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Inspectors as information-seekers
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
2019 (English)In: Inspectors and enforcement at the front line of government / [ed] Steven Van de Walle and Nadine Raaphorst, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 1, p. 35-58Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Just as in other forms of government and areas of society, the role of the inspector is adjusting to new expectations and shifting accountability mechanisms. Acting as 'street-level bureaucrats' and enforcers of the law, inspectors collaborate with and depend on others in their quest to assemble information from multiple, complex sources. Their work is characterized by discretionary power where inspectors are entrusted to enact policy that is based on the principle of best judgment in addition to the demands put forward by legal norms and regulations. In sum, this information-seeking activity is utilized to collectively produce various documents, such as inspection reports. Furthermore, information seeking is considered a vital step in the development of their knowledge in order to make qualified judgments. Using 'visible' maps, e.g. inspection frameworks, and 'invisible' maps, e.g. inspectors' professional experiences, to navigate and execute discretionary tasks, school inspectors sometimes struggle to develop an adequate knowledge base that makes sense of the 'inspectees' worlds'. Drawing on the concepts of visible and invisible maps, this chapter examines the information-seeking practices of school inspectors based on previous comprehensive research on supervision systems in Germany (Lower Saxony), Norway and Sweden. This chapter addresses the following key questions: What type of information do inspectors look for?, How and where do they look for information?, How do inspectors handle different kinds of information, e.g., statistics, documents, and interview, observation- and survey data, and how do they decide what information is credible and useful? By studying inspectors as information-seekers, and more closely, school inspectors, this chapter demonstrates how these representatives of the state incorporate multiple visible and invisible maps, and how they make sense of the schools they are mandated to scrutinize using limited resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, 1. p. 35-58
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-154794DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-04058-1_3ISBN: 9783030040581 (electronic)ISBN: 9783030040574 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-154794DiVA, id: diva2:1274871
Available from: 2019-01-03 Created: 2019-01-03 Last updated: 2019-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, Joakim

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf