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ICT Practices, Social Class and Pedagogy in Swedish Lower Secondary Schools
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2013 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 4, 649-669 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, according to the present curriculum lower secondary schools are responsible for providing and tutoring all students in information and communication technology (ICT) as a tool in the search for knowledge and learning. In this article, it is proposed that schools have different preconditions to fulfil these obligations, depending upon how they integrate ICT into their pedagogical practices. The aim of this article is to examine the relationship among classrooms, ICT access, and pedagogy by comparing three Swedish lower secondary schools with different social compositions. The data consist of observations, interviews and policy documents. It is suggested that it is necessary to have sufficient equipment and strong pedagogy for all schools to fully use the potential of ICT as an educational, learning and teaching tool. It is concluded that the schools do not have equal opportunities to provide students with a pedagogical practice that can enable ICT skills and knowledge due to unique mandatorships and social acting spaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå School of Education, Umeå University , 2013. Vol. 4, no 4, 649-669 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT, pedagogy, lower secondary school, equity in education, institutional habitus
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83823DOI: 10.3402/edui.v4i4.23224OAI: diva2:677369
Available from: 2013-12-09 Created: 2013-12-09 Last updated: 2016-05-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Den subtila ojämlikheten: Om grundskolors materiella förutsättningar och elevers utbildningsmöjligheter
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Den subtila ojämlikheten: Om grundskolors materiella förutsättningar och elevers utbildningsmöjligheter
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to examine compulsory schools' material conditions in relation to students' learning opportunities and schools staffs’ opportunities to educate. The thesis consists of four published peer-reviewed articles. The empirical data was collected through extensive fieldwork during 2010-2011 in three Swedish schools (ages 14-15), characterized by different social demographics. The material is primarily classroom observations, semi-structured interviews and policy documents. Analysis in the thesis draws mainly on Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical framework, but also on contemporary developments institutional habitus by Diane Reay and positional capital by Jacques Lévy. Also, materiality as an educational concept is used to reflect and discuss schools’ prerequisites as institutions of education. The first article investigates how school practice emerges for pupils and the importance it has on their perceptions of their own lives in the school, it also considers and discusses the utility of the theoretical tool school habitus. The study was furthermore a critical examination of the reproductive and/or social levelling effects that school practice could have on pupils. The second article explores and compares the schools' access to ICT and classroom teaching. The third article examines the role of the family and its importance for school staff and pupils in the daily operations of the school. In addition, it scrutinizes how socioeconomic conditions affect the middle- and working-class schools' abilities to navigate in relation to families. The fourth article examines material conditions in all three schools with a focus on pupils and school staffs’ perceptions and actions in school practices, and how materiality shapes schools' institutional habitus. The analysis displays that schools’ materiality has major significance for the forms of institutional habitus and which ideals and values about education are developed in the different schools. It also displays that schools’ material conditions are closely interwoven with pupils’ educational backgrounds and the socioeconomic structure of the local neighbourhood. Schools’ material preconditions affect the pedagogical work of the teachers in classrooms and principals’ acting space to follow and implement the schools’ missions according to steering documents. Viewed as preworld, the local area and resources in the schools shape pupils’ sense of worthiness and thus their visions of a possible future in regard to educational and- workinglife carriers. The thesis discusses and concludes that the title The Subtle Inequality illustrate a process where phenomenon such as school choice, teacher shortage or schools’ abilities to compete are taken for granted. They are seen as “natural” and given, thus they hide the existing, objective material preconditions as the sources that shape differences in the educational system. To overcome these differences, the thesis reflects on the need to give all schools in Sweden equal material starting points.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2016. 92 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 117
institutional habitus, materiality, pedagogy, compulsory school, social class, institutionell habitus, materialitet, pedagogik, grundskola, social klass
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120226 (URN)978-91-7601-450-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-10, Humanisthuset, Hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved

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