed plenary teaching and work in pairs or small groups at the students’ desks. The interactional organization of plenary teaching can be argued to frame the mediating interaction of the classroom in ways which limit the students’ possibilities for participation in specific ways. These possibilities are relationally constituted, because of e.g. the way one student’s public talk works as a simultaneous constraint on other students’ possibilities for speaking in public at the same time. However, the public participation of one student also implies a simultaneous possibility for other students to spend time on quiet talk in private, at their desks. In this way, plenary teaching can be argued to frame the classroom interaction in a way which implies a division of labor between the students.

The second predominant mode of work is desk work. The way interaction is organized in these sequences implies different constraints and affordances than in whole-class teaching. The students have much greater opportunities for participation through talking here than in plenary segments. The analysis shows that an important constraint on the interaction at the desks is the simple fact of who one is seated with, if anyone. From the perspective of learning and socialization as local social constructs, it makes a difference with whom the students are to construe what is to be construed. In the classes we have studied, it seems systematically to be the case that students sit with equals, in terms of gender, social background and grade level. Thus, the seemingly unlimited and unlimiting choice of seating partner seems to be both limited, in terms of available partners, and limiting, in terms of constraints and affordances for learning and socialization.

Against the background of the quite different constraints and affordances for classroom interaction implied by the different modes of classroom work found in the analysis, it was of interest to study whether there has been historical changes in the time spent on the different ways of working. To probe this issue further, recordings in a Swedish 8th grade class made in 1973 (the recordings made by Staf Callewaert and Bengt A. Nilsson) were compared with recordings made in the same subjects in an 8th grade class in 1994. The results of this limited study indicate that there has been an important shift in the organization of classroom interaction at this level.

The major difference between the two materials was that the dominance of small-group work in the nineties material was missing in the seventies material. In the seventies material, there were no lessons spent entirely on desk work at all. From this limited analysis, it seems as if the new ways of working within the Swedish school have developed in the period of time which has passed between the two studies.

In terms of classification, we found small differences. However, there were distinct differences found in relation to framing. We found that the students in our nineties observations have a much greater influence over the pace and order of work, that is a weakened procedural framing. At the same time, we find that the students’ influence over the content of the tasks seems small and that they have no influence over the criteria of evaluation against which their work is being judged.

Further, the study shows that the ”new” pattern of interaction allows for several parallel interactions in the classroom. The weakened framing in this respect allows for increased possibilities of interaction for the students. The topical content of this interaction is to a large extent beyond the control of the teacher. Thus, the analysis makes visible how the weakened procedural framing has substantial topical consequences. The larger freedom of desk work is constrained by text and work books in relation to the task at hand, but also allows for interaction with little or no explicit relation to the formulated task. Put in a different way, the found changes in the framing of school work gives the students larger possibilities for sorting (out) themselves. In this way, the students have been given a larger responsibility for both the successes and failures of their own school careers.

Sverker Lindblad & Fritiof Sahlström, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

 

pp 132-133


Sverker Lindblad, Göran Linde & Lars Naeslund, 1998:Frame factor theory and practical reason/Ramfaktorteori och praktiskt förnuft/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 4, pp 93 – 109. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

In this essay we discuss the frame factor theoretical approach developed by Urban Dahllöf and Ulf P. Lundgren from the late 1960s and onwards. In this approach teaching is understood as a process occurring within certain frames. Our point of departure is formulated on ideas of practical reason derived from the Finnish philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright. Practical reason as a tool for analysis is based on an Aristotelian practical syllogism, where actions are understood as logical conclusions of premises in terms of intentions (what you want) and epistemic attitudes (what you consider as necessary to do in order to get what you want). These premises are in turned determined by social and historical circumstances such as norms, rules, competencies and situational changes. Thus, practical reason from this point of view is situated in a world outside the actor and is a means to understand contextual necessities as well as opportunities for action.

A distinction is made between frame factor theories in restricted and elaborated forms. The restricted form is a way of understanding teaching outcomes as a consequence of a process within certain limits, such as time available and the composition of the group of students. In a more elaborated form the frames are analysed and explained for instance in terms of structural approaches or within theories of social (re)production. Especially in the elaborated form, frame factor theories deal with an understanding of teaching as constrained and governed by events and determinants outside the teaching process. The strength of the frame factor theory approach is the ways it deals with the impact of external determinants on teaching.

Understanding teaching in the light of practical reason means something different. Here, the actors, their intentions, judgements and strategies are of importance in order to capture the meaning of teaching and the outcomes of this process. Thus, determinants internal to teaching, such as intentions and epistemic attitudes are of crucial importance if you want to understand teachers’ work. From this point of view, frame factor theories misrepresent or neglect teachers’ perspectives, strategies and actions, since these theories have little interest in the meaning of teaching from the actors’ point of view. In this sense the frame factor theory approach can thus be understood as part of increasing cleavage between frame factor theorising and research on the one hand and the practical reasoning of teachers on the other.

We base our arguments on different studies of teachers’, their long term strategies and repertoires and their rationales to change their teaching. For instance, we have found significant differences among teachers with similar tasks that are using given constraints and opportunities in quite different ways. Such variations are not considered as unimportant in the constitution of schooling and for the outcomes of teaching. In schooling, external determinants matter as well as internal ones. And frame factor theories have taught us ways to understand the impact of these for the teaching processes.

Furthermore, there is no point in arguing that frame factor theories fit more to a centralised and regulated education system and that deregulation and decentralisation implies an increased space for teachers and head teachers. On the contrary, in a decentralised and deregulated system there is an increased need to capture implications of differences in constraints for educational measures and their outcomes, e.g. in terms of equity. Here, frame factor theorising is a potential support for practical reason in education.

Considering the fact that frame factor theories have produced highly interesting and thought provoking findings, there is a need to consider possibilities to combine frame factor theories with studies on teachers’ practical reasoning. A starting point is to understand frames as constituted in teaching and by means of social facts.

Sverker Lindblad, Department of Education, Uppsala University, PO Box 2109, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden
Göran Linde, Department of Education, Stockholm Institute of Education, PO Box 34 103, SE 100 26 Stockholm, Sweden
Lars Naeslund, Department of Education and Psychology, Linköping University, SE 581 83 Linköping, Sweden

 

pp 134-135


Donald Broady, 1999: The Swedishness of the frame factor theory /Det svenska hos ramfaktorteorin/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 4, No 1, pp 111 – 121. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788.

The pioneer period of the frame factor theory was the decade 1967 – 77 when Urban Dahllöf’s and Ulf P. Lundgren’s seminal works were published. The success was immediate. Fame-factor theory exerted an extraordinary influence not only in the scientific field but also on educational debate and policy in Sweden. Its impact on the international curriculum field was considerable as well.

At least in Sweden one main reason for this success was that the theory was misunderstood. Originally it emerged as a tool intended for the study of precise and well defined problems concerning the conditions, realisation and outcomes of the teaching process. According to Dahllöf and Lundgren the most important ”frame factor” was the amount of time that, given the pupil’s previous knowledge, is needed in order to obtain certain learning objectives – for example, the capability to perform a certain arithmetic operation. Other frame factors were the objectives defined by the syllabus, and the sequencing of course content. In short, frame factors were factors outside the scope of the teacher’s control. Dahllöf and Lundgren argued that these frame factors functioned as limitations for the teaching process in the classroom – by influencing the teacher’s way of organising the pacing of learning and instruction and addressing different groups of pupils.

However, when ”frame factors” became a catchword in the Swedish public debate, they were taken to signify every conceivable kind of condition or determinant. Because of its vagueness this notion was suitable for polemic purposes. It was for example often forgotten that the frame concept, as used by Dahllöf and Lundgren, does not explain what happens in the classroom. It rather explains why certain things can not happen. Thereby the frame concept meant a rupture with the up to then predominant design of research on teaching and learning, the main objective of which had been to test correlations between dependent and independent variables (for example, between learning outcomes and teaching methods).

