Tid till förfogande: Förändrad användning och fördelning av undervisningstid i grundskolans senare år?
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Time as a recourse in school : Practising flexible time allocation and time use (English)
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.
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 6
School autonomy, time allocation, time use, pupil influence, pupil individualisation, teacher work, change.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-724ISBN: 91-7264-007-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-724DiVA: diva2:144319
2006-04-07, Sal 213h, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Alexandersson, Mikael, Professor
Lundahl, Lisbeth, ProfessorLidström, Anders, Docent
List of papers