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Tid till förfogande: Förändrad användning och fördelning av undervisningstid i grundskolans senare år?
Umeå University, Faculty of Teacher Education, Department of Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Time as a recourse in school : Practising flexible time allocation and time use (English)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish education system has undergone decentralisation and deregulation since the late 1970s. The 1999 parliamentary resolution for a 5-year experiment of increased school autonomy in time allocation, was a late step in this development. Approximately 900 compulsory schools in 79 municipalities no longer had to adhere to the regulation of the national time schedule.

The overall aim of this thesis is to describe and analyse changes of time allocation and time use in schools during the experiment. The analysis has the theories and research by Basil Bernstein and Michael Fullan as the point of departure. Framing and classification, educational change and teachers’ work culture are some of the key concepts. The results from interviews with 32 local directors formed the basis of selection of three participating municipalities and schools in the longitudinal study. The sample included both municipalities participating and some not participating in the experiment. The schools had varying motives for participating, and different initial time allocation strategies and procedures. However, they all shared an ambition to strengthen curriculum and school development. Pupils, teachers and head teachers from three classes and teacher teams in the three schools were interviewed and observed over a period of two years. Documents on time use and policies from the three schools were analysed.

No dramatic changes were observed. Changes rarely meant a redistribution of time between contents/subjects or pupils. Instead they were predominantly about weakened boundaries between subjects and teachers, increased teacher control over the work and giving pupils more influence over their own learning situation. So called open lessons, when pupils were allowed to choose what, where and how to study, cross-disciplinary studies and subject-integrated teamwork facilitated this. A majority of pupils and teachers appreciated the increased freedom and control over their work. Some teachers, however, tended to be more hesitant, pointing to risks of work overload and lowered academic achievement. Both teachers and pupils doubted that all pupils could manage highly autonomous studies, and agreed that some needed more structure and help from the teachers. Teachers in practical and aesthetic subjects were often constrained from engaging in cross-disciplinary studies and teamwork. Having one’s teaching assignment divided between many different classes and even schools, and lack of premises were commonly mentioned obstacles.