Thus, within the scientific field the frame factor theory let social science traditions – structuralism, system theory, etc. – into Swedish educational research, which during the period after World War II had been extremely monolithic, dominated by psychology and in many respects functioning as a branch of American behavioural science. In this respect the frame factor theory might be compared with currents like Marxism thirty years ago or today’s feminism, which at the university have paved the way for a broad spectrum of research traditions, many of which have rather little to do with Karl Marx or gender problems. One important difference, that to a large degree explains its success, was that the frame factor theory functioned not so much as a battering-ram but rather as a Trojan horse. By using arguments and statistical procedures that were understandable to colleagues who were fostered by American empiricist traditions, Dahllöf and Lundgren managed to expose the shortcomings of conventional research design principles ”from within”.

The success also depended on its empirical character. The contemporaneous import of so-called ”reproduction theories” from France, Germany, England and the US was distorted since the empirical underpinnings of the works of Altvater, Bourdieu, and others were absent in the introductions and translations. Therefore these theories were initially perceived less as research tools but rather as tracts or creeds. By contrast, the frame factor theory was presented as the outcome of extensive and rigorous empirical work. The favourable reception also depended on its Swedishness. The data sets were collected in Swedish classrooms. The problems addressed were crucial to the ongoing debates on the consequences of recent school reforms.

Finally, the frame concept of Dahllöf and Lundgren was Swedish in yet another respect. In search of the determinants of schooling, the educational research avant-garde in Germany was referring to the Marxist critique of the political economy or Freudian analyses of the desire structure, and in France to the capitalistic mode of production, the reproduction of the dominating class, or the sign systems and episteme of the present epoch. In Sweden the attention was drawn to organisational frames decided by the state. Inspection of state affairs instead of student rebellion is perhaps a Swedish peculiarity.

Donald Broady, Department of Teacher Training, Uppsala University, PO Box 2136, SE 750 02 Uppsala, Sweden

pp 135-136

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Summaries nr 4 1998 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-4-1998/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:54:43 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=226 Summaries

Mikael Palme, 1998: School teacher, school culture and the local community on the Mozambican countryside/Skolläraren, skolkulturen och det lokala samhället på den moçambikiska landsbygden/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 4, pp 241­262. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

The article advances the argument that the understanding of primary schooling in Africa must comprise a sociological approach that addresses social, cultural and linguistics aspects of teaching and learning, in contrast to approaches limited either to macro perspectives or to particularistic ethnographic accounts of everyday life in local schools.

In a first part, results from various classroom-oriented studies carried through in the context of a textbook evaluation in Mozambican primary education are discussed. Classroom interaction in Mozambican primary schools assigns a totally passive role to pupils, which results in almost entirely reproductive and school-oriented learning processes. However, its ritualistic character is functional, since it allows teaching to go on, in spite of the steadily growing discrepancy, from Grade 1 onwards, between pedagogical trans-mission and pupils’ learning. The teaching materials prescribe in detail what teachers should do in the classroom, but imply ideal teaching situations that do not realistically exist, thus leaving teachers without means for understanding the problems they face. Teachers’ mastery of content is limited, as well as their repertoire of teaching techniques. The combination of exaggerated demands in curricula and textbooks, the absence of a functional pedagogical evaluation and the lack of adaptation of teaching to learning result already in Grade 2 in extremely heterogeneous classes that are pedagogically very difficult to cope with.

In a second part, some of the cultural and linguistic factors producing ritualistic teaching are focused upon. The fact that teaching goes on in what is normally a foreign language for the pupils puts heavy constraints on class room interaction and leads to particularly high demands on teaching strategies that create links to pupils’ experiences and mother-tongue-based conceptual systems. However, such strategies are at large absent and no conceptual negotiation occurs in teaching. This is probably a major explanation for the kind of cultural amnesia that takes place in the Mozambican education system, which, in turn, explains why education so radically transforms the individual and imposes a radical break with a social and cultural origin that is henceforth perceived as inferior and backward.

In a third part, the significance of schooling in a matrilineal Makua-speaking rural community in Northern Mozambique is analysed. Formal education was assigned a purely »extractive» value, in the sense discussed by Robert Serpell, and seen only as a means for leaving the peasant condition. As an effect of the heavy inflation in the value of educational diplomas, this project had become increasingly ambiguous. The road to success had become long, costly and uncertain, demanding heavy spending and often non-existent family connections in the city where secondary education was available. Moreover, the individuals submitted to schooling were likely to change, become part of the foreign community of the »akunya», »the white people», independently of their colour of skin, and loose their ties of solidarity with the group of origin.

For boys, such risks could still be acceptable, but not for girls. In the traditional matrilineal peasant society, the young girl and woman are the focal point of social reproduction. Since the most important family ties exist on the side of the woman, the senior woman is the centre of the family network, »the mother of mothers». It is in her household that future generations are brought up and where her brothers and maternal uncles (in particular the clan leader, the elected humu) exert their main influence and assume a considerable part of their responsibilities. In order for this family structure to be reproduced, the young girls pertaining to the family network cannot normally leave their family of origin, neither through marriage nor through formal schooling that potentially leads the individual out of reach of the family network. They represent the perhaps most fundamental asset of this network in so far as they attract new suitors, give birth to new family generations and will be the future centre of the network itself.

In a final part, the social position of the rural primary school teacher is discussed on the basis of ongoing research in Northern Mozambique. The rural primary school teachers occupy an intermediary and ambiguous position between the modern sector and the traditional peasant society, being the last outpost of modern society in what could be described as a pre-modern world. The cultural capital that grants them respect in the rural society as »being educated» represents at the same time a very modest asset in the modern society that confers this same cultural capital. Consequently, the primary teacher is respected in the rural community for having a social power that he in facts does not have. The attention rural teachers pay to speaking a correct Portuguese and dressing in a »civilised» way expresses this intermediary position, in so far as it upholds their distance to the surrounding peasant world and simultaneously reflects a will to comply to standards of civilisation and modernity that the teachers are economically and culturally badly equipped to live up to.

The social mechanisms determining the intermediary position of the rural schoolteacher are important to have in mind when approaching Robert Serpell’s question how the rural school could redefine the »extractive» function of schooling and directly contribute to community life. The normally peaceful relationship between the rural school and the community in which it is inserted is at least in part based on the almost total lack of communication between them. In the peasant society, the school represents in a sense a foreign territory, where the Portuguese language and a presumed scientific world view prevail. Peasants do not have the linguistic and cultural skills to understand what goes on in teaching, and the content of teaching has almost no impact on or user’s value in the peasant society.

Being of rural origin, the rural primary teachers are well aware of the antagonistic relationship between the modern »scientific» world view proclaimed in school teaching, on the one hand, and the animistic world view organising the surrounding peasant society, on the other hand. Deeply rooted in the local society though their origin, marriage and participation in traditional practices, beliefs and rituals, they resolve this antagonism though establishing a difference between »school knowledge» and »out-of-school knowledge», a differentiation that is at heart of the problem Serpell formulates. Teachers are also aware that any attempt to connect school knowledge to areas outside school of importance for the local community would put the peaceful relationship between school and this community at risk, since school then would challenge the socially recognised distribution of knowledge in the peasant society. An example is sexual education that is dealt with by traditionally legitimate institutions and individuals. Such attempts would also be a challenge to teachers and the content of school teaching, since they would have to provide useful knowledge for out-of-school activities.

Mikael Palme, Department of Education, Stockholm Institute of Education, PO Box 34103, SE 100 26 Stockholm, Sweden

 

pp 310-312


Jan Theliander, 1998: Wage-labor, organisation of work, reproduction: Reading Andrew Ure’s Philosophy of manufactures /Lönearbete, arbetsorganisa-tion, reproduktion: En läsning av Andrew Ures Philosophy of manifactures/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 4, pp 264­286. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

The views on production and society of English factory-owners during the expansions of the textile industry in the nineteenth century has been examined by using Andrew Ures Philosophy of manufacturers (1835). When manufacturing grew it was in exceeding degree arranged in factories, which meant a need for radical structural changes and new social relationships. Wage-labour became the overall standardised system for employment and productive and reproductive processes went through important changes. The structural relations of these processes is one of the themes in Ure’s Philosophy of manufactures and the present article, which thus deals with how and in what ways Ure described and analysed problems and which standpoints he was emphasising. Qualification, discipline and control as part of a reproductive process referencing both school and education, philanthropy, factories as workplaces and their wider societal influences are all in focus here. The aim is to better understand the transitions of labour and the organisation of work and society. The presumption, here put to test, is that the close connection between reproduction and production are possible to use in such analyses in order to attain this aim.

Important questions are: How did production and the organisation of work change? What was on Ure’s agenda to insure an ultimate factory system development? How were the new work places to be populated? How were the workers to be disciplined? And when factory system finally established: How was it and factory labour reproduced?

Ure’s ideological standpoint was a mix of radical liberalism and conservatism. His view on productivity and private proprietorship was close to Locke and Adam Smith, and when explaining or presupposing differences between people and classes, he had similarities with Herbert Spencer. For Ure the middle classes and especially the factory owners constituted the backbone of contemporary society. In some scientific questions and in religious affairs and its influences, he was extremely conservative.

Ure saw the aristocracy as old-fashioned and the lower classes as people who did not even know their own mind and who were thus to be seen as a risk for production, for themselves and ultimately for the whole country. Nearly every problem discussed by Ure had its solution in the expanding factory system. Humankind had to accept scientific development and the imperative of natural laws as they were interpreted and transferred by him and the factoryowners.

For the under-classes, factory work represented a common way to get necessary means for living. As a group, they were of variable background as no homogeneous working class yet fully existed, something which incidentally represented a problem for the factoryowners, because in spite of high unemployment, there was still at the time a lack of labourers who fitted the factory system requirements. The Poor laws of 1834 implied an improvement regarding the movement of labour, but questions about reproduction, qualification and discipline remained unsolved.

Irrespective of worker competence, Ure showed that factory work was something entirely different from agricultural labour and craftsmanship. He described the factory system by using the steam engine as a metaphor and gave this »mechanic device» a subjective status, an ability to act for it self and a built-in natural law which prescribed for the objectified workers exactly what to do, how and in what order.

The system was dependent on a subordinated collective group of workers acting in accordance with the objective needs of the mechanical system and Ure went as far as suggesting that workmen who were used to doing independent work were ill-fitting components in the factory and that re-education for people beyond the age of puberty would not help. The conditions which directed him to suggest corrective education for the children of the lower classes was his conviction that the younger generation would be able to be influenced to fit the factory system as wage labourers subordinated the new mode of production, ready to work in the mechanical collective way, bound to the machinery, with minimised freedom, provided they could be educated far away from the skilful self-acting workman or agricultural labourer.

In spite of the critics of Parliamentary Commissions, or perhaps because of them and due to his own position, Ure argued for the factories as healthy places with a good working environment. Lower class children lived, in his eyes, better and were better raised within the factories than outside. As a matter of fact, even good moral conditions were built-in. Ure not only described the factory as if it had a soul, this soul was even naturally filled with morals fitting the spirit of the Gospel.

Ure used extensive exemplifications of philanthropic (paternalistic) factoryowners building schools, supporting recreational activities and being concerned about medical care for their employees. He saw philanthropic education as a voluntary alternative to the governmental reforms concerning a public secularised school. These he saw as threatening the factory system by making it impossible for the children to combine factory work with schooling.

Philanthropy held a strong position for the disciplining of the working class and as an instrument controlling their social and cultural reproduction. Ure described it as non governmental with purpose to investigate and control the poor, encouraging diligence and economy. Middle class women were an important part of the growing philanthropic movement, representing a discontinuity relative to old-fashioned charity based on alms. The philanthropy was an international phenomena, founded in the idea of aid to helping oneself, built up by middle class women with their bourgeois family serving as model in the aid directed from bourgeois women to proletarian women.

The movement was fuelled by ideological, humanistic and liberal thoughts, as well as by the fear of proletarian riots and disorder threatening the middle classes growing wealth and their aspiration for greater societal influence. It was political in a strong sense, because of its aspirations for changing some conditions and conserving others. Changing societal conditions tore up traditional ways of living and many people lived outside structural systems for normalisation. The nuclear family was accepted and adopted as base for reproduction complementary to reproduction in the work place and in educational institutions.

Much of the transformative process was conducted by philanthropists on voluntary basis, but gradually in a higher degree as wage work performed by middle class women and increasingly related to governmental institutions and legislative decisions. Ure situated himself as philanthropist and described the factory system as philanthropic and the last and only resort for civilisation. He didn’t support governmental decisions, regulations or laws, and his conservatism would not fit with the bourgeois women’s liberation movement which made up part of the philanthropic movement. However, as long as capitalism and the factory system based reproduction was secured by philanthropic labour reproductive work which made the labour population visible through normative, individualising processes which facilitated capitalist power control, Ure, we may suppose, was satisfied.

In due course, the more humanist and liberal goals of the movement became subordinated to the production mode, and became a part of the societal structures aimed at supporting the capital accumulation process. By examining reproduction system and its changes and transformations we are able to get information related to changes directly concerning labour transformations. New ways to organise production during early factory capitalism realised new forms for reproduction. Capitalism is however doomed to be unstable due to contradictions between productive forces and the production mode, and crises are a frequently emerging facet for realising qualitative changes in production and reproduction which influence work organisations and working conditions.

By focusing on reproduction processes, it might be possible, as in the article example, to better understand the effect of changes. The ideological expressions are here used in a complimentary fashion to track certain standpoints. Ure’s conception of man as determined by technical and scientific development (standing on capitalist side) is still frequently used. I feel it would be fruitful to ask: By whom? For what purposes?

Jan Theliander, Department of Education, Göteborg University, PO Box 300, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden

 

pp 312-315

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Doktorsavhandlingar 1997 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/doktorsavhandlingar-1997/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:52:43 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=224 Doktorsavhandlingar 1997

Institutionen för internationell pedagogik

Stockholms universitet
Luciana Benincasa – A journey, a struggle, a ritual: Higher education and the entrance examinations in a greek province town. (Studies in Comparative and International Education No 41) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för internationell pedagogik
Fakultetsopponent: Christoph Wulf, Freie Universität, Berlin

Romanus Ejiaga – Higher education and the labour market: A study of university access and graduate employment opportunities in Nigeria. (Studies in Comparative and International Education No 39) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för internationell pedagogik
Fakultetsopponent: Vinyagum Chinapah, INESCO, Paris

Karen Sørensen – Polish higher education en route to the market: Institutional change and autonomy at two economics academies. (Studies in Comparative and International Education No 40) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för internationell pedagogik
Fakultetsopponent: Don Westerheijden, University of Twente

Institutionen för pedagogik
Göteborgs universitet
Doris Axelsen – Listening to recorded music. Habits and motivation among high-school students. (Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 115) Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Fakultetsopponent: Göran Folkestad, Malmö högskola (PFiS 2/98)

Harriet Axelsson – Våga lära. Om lärare som förändrar sin miljöundervisning. (Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 112) Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Fakultetsopponent: Henning Johansson, Luleå tekniska universitet

Owe Stråhlman – Elitidrott, karriär och avslutning. (Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 117) Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Fakultetsopponent: Ingemar Wedman, Stockholms universitet

Barbro Strömberg – Professionellt förhållningssätt hos läkare och sjuksköterskor. En studie av uppfattningar. (Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 111) Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Fakultetsopponent: Lars Owe Dahlgren, Linköpings universitet

Aina Tullberg – Teaching the ‘mole’. A phenomenographic inquiry into the didactics of chemistry. (Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 118) Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Fakultetsopponent: Gaalen Erickson, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (PFiS 2/98)

Hugo Wikström – Att föstå förändring. Modellbyggande, simulering och gymnasieelevers lärande. (Göteborg Studies in Educational Sciences 114) Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Fakultetsopponent: Lars Owe Dahlgren, Linköpings universitet

Institutionen för pedagogik
Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm

Boel Englund – Skolans tal om litteratur. Om gymnasieskolans litteraturstudium och dess plats i ett kulturellt återskapande med utgångspunkt i en jämförelse av texter för litteraturundervisning i Sverige och Frankrike. (Stu-dies in Educational Sciences 10) Stockholm: HLS Förlag
Fakultetsopponent: Tomas Englund, Uppsala universitet (PFiS 2/98)

Pirjo Lahdenperä – Invandrarbakgrund eller skolsvårigheter? En textanalytisk studie av åtgärdsprogram för elever med invandrarbakgrund. (Studies in Educational Sciences 7) Stockholm: HLS Förlag
Fakultetsopponent: Henning Johansson, Luleå tekniska universitet

Gunnel Lindh – Samtalet i studie- och yrkesvägledningsprocessen. (Studies in Educational Sciences 12) Stockholm: HLS Förlag
Fakultetsopponent: Mats Ekholm, Högskolan i Karlstad

Bengt-Olov Molander – Joint discourses or disjointed courses. A study on learning in upper secondary school. (Studies in Educational Sciences 8) Stockholm: HLS Förlag
Fakultetsopponent: Noel Entwistle, University of Edinburgh (PFiS 3/97)

Kerstin Strander – Jag är glad att jag gick på dagis. Fyrtio ungdomar ser tillbaka på sin uppväxt. (Studies in Educational Sciences 9) Stockholm: HLS Förlag
Fakultetsopponent: Sven Hartman, Linköpings universitet (PFiS 3/97)

Annika Ullman – Rektorn. En studie av en titel och dess bärare. (Studies in Educational Sciences 11) Stockholm: HLS Förlag
Fakultetsopponent: Sverker Lindblad, Uppsala universitet

Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Linköpings universitet

Madeleine Abrandt – Learning physiotherapy: The impact of formal educa-tion and professional experience. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 50). Linköping: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Lennart Svensson, Lunds universitet

Bo Bergstedt – Den livsupplysande texten: En läsning av N.F.S. Grundtvigs pedagogiska skrifter. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 56). Linköping: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Hans Hauge, Århus universitet (PFiS 2/98)

Elinor Edvardsson Stivne – Förändringsprocessen i kommunal organisation. En studie av organisering och meningsskapande i två förvaltningar. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 52). Linköping: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Siv Boalt Boetius, Stockholms universitet

Cristina Robertson Hörberg – Lärares kunskapsutnyttjande i praktiken. Ett personligt och kontextuellt perspektiv på vardagskunskap och forskning. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 53). Linköping: Linkö-pings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Sverker Lindblad, Uppsala universitet

Anita Sandahl – Skolmatematiken: kultur eller myt? Mot en bestämning av matematikens didaktiska identitet. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 51). Linköping: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Ole Björkqvist, Åbo akademi, Vasa

Tullie Torstensson-Ed – Barns livsvägar genom daghem och skola. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 55). Linköping: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Gunnar Sundgren, Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm

Eva Trotzig – Sätta flickan i stånd att fullgöra sina husliga plikter. (Linköping Studies in Education and Psychology No 54). Linköping: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik och psykologi
Fakultetsopponent: Inger Elgqvist-Saltzman, Umeå universitet

Institutionen för pedagogik och specialmetodik
Lärarhögskolan i Malmö, Malmö högskola

Elisabeth Elmeroth – Alla lika ­ alla olika: Skolsituationen för elever med båda föräldrarna födda utomlands. (Studia Psychologica et Paedagogica 130). Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International
Fakultetsopponent:Astrid Pettersson, Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm

Arne Engström – Reflektivt tänkande i matematik: Om elevers konstruktioner av bråk. (Studia Psychologica et Paedagogica 128). Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International
Fakultetsopponent: Ole Björkqvist, Åbo akademi, Vasa

 

 

Pedagogiska institutionen
Lunds universitet

Tina Kindeberg – Undervisningens möjligheter att förändra elevernas tänkande inom området aids och sex. (Lund Studies in Education 2). Lund: Lund University Press
Fakultetsopponent: Sonja Olin Lauritzen, Stockholms universitet

Peter Ström – Förändringsarbete och lärande. Om utveckling av förändringspraktik bland vårdbiträden. (Lund Studies in Education 4) Lund: Lund University Press
Fakultetsopponent: Magnus Söderström, Uppsala

Eva Svederberg – Tänkande bakom val och användning av livsmedel. Faktorer som medverkar till eller utgör hinder för förändring av matvanor i hälsofrämjande riktning. (Lund Studies in Education 1). Lund: Lund University Press
Fakultetsopponent: Lars Owe Dahlgren, Linköpings universitet

Maria Vergara – Silence, order, obedience, and discipline. The educational discourse of the Argentinean military regime. (Lund Studies in Education 3) Lund: Lund University Press
Fakultetsopponent: Staf Callewaert, Köpenhamns universitet

Pedagogiska institutionen
Stockholms universitet

Christina Björn – Barn skapar text. Om kulturdialog i skolan. (Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet: nr 82) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Sven Hartman, Linköpings universitet

Marianne Döös – Den kvalificerade erfarenheten. Störningar vid automatiserad produktion. (Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet: nr 84) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Per-Erik Ellström, Linköpings universitet

Otto Granberg – Lärande i organisationer. Professionella yrkesutövares strategier vid organisatorisk förändring. (Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet: nr 83) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Magnus Söderström, Uppsala

Ingrid Johansson – Ålder och arbete. Föreställningar om ålderns betydelse för medelålders tjänstemän. (Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet: nr 85) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Siv Their, Helsingfors universitet

Stefan Wahlberg – Samhällsarbete: Strategier för bevarande eller förnyelse? Om möjligheterna att utveckla ett radikalt och humanistiskt socialt arbete. (Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet: nr 86) Stockholm: Stockholms universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Sören Ohlsson, Göteborgs universitet
Pedagogiska institutionen Umeå universitet

Irene Dahl – Orator verbis electris. Taldatorn: En pedagogisk länk till läs- och skrivfärdighet. Utprövning och utvärdering av taldatorbaserade träningspro-gram för elever med läs- och skrivsvårigheter. (Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet: nr 44) Umeå: Umeå universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Karl-Georg Ahlström, Uppsala universitet

Ingeborg Moquist – Den kompletterade familjen. Föräldraskap, fostran och förändring i en svensk småstad. (Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet: nr 43) Umeå: Umeå universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Gunilla Dahlberg, Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm

Katarina Weinehall – Att växa upp i våldets närhet. Ungdomars berättelser om våld i hemmet. (Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet: nr 45) Umeå: Umeå universitet, Pedagogiska institutionen
Fakultetsopponent: Lars Jalmert, Stockholms universitet

Pedagogiska institutionen
Uppsala universitet

Lars-Göran Carlsson – Perspektiv på barnuppfostran: En studie av föräldraskap i kristen miljö. (Uppsala Studies in Education 69) Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
Fakultetsopponent: Lennart Svensson, Lunds universitet (PFiS 3/97)

Kajsa Falkner – Lärare och skolans omstrukturering. Ett möte mellan utbildningspolitiska intentioner och grundskollärares perspektiv på förändringar i den svenska skolan. (Uppsala Studies in Education 71) Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Fakultetsopponent: Daniel Kallós, Umeå universitet

Anders Garpelin – Lektionen och livet. Ett möte mellan ungdomar som tillsammans bildar en skolklass. (Uppsala Studies in Education 70) Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Fakultetsopponent: Staffan Larsson, Linköpings universitet (PFiS 1/97)

Ulf Olsson – Folkhälsa som pedagogiskt projekt. Bilden av hälsoupplysning i statens offentliga utredningar. (Uppsala Studies in Education 72) Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Fakultetsopponent: Per-Johan Ödman, Lärarhögskolan i Stockholm

Michael A.A. Wort – Distance education and the training of primary school teachers in Tanzania. (Uppsala Studies in Education 74) Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Fakultetsopponent: Holger Daun, Stockholms universitet (PFiS 2/97)

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Summaries nr 3 1998 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-3-1998/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:49:03 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=222 Summaries

Staffan Larsson, 1998: On the training of field researchers /Skolning av fältforskare/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 3, pp 161­175. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

The training of research students in doctoral programmes plays an important role as something that forms the students and future researchers view of research: what it is and what it is not. The training of doctoral students should be considered as something that not only shapes the students conception of research and competencies doing research, it contributes to form the next generation of research. I therefore argue that the construction of the training of doctoral students should mirror contemporary views on the nature of research. The training in field research is the case that here is the example of the consequences of the thesis above. What kind of training should mirror contemporary views on the nature of field research?

A starting point are articles on teaching field research or ethnography. There are many different design versions, but the celebration of being in the field is almost always present. The training that is described in the literature seems to deal with access to the field, collection and interpretation of data from the field ­ the earlier phases in a research process. Less frequent is the art of creating a text – writing – part of the training. I want to argue that the training must be more ambitious to mirror contemporary views on field research.