Committed head teachers and well-functioning teacher teams were significant factors were commonly in the observed development process. Also, active support from the municipality and network-participation were contributing factors. Attention is drawn to the fact that it is not possible to relate the observed changes exclusively to the time schedule experiment. They were feasible within the existing, flexible frames of the national time schedule. Furthermore, a number of other changes occurred parallel to the experiment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Barn- och ungdomspedagogik, specialpedagogik och vägledning , 2006. , 51 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 6
Keyword [en]
School autonomy, time allocation, time use, pupil influence, pupil individualisation, teacher work, change.
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-724ISBN: 91-7264-007-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-724DiVA: diva2:144319
Public defence
2006-04-07, Sal 213h, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-03-14 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2010-02-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Local time governance in comprehensive schools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local time governance in comprehensive schools
2004 (English)In: Teacher education and international collaboration: its strength and challenges / [ed] Erixon, Per-Olof, 1954-, special monograph editors: Gun-Marie Frånberg and Gloria Ladson-Billings, Umeå: Fakulteten för lärarutbildningarna, Umeå universitet , 2004, 145-162 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Fakulteten för lärarutbildningarna, Umeå universitet, 2004
Series
Monographs on Journal of Research in Teacher Education, ISSN 1651-0127 ; 2004
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-15055 (URN)91-7305-686-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-04-25 Created: 2008-01-29 Last updated: 2012-04-25Bibliographically approved
2. Time to learn, time to develop?: change processes in three schools with weak national time regulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time to learn, time to develop?: change processes in three schools with weak national time regulation
2007 (English)In: Pedagogy, Culture & Society, ISSN 1468-1366, E-ISSN 1747-5104, Vol. 15, no 1, 37-54 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses change of time use and time allocation in three schools participating in a Swedish five-year national experiment in which State regulation of teaching time was weakened. Participating schools could freely decide how to use and distribute teaching time. The experiment was launched at a late stage in a 25-year decentralisation process. During this period, the Swedish education system has become one of the most decentralised ones among the OECD countries. Based on a four-year longitudinal study, the initiation and implementation of more goal-oriented and flexible time allocations in the three schools were analysed. When removing the time schedule one would expect schools to change both time allocation and pedagogy. However, in all three schools, change concerned the latter rather than distribution of teaching hours across subjects, pupils and so on. In particular, change was about replacing traditional subject-based teaching by thematic, cross-disciplinary studies and introducing working forms resulting in increased autonomy, but more responsibility on the part of the pupils. It is concluded that the additional weakening of time governance did not have any dramatic effects on initiation and implementation of school development. It primarily resulted in a confirmation, legitimisation and to some extent speeding up of existing change efforts. More generally it led to increased possibilities of information, networking and attention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge Taylor & Francis, 2007
Keyword
Sociology of education
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4984 (URN)10.1080/14681360601162121 (DOI)
Available from: 2012-04-25 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2012-04-25Bibliographically approved
3. A matter of timing: Time use, freedom and influence in school from a pupil perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A matter of timing: Time use, freedom and influence in school from a pupil perspective
2004 (English)In: European Educational Research Journal (online), ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 3, no 4, 743-758 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A weakening of central time regulation has constituted one aspect of the process of decentralisation and deregulation of Swedish education in the last two decades. In 1999 the Parliament decided on an experiment period permitting schools in 79 municipalities to allocate school hours more freely. The article aims at exploring and analysing pupils' experiences of the structuring of contents and work in schools without a national time schedule. Pupils' influence over schoolwork, and their individual responsibility and freedom to plan and use time are focused on. Thirty-one pupils, aged 14-15 years, were interviewed. They come from three comprehensive schools ranging from a strongly classified curriculum and teacher work to a curriculum characterised by a high degree of crossdisciplinary  teaching and teacher teamwork. All three schools, to varying extent, have scheduled 'open lessons', when pupils choose content and activity. The majority of pupils appreciate having a responsibility and freedom to plan their own learning, but argue that they are generally not allowed to participate in decisions about teaching and learning. This is particularly the case in subject lessons, which are still mainly controlled by the teachers. The pupils prefer varied forms of teaching and learning and express a need for freedom as well as guidance and structure.

National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4985 (URN)
Available from: 2012-04-25 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved
4. Where does time go?: teaching and time use from the perspective of teachers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Where does time go?: teaching and time use from the perspective of teachers
2008 (English)In: Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, ISSN 1354-0602, E-ISSN 1470-1278, Vol. 14, no 1, 17-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the last three decades Swedish education has undergone radical decentralisation involving increased school autonomy. One aspect of this change is the gradual weakening of the state regulation of teaching time. Thus, Sweden is somewhat of an extreme in the EU. This is accentuated by a five-year experiment, where 900 compulsory schools were allowed more freedom in the allocation of school hours. Thirty teachers from three compulsory schools participating in the experiment were interviewed and team meetings observed during a two-year period. The article explores and analyses changes in time-distribution, classification and framing of the curricula and teachers' work in the three teams and their classes, and analyses teachers' experiences of the changes. A major trend towards weakened classification and framing was found. A majority of the teachers were positive to more flexible time use, teamwork and cross-disciplinary studies. However, despite the experiment a majority still felt inhibited by the national time schedule and too little time for development work. Variations between the three cases are discussed in terms of different team cultures. The school characterised by development-oriented culture had changed their work and teaching most.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge Taylor & Francis, 2008
Keyword
change, teacher autonomy, teacher work, time allocation, time use
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4986 (URN)10.1080/13540600701837616 (DOI)
Projects
Schools without National Time Schedules
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note
Acknowledgements:The study is part of an ongoing project, Schools without National Time Schedules, financed by the Swedish Ministry of Education. The author also acknowledges comments by project leader Professor Lisbeth Lundahl and project participant FD Linda Rönnberg.Available from: 2012-04-25 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2012-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Nyroos, Mikaela

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