One of the most obvious changes in the last decade has been the »discovery» of the importance of text construction and that rhetoric is part and parcel of interpretations. Clifford has pointed out the denial of the author – i.e. that researchers are not only reporting but creating stories. There has also been a critique of the contradictory relation that classic ethnographers demonstrate to their experiences in the field. Presence ­ »being there» ­ has been the central validity claim, i.e. researchers experiences as the central knowledge base. However in classic ethnographies researchers make themselves as experiencing authors invisible in the main text, where cultures are described as if the field told the story and no author existed. On the other hand the researchers subjectivity became visible in research biographies, as if the experiencing subject was not to be relied upon in the main work. This kind of meta-analysis could provide an example of changes in the discourse that have changed the view on the researcher, an awareness that texts are constructed by researchers who are also authors. I therefore argue that training of field researcher should include creating a critical awareness of texts as texts and that field researchers are constructing messages from the field, rather than being neutral messengers. It seems that this theme has not been a part of the mainstream content in training of field researchers, according to the texts.

I furthermore argue that the task for a researcher does not end with being able to write texts and being aware of the problems with texts in field research. The final question and challenge is the consequences of the interpretation or the text that was constructed. The problem that should be thematised is: how can research and texts be constructed so that they have consequences. One topic is how to deal with the kind of language that is effective in relation to different audiences. Another problem has to with other measures that can be taken to promote the reading of the interpretation and it will be used in adequate contexts and so on. This last part of research activities seems to have been left invisible in the training of researchers – while it is certainly executed with varying success by researchers. I thus suggest that these problems should be addressed in the training. One problem here is that the knowledge base for such a discourse is not obvious.

The conception of the task of constructing a training of doctoral students must be widened to embrace the full research process but also incorporate the changed views on the texts that constitute the products of field research. Finally it should also thematise the consequences of research as an act in society. This expansion of the task must be done if the training should mirror contemporary views on the nature of field research.

Staffan Larsson, Department of Education and Psychology; Linköping University, SE 581 83 Linköping, Sweden

 

pp 233-234


Annelis Jönsson, 1998: What’s the contribution of teacher education to the socialisation of teachers?/Vad bidrar lärarutbildning med i socialiseringen till lärare?/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 3, pp 176­191. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

Investigations about what teacher education means for the socialisation of student teachers are rather contradictory. There are a couple of studies which show that teacher education plays a rather marginalized role for teacher socialisation while others claim the opposite. The central question in this study has been what happens during the course of the education and if one can identify any socialisation effects during the education. By comparing how a group of teachers comprehend and respond to problematic school situations such as motivation and disciplinary problems before and after more than half of the education was completed, different aspects of teacher socialization were identified. The students described how they thought their education had influenced them and what they had felt insecure about in their future profession.

Comparisons of the students’ descriptions show that there is usually some kind of alteration in how they evaluate and behave in the same school situations, before and after some years of education. An evident change is that their use of terminology alters during the education, this is expressed in a greater familiarity with the language of the profession. There are by other words some indications of a beginning of a »professional language».

The most striking difference in the description before and after education is that the spreading of the suggestions to solve the problems in the school situation has decreased. There is a noticeably higher regimentation of the students suggestions after the education compared to when the group started the education. This concerns above all the suggestions about the motivation problem. The significance of the student influence, the introduction of the lessons as well as the type of teaching was mentioned more often as means of change to solve the motivation problem after the education compared with before.

Comparisons between how the students interpreted the situations shows that suggestions and analysis has developed and deepened qualitatively, i.e. the descriptions were more detailed and pedagogical in some sense, during the education. It was expressed by a more frequent use of pedagogical concepts and pedagogical thinking.

The question concerning what the student felt insecure about when they thought about becoming teachers, was asked in the beginning of the education and after its completion. The answers were dominated by social psychological aspects concerning ways of dealing bullying and with acting out behaviour in an adequate way. This insecurity wasn’t however reduced in to any great extent during the education.

Not being liked and respected were other things which worried the students at both occasions. Contact with parents was not mentioned at all as a source of concern and insecurity when the students started the education, but during the course of education the insecurity increased concerning these contacts. Maybe it is first through the education they became aware teachers have to and have contact with the pupils parents, and this seemed frightening for many of the students. Few expressed worries of their own knowledge of their teaching subjects. The insecurity seems in many cases be something that is related to ones self-competence of facing other people.

When the students described how they regarded themselves being influenced by the education, it was mostly personal development, increased security and maturity that was pointed out, but also an increased social awareness and a changed view on knowledge. That is, besides aspects that are in harmony with the more overarching goals of teacher education, an interesting aspect that the students also mention in this context is that the professional pride has been strengthened during the course of education. The increased common approach and terminology that was noted in the situation descriptions, contributed probably also to an increased feeling of professional pride and identity as a teacher after some time of education.

In the results is described a series of indications suggesting that during the course of education something happens that contribute to teacher socialization. In this study there has also been a possibility to relate the identified socializating effects to the content or model specifically, or to the students experiences and background. That there occurs some kind of teacher socialization, depends most probably on a concurrence of the model of the education, and the background of the students, the conceptions and experience they have when they start the education.

It is of course impossible to distinguish a single factor of explanation. However, I am at the same time convinced of the education’s capacity to challenge the students’ concepts and to systematically confront them with different perspectives and point of views when it comes to what is occurring in the schools and the classrooms, and that the education also encourages them to question traditional so-called truths. These things constitute important contributions to the extensions which occur with regard to socialization in the education and how this socialization appears.

Annelis Jönsson, Department of Education, Malmö University, SE 205 06 Malmö, Sweden

 

pp 234-236


Guadalupe Francia, 1998: Can Islamic private schools be an instrument of equal education? /Islamiska skolor: En väg till likvärdig utbildning?/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 3, pp 192­210. Stockholm ISSN 1401-6788

During the years 1993­98 twenty two Islamic private schools received approval from the National Agency of Education. The Islamic schools are a new phenomena in the Swedish society that seems to make the conflicts within the claim of equality and the claim of freedom in the 1994s reform of the Swedish school deeper. This article reviews the conflicts of values between the Islamic schools, the National Agency of Education, the municipalities and the National Syllabi and Curriculum.

The study is based on a the analysis of the application forms presented to the National Agency of Education by all the approved Islamic private schools from June 2, 1993 to February 11, 1998. This analysis includes twenty two forms applying for the establishment of authorisation and the National Agency of Education’s and the municipalities’ pronouncements about these applications.

Six schools are stated to have general orientation. Only seven schools stated religious grounds. It is interesting to notice that three schools indicated Islamic orientation, but not religion. One school indicates both Islamic and Arabic orientation. Three stated only Arabic orientation and two others language and ethnic orientation. Nine schools are situated in the Stockholm area. Both Malmö and Göteborg have two schools each. Others municipalities were Uppsala (two), Linköpning (one), Örebro (two), Norrköping (two), Västerås (one) and Jönköping (one). Only six schools include years 7 to 9. Fifteen schools have years 1 to 6. Only one school has years 1 to 3 only. Eleven of the schools started during autumn 1998. It will be interesting to see if there will be a higher number of applications for establishment or whether 1998 will remain the top year.

The schools often indicated many reasons for establishment. All the applications sustain the reason to start as »to preserve, promote and reinforce the Islamic and Arabic culture heritage/identity and the Arabic language». There were no differences between schools that stated religious grounds and those that stated general or ethnic-language orientation. Knowledge of the Arabic language was stated by all the schools as a necessary condition to understand, preserve and promote the Islamic cultural heritage.

Eleven schools gave the following reason for establishment, »to integrate Muslim children in to the Swedish society», whilst four schools indicated, »to build the pupils double identity as Swedish and Muslim». Nine schools stated the will »to promote the pupils bilingualism». A small group of Islamic organisations have started schools in many municipalities. In some cases the same person is responsible for many of these schools.

In spite of municipal opposition to the establishment of Islamic schools (about 70% of applications), the National Agency of Education approved these schools. The most common reason of the municipalities’ opposition was that the Islamic schools increase segregation for Muslim pupils and produce the important negative consequences for the municipal schools. Teaching in physical education where children of the both sexes receive lessons together was a motive for conflict of values between the Swedish public school and the Muslim families. However, there is nothing in the syllabus of this subject that can be considered as a reason for conflict. The teaching of music such as rock, pop and love songs (sometimes all sort of music) was a motive for conflict between the beliefs and values of certain Muslim families and the Syllabus for music. The requisites of the curriculum to impart a general and objective knowledge was a reason for conflict to the Islamic schools that will only teach religion or sexual knowledge from the Islamic traditions.

There is a conflict between the mission of the school to preserve and promote the Islamic culture and the mission to integrate the Muslims pupils to the Swedish society. This conflict is evident in the dilemma to follow the Islamic rules and traditions and/or to follow the Swedish national syllabi. The approval of the National Agency of Education in spite of the opposition of the municipalities is a sign of a conflict between the desire to promote freedom of choice or the desire to promote equality among different educational authorities. This conflict may be an indication that the educational authorities were positive towards free choice but they were caught by surprise by the effects of the free choice as regards the Islamic schools. The conflict between the National Agency of Education and the municipalities can be interpreted in terms of the support for free choice discourse being stronger at the central level of educational authorities (National Agency of Education) than at the municipal level. However the free choice discourse has reached the family level for Muslim families that have put into practice their right to choose.

The large number of Islamic schools creates a deeper conflict between equality principles and freedom of choice in the 1994’s school reform. Such reform will both promote free choice and preserve the right to an equal education. The communisation and privatisation of the Swedish School through the system of compensatory transfer payments make the control of the claim of equal education difficult. The National Curriculum and the national Syllabi work as instruments to guarantee this equality. Therefore the conflict between the national syllabi and the Islamic schools own is an indication of the 1994s schools reforms’ contradictory attitude to education equality.

The text analysis of applications shows that the most important reason for establishing Islamic private schools is »the claim to preserve, promote and reinforce the Islamic and Arabic culture heritage». This is nowadays a claim for schools that are not said to be religious schools. It can be interpreted as a strong confessional orientation even in the Islamic schools which might be a consequence of the fact that Islam is not only a religion but even a culture and life system. A matter of research for the future can be to study whether there are any differences in the teaching practice between Islamic schools with religious orientations and those that said they did not have this orientation.

There are conflicts of values in the teaching of certain subjects. It will be therefore interesting to follow the teaching of music, religion, natural science, social science and physical education through observations of the classrooms practice.

The Muslim minority is only approximately 100.000­200.000 persons in Sweden, but the number of Islamic private school is important (22 schools). This high number can be an indication that public schools cannot satisfy the needs of this minority. The municipal schools are considered to be as a worse alternative for Muslim families. A future research is to see whether and how the Swedish public school can change to avoid loosing more Muslims pupils. How much of the educational content can be changed without coming in conflict with the Swedish curricula and syllabi? We must begin to discuss possibilities and limitations of multi-cultural education in the Swedish schools at the central, communal and school levels.

The analysis shows that very few Islamic organisations are responsible for most of applications for establishment. It will be interesting to study which Islamic groups are represented in these organisations. Can we consider the opening of many branches of one school by a few Islamic organisations as an strategy to implement a special type of Islamic political education?

Another future research can be to analyse the role of the National Agency of Education in the approval of these schools, in spite of the opposition of the municipal governments. We can understand the position of the National Agency of Education as regards these schools as a confirmation that the claim of freedom of choice is more important that the claim of equality. Another interpretation can be that the National Agency of Education was caught of by surprise by the large number of applications and did not have enough time to react to guarantee the claim of equality at the same time. The conflict between the National Agency of Education and the municipalities does not allow for a coherent educational policy in line with the National Curricula and Syllabi.

It is too soon to pronounce anything about the real consequences of segregation or integration of these schools. We must first analyse the academic and social achievements of their pupils during several years. An interesting research question could be to analyse the effect of the high expectations upon pupils results, their opportunities to offer a quieter class- and school environment and their possibilities to have a better communication with the Muslims families.

Guadalupe Francia, Department of Education, Stockholm University, SE 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

 

pp 236-239

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Summaries nr 2 1998 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-2-1998/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:46:30 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=219 Summaries

Simon Wolming, 1998: Validity. A modern approach to a traditional concept /Validitet: Ett traditionellt begrepp i modern tillämpning/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 2, Pp 81-103. Stockholm. ISSN 1401-6788.

The discussion about the quality of measurements includes concepts like precision, credibility, accuracy, trustworthiness and relevance of the measurement. The concepts of reliability and validity are central aspects of the quantitative tradition of measurement. In this article it is stated that these two concepts, and especially validity, can be seen as general concepts independent of scientific approach.

Educational research can be classified as either quantitative or qualitative. The concept of measurement, and especially the concepts of reliability and validity, are usually connected with the quantitative research tradition. This article states that different types of measurement occur, in one way or another, in all types of empirical sciences. Thus, measurements can be performed in quite different ways and with a variety of instruments. The problems connected with different types of measurements (e.g. psychological tests, ratings, interviews, observations, etc) are basically the same for all scientific approaches. The shift in the opinion that there is a conflict between the quantitative and qualitative paradigms can be illustrated with the following quotation from Husén (1997): The two paradigms are not exclusive, but complementary to each other (p. 21). This statement supports the opinion that the concepts of validity and reliability can be applied to both quantitative and qualitative methods.

This article focuses on validity and presents a historical perspective of the changed meaning of the concept of validity. It is possible to identify three significantly different periods in the development of the outlook on the concept of validity. One of the early definitions of validity was that a test is valid for anything with which it correlates (Guilford 1946). This definition of validity prevailed during the first period and focused exclusively on the statistical correlation between a predictor and a criterion.

During the second period this relatively simple definition of validity was replaced with a somewhat more complex one. This period was characterised by different types of validity related with the different aims of testing. Content validity was used for tests describing an individual’s performance on a defined subject. Predictive validity was used for tests predicting future performance. Concurrent validity was used for new tests proposed as substitutes for less convenient tests. Construct validity was used to make inferences about psychological traits like intelligence.

The third and current period can be characterised as the uniting of the three different types of validity described above. The new outlook can be illustrated with the following quotation: They are interrelated operationally and logically; only rarely is one of them alone important in a particular situation (American Psychological Association, American Educational Research Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education 1974). The most important change between the third and the earlier periods is that all types of validity can now be included in the concept of construct validity. Another major difference, compared with the earlier definitions of validity, is that one validates, not a test, but an interpretation of data arising from a specified procedure (Cronbach 1971 p. 447). Thus, the emphasis of the validity question is now on the interpretations which can be made from a measurement procedure, not on the specific instrument used for the measurement.

A third major contribution to validity theory during the third period was presented by Messick (1989), in his four-faceted model of validity. In Messick´s model, construct validity was set up to be the connecting link. In the first aspect of the model he set up construct validity in the traditional way. The second aspect was the relevance and utility of the measurement in the specific context. The third aspect was the values that could be connected with the specific measurement and, finally, the social consequences of the measurement. Messick stated that the former classification of validity was fragmented and, therefore, could not be seen as a complete model for validation. He emphasised the values connected with the measurement and the potential social consequences of the measurement for the testees. The use of an unfair test could, for example, have negative effects for different ethnic groups, and it could also produce unfair gender differences.

The general opinion is that the consequences of a measurement have to be taken into account, but it is a matter of controversy whether they should be included in the definition of validity. The opinion of Mehrens (1997) and Popham (1996) was that, even if the social consequences are important within all research, it is questionable whether they should be connected with the theoretical concept of validity.

The four-faceted model of validity presented by Messick requires new methods and techniques for practical and applied validation. Validation has changed from being the final »quality check» in research to becoming a central, never-ending process. During the research process it has become necessary to use multiple techniques to continuously value, question, and check the inferences and interpretations that are being made. Zeller (1997) stated that it is more difficult to be misled by the result that triangulates multiple techniques with compatible strengths than it is to be misled by a single technique which suffers from an inherent weakness (p. 828).

To sum up, the concept of validity has changed gradually over the years. Early definitions of validity focused on the relation between two variables, subsequent definitions focused on different types of validity, and still later definitions focused on the interpretations and meaning of test scores in the light of construct validity. According to Messick (1989), validation is a process consisting of four aspects. Thus, according to Messick´s model, the main questions for the validation process are: How does the measurement correspond with the theoretical construct? Is the measurement relevant for the specified purpose? What values can be connected with the construct and the measurement and, finally, what are the consequences of the measurement? It can also be stated that these questions are relevant, irrespective of whether quantitative or qualitative approach is used. With this in mind we can also draw attention to the fact that there is a tendency within the field of behavioural measurement to use both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Thus, these questions cannot be fully answered with quantitative or qualitative approaches alone. The nature of these questions requires different methods and approaches for the validation. The values connected with different constructs and measurements is one aspect requiring several types of evidence. The validity evidence can therefore best be gathered with multiple methods and approaches.

In the light of this multiple approach for gathering validity evidence and the opinion that the two major paradigms, the quantitative and the qualitative, are complementary to each other the current concept of validity can be linked to both these paradigms. Validity can therefore be regarded as a general concept independent of scientific approach.

Simon Wolming, Department of Educational Measurement, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå. Sweden

 

pp 157-159


Helge Strömdahl, 1998: Phenomenon and property: the physical quantities elucidated by science education research /Fenomen och egenskap: de fysikaliska storheterna i didaktisk belysning/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 2, Pp 104-1112. Stockholm. ISSN 1401-6788.

Words like energy, force, electric current and heat are generally used in everyday language as denotations for phenomena. In physical theory they are primarily denotations for physical quantities. Such distinctions are often neglected in science education. Students’ problems with scientific knowledge, revealed by educational research, are probably partly dependant on semantic indistinctness.

In an analysis of the national syllabus in physics for the Swedish compulsory school a mixture of everyday language and scientific language is found. This is especially evident in expressions concerning phenomena and physical quantities. The international system of physical quantities and units, SI, is not mentioned. Nor are the base physical quantities mass, length, time, temperature, electric current, amount of substance and luminous intensity discerned as making up a special concept category from which all other quantities are derived. Instead phenomena and physical quantities are mixed up. This mirrors the dilemma of writing a syllabus in ”school-physics” for citizen education without using too much systematic disciplinary physics. However, if school-physics is intended to procure scientific knowledge it is necessary to elucidate the conceptual situation.

In contemporary philosophy of science it is a well-founded standpoint that concepts are embedded in theories and get their meanings from theory-contexts. Hence, it is evident that physical quantities are only comprehensible within the theory-frames where they belong. For instance it is not possible to understand the classical Newtonian physical quantity of force outside Newtonian theory. It is a derived quantity connected to the base quantities mass, length and time. The physical quantity energy, also derived from the base physical quantities mass, length and time, is comprehensible within e.g. thermodynamic theory. The importance of mathematics as a communicative tool in this context could not be overestimated. It is evident that when non-scientific interpretations of terms like force and energy are revealed among students, it is a symptom of the fact that the terms are interpreted outside of scientific theories.

The pedagogical answer to the problem of concept learning in science education is often concretion and laboratory work. The learner is supposed to make his or her own observations and conclusions. Originating in the reasoning above, this kind of approach is problematic. There is no guarantee for a correspondence between a student’s and a scientist’s observation and interpretation of a given experiment. Students ›discovery› as a basis for knowledge attainment in science is often insufficient. Observation and interpretation of a mechanical experiment including an everyday conception of force does not contribute to the growth of scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge formation is not primarily the result of direct perception but a demanding intellectual challenge, where abstraction and idealization is often to the fore. Observations and interpretations are theory-laden. To know science is an ability to talk and reason about the world in disciplined ways. One could not expect that a student during a short laboratory course, split up in 40 or 80 minutes periods, should be able to rediscover and communicate what scientists have worked with for centuries. The need for communicative guidance in laboratory work is evident. The object of learning science is more a question of becoming a participant in an existing discourse than being a free observer. It is a project with linguistic implications. The learner is situated at the boarder between natural language and scientific language. A teacher’s assignment is to introduce and guide the learner into the scientific way of viewing and reasoning about the world. One important issue is to make the student aware of the fact that words have separate meanings in different contexts and that words used rather arbitrarily in everyday language have got precise meanings in science. This awareness seems to be a necessary prerequisite for enlarging ones conceptual repertoire in order to encompass the scientific meaning of words like force and energy. Hence, syllabuses in science education are suggested to explicitly include the semantic/ communicative aspects of science learning.

Helge Strömdahl, Department of Engeneer Education Didactics, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm. Sweden

 

pp 159-160

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Summaries nr 1 1998 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-1-1998/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:33:49 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=211 Summary

Lise Vislie, 1998: Educational research in Sweden: The Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSFR) examines the nine ‘full’ departments of education /Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige: HSFR granskar de nio ‘stora’ pedagogikinstitutionerna/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 3, No 1, Pp 1-36. Stockholm. ISSN 1401-6788.

In this chapter short descriptions of the nine departments (Pedagogiska institutioner) linked to the universities in Sweden with chairs in pedagogik (or related names) are presented. The purpose is to outline the institutional contexts within which educational research is carried out in Sweden. The focus is on past and present traditions and conditions, the main activities of the departments, as well as their problems, plans and possibilities. Each presentation is to a large extent built around a similar set of main points:

  • Information concerning the size and the structure of the scientific staff and on research funds. In addition to the resources for research represented by the scientific staff itself, other funds available for support of research at the departments, including research training, have been considered – particularly external grants for research which are known to be a highly significant part of the research system in Sweden. Data on staff and funds are of 1993/94, unless otherwise specified.
  • The postgraduate study programmes are not outlined in the following, as they are nationally structured, i.e. mostly composed upon the same elements, but with some content variations across the university departments. Only ”special features” are reported, if such have been observed, otherwise we focus on generalf gures (number of students, dissertation rates, etc.).
  • Contributions to the evaluation (publications/works) have been collected from the researchers through the departments and sent to HSFR or directly to the evaluators. The previous chapters have focused on the content and quality of these contributions. In this section we are using the stock of contributions for other purposes. We are, for example, looking at the contributors to the evaluation. The group consists of persons holding permanent or temporary posts, or scientific personnel otherwise closely associated with the department (including some retired staff members). Thus the number of contributors is seldom identical with, for example, figures reported on scientific posts, – in most cases is the number higher, but in some cases it is even lower. All publications/works received from the departments were registered by us2, and data on each department are presented below in terms of number of contributors, including percentages of female contributors, and number of contributions, publications/works in English 3, etc.
  • Finally, and the most difficult point, concerns the research of the departments. We have tried to grasp the research profile of each department by considering past and present traditions, the organisation of research at the department, external research relations and networks, – eventually also each department’s particular strengths, for example, to what extent or in what ways it contributes to the discipline as a national endeavour.

The nine departments are presented below in ”historical” order, i.e.:

  • Uppsala University, Department of Education
  • Lund University, Department of Education
  • Gothenburg University, Department of Education
  • Stockholm University, Department of Education
  • Stockholm Institute of Education (HLS), Department of Educational Research
  • Lund University, (Malmö) Department of Educational and Psychological Research
  • Umeå University, Department of Education
  • Linkšping University, Department of Education and Psychology
  • Stockholm University, Department of International Education

Summary table of all the main data presented

Lise Vislie, Institute for Educational Research, Oslo University, Box 1092 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.

 

pp 77-79

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Summaries nr 4 1997 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/summary-nr-4-1997/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss Sun, 25 Nov 2012 08:18:07 +0000 http://pedagogiskforskning.se/?p=176 Summaries

Jan Bengtsson, 1997: Didactical dimensions. Possibilities and limits of an integrated didactics/Didaktiska dimensioner. Möjligheter och gränser för en integrerad didaktik/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 2, No 4, Pp 241-262. Stockholm. ISSN 1401-6788.

If didactics (this is the word used in most European countries for theories of teaching as well as the art of teaching) is going to develop as a scientific subject, a general understanding with the capacity of integrating the different parts of the subject field into a unity is needed. But if an integrated didactics thus seems to be desirable, it is also necessary to examine its limits. The aim of this article is to discuss limits and possibilities of an integrated didactics. Although the article takes Swedish didactics as its principal frame of reference, the problems are not particular for Swedish didactics but are of international relevance.

In the first part of the article, different dimensions of didactics are discussed. Didactics is often divided into three different regions, called what-region, how-region and why-region. The what-region is concerned with the content of teaching, the how-region with ways of teaching and the why-region with explanations of curriculum choices selection, teaching, etc. In relation to this division, the distinctions between narrow and broad didactics have been introduced. By some scholars, the broad definition includes the what-region as well as the how-region whereas the narrow definition restricts didactics to the what-region. According to other scholars, ²broad didactics² refer to the what-region and ²narrow didactics² to the how-region. In both cases, the adjectives narrow and broad seem to be more rethorical than guided by an interest of giving an objective demarcation of didactics. To me, it seems to counteract an integration of the different regions of didactics.

Some scholars have identified an opposition between didactics as a science and didactics as a doctrine. But is it desirable that the normative problems of teaching are excluded from didactics as a discipline? No teaching is possible without choices concerning goals, contents and methods. Therefore, it doesn¹t seem plausible to leave the questions of norms and values outside the discipline of didactics. An integrated didactics should, according to my point of view, be able to include norms and values.

With the attempt of giving an overall and integrative determination of didactics as a discipline, it is suggested that at least three regions have to be included: normative didactics, descriptive didactics and metadidactics. In normative didactics, normative systems of teaching are established and critically examined, for instance by proposing goals, selections of knowledge and methods of teaching as well as justifying the choices. Descriptive didactics is concerned with empirical studies of actual or past teaching. This means that descriptive studies of norms and values in teaching can be subjected to empirical research, but it doesn¹t imply that they belong to normative didactics. Metadidactics, finally, is synonymous with philosophy of education, i.e. it includes inquiries of the theoretical foundations of normative as well as descriptive didactics, e.g. ontological, epistemological and axiological inquiries.

This determination of didactics as a discipline should, however, not mislead us to belive that didactics is exhausted. Didactics is also the name of a practical activity and there are other forms of didactical theory than scientific theories. If this is not sufficiently noticed, an unnecessary polarization is easily created and we are forced to choose between practical and theoretical didactics. Practical didactics can be divided in two categories, called teacher didactics and everyday didactics. The former is a learned skill, practiced by professional teachers. The latter is closer to a natural gift which the person may have cultivated, and it is used in everyday situations. Theoretical didactics is, on the contrary, a distanciated didactics which doesn¹t teach but makes statements about teaching and its conditions. But also practical didactics has its own kind of knowledge, a practical knowledge, which is a knowledge in teaching. Theoretical knowledge, on the other hand, is a knowledge about teaching. Theoretical didactics can not, however, be limited to scientific didactics. There are other forms of theoretical didactics where theoretical knowledge about teaching is established by the teachers¹ self-reflection or dialogue with colleagues.

Didactics is often divided into general didactics and special didactics. These branches of didactics are, however, not separate subdisciplines along with normative didactics, descriptive didactics and metadidactics but actually belong to didactics as a scientific discipline. The knowledge arrived at by general didactics always transcends particular subject matters, stages, etc. whereas the theories of special didactics are always restricted to certain subject matters or stages, and this is, of course, the point by having different divisions of special didactics. Because of this, general didactics can fulfil the function of integrating the many different special didactics.

In the second part of the article, the limits of integrating all didactical knowledge into a common stock of knowledge is discussed. Mainly against the background of Swedish didactical research, the restricting effects of the numerous paradigms are demonstrated. All didactical knowledge is, thus, relative and can only be integrated in relation to paradigms. But by making the presuppositions of the paradigm explicit (above all ontological presuppositions), it is transformed into a research program and can be criticized, the hallmark of science. At least to a philosopher of education.

Jan Bengtsson, Department of Methodology, Göteborg University, PO Box 300, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.

 

 

 

pp 313-314



Gösta Kåräng, 1997: Educational leadership. Investigations of correlations within the national evaluations of the compulsory school 1992 and 1995 carried out by the National Bord of Education/Pedagogiskt ledarskap. Korrelationsundersökningar inom Skolverkets nationella utvärderingar av grundskolan 1992 och 1995/. Pedagogisk Forskning i Sverige, Vol 2, No 4, Pp 263-276. Stockholm. ISSN 1401-6788.

The reforms of Swedish education after the second world war have implied significant changes in the central as well as regional and local administration of schools. Earlier the school system was highly centralized but in the past decade more responsibility for educational decision-making has been devolved to the local school level. This process has changed the work of the the principal from administrative to instructional leadership. From mainly being an expert on interpreting and applying central regulations, the principal today, according to the national curriculum, is responsible for accomplishing the educational goals set up by society. This means leading the staff in interpreting and clarifying goals, developing appropriate educational procedures, monitoring the progress of the students and evaluating the outcomes of the school. It is also the duty of the principal to plan and monitor changes which are intended to improve school effectiveness.

There is still a lot of disagreement on the meaning of instructional leadership. Research shows that some teachers continue to look upon the principal as an administrative leader and donÕt expect him/her to be involved in instructional activities. In this study two ways of assessing instructional leadership are investigated. The aim is to elucidate the covariation between increased principal instructional management behavior and different aspects of educational outcomes and qualities of the schools.

The study was executed in 1992 and 1995, each year comprising the last grade of about 100 randomly selected schools with about 10.000 students. The principalÕs instructional committment was rated in two ways, by staff members from the National Agency for Education visiting the schools (in the 1992 study only) and by the teachers from the schools themselves. Data about different aspects of the teaching process and the school culture were collected by teacher and student questionaires. A parent questionaire was included in the 1992 data collection. For each school an average value was computed in each variable. Rank order correlations were calculated on the school level between the two ratings of the principalÕs instructional committment and the different school variables.

No statistically significant correlations were found between instructional leadership and the student attainment measured by standardized tests in Swedish, English and mathematics, but student and parents ratings of how effective the school was in giving knowledge, training cooperation and developing independence covariated positivly with the leadership variable. Substantial correlations were found between both measures of instructional leadership and the student rating of their influence on the work at school e.g. educational planning. Other variables based on data from the student questionaire covariating positively with leadership were the teachersÕ monitoring of student progress, the possibility of getting help at school in case of problems and the use of activity-based teaching methods.

Data from the parent and the teacher questionaires gave many statistically significant correlations between instructional leadership and different school variables among others the extent of cooperation between parents and school, the involvement of students and teachers in decision-making, the amount of collaboration between teachers and the degree of goal orientation in the work Ð broadly speaking different aspects of democracy at school.

On the whole, data from the teachersÕ ratings of school variables gave higher correlations with instructional leadership than corresponding student data. One explanation can be that the principal has to use an indirect way to influence the progress of the students. This implies discussions with the teachers on teaching strategies and ways of creating a good learning climate. It is the duty of the principal to bring about consensus within the staff on the aims, values and working process of the school. In this way the instructional leadership and the intentions of the principal are made distinct to the teachers. This explains the correlations found in this study.

Why were no correlations found between leadership and the studentsÕ attainments in Swedish, English an mathematics? A tentative explanation will be given. The study also comprised data on the socio-economic background of the students. When these data and the ratings of instructional leadership were examined small negative covariations were found. The lower the percentage of students from homes with long schooling, the more active was the instructional leadership at the school. In this way possible effects of leadership may have been cancelled out by socio-economic factors.

In the 1992 study the teachers rated different school factors in two ways. Firstly they judged how important they regarded each factor for the studentsÕ progress. Secondly they estimated to what extent each factor was emphasized at their own school. Based on these data a new variable was calculated, the difference between how the school ought to be in the opinion of the teachers and how it was in reality. This differential variable, which can be interpreted as representing the degree of frustration the teachers felt in their work, turned out to be negatively correlated with most of the school factors in the study. The larger discrepancy the teachers experienced between ideal and reality, the more negatively teachers as well as parents and students rated different aspects of their school, but the more active the principal was as an instructional leader in the school the less frustrations teachers appear to feel. It is easy to imagine how important leadership is, especially when the school is under pressure and the teachers experience stress. This is a situation many schools face today when State grants are being reduced.

The two methods of assessing the instructional leadership used in this study showed a substantial covariation (.45). They both gave a rather consistent picture of the main qualities of this kind of leadership: a democratic principal involving teachers and pupils in decision making and supporting cooperation between teachers and between parents and the school. None of which made any difference to school performance when class variables were controlled for.

Gösta Kåräng, Department of Educational Sciences, Karlstad University, SE-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden

 

pp 315-316

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