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Historia för yrkesprogrammen: Innehåll och betydelse i policy och praktik
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (History and Education)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5222-6229
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
History for Vocational Education and Training : Content and Meaning in Policy and Practice (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis offers critical perspectives on a history syllabus for vocational education and training (VET) tracks in Swedish upper secondary schools and adds to our knowledge and understanding of the educative function of history education for the individual and for society. The overall aim of this thesis is to critically investigate discourses that are voiced in different fields about the construction and reproduction of the history curriculum in VET tracks. A general question addressed is how vertical (critical and theoretical) and horizontal knowledge is articulated by the discourses in terms of the meaning of history in a VET context. The following four research questions were the focus of the four different studies in this thesis: How were non-vocational subjects discussed on a policy level during the post-war period, and what meanings were ascribed to history education? What aspects of history as a field of knowledge are recontextualised into a pedagogic discourse for the VET curriculum? How do teachers perceive the history syllabus? What do the students express concerning the history syllabus and history education? The results of these studies are reported in separate papers, and the aggregated results are analysed in this thesis. The data consisted of government bills and committee reports, material from the National Agency of Education archives, and interview data gathered through interviews with 5 teachers and 46 students. The major theoretical inspiration comes from Basil Bernstein whose theories of classification and framing, pedagogic discourse, pedagogic code, and vertical and horizontal discourses are used in the analysis. With the aid of these concepts, the content and meaning of history education for VET are connected to macro levels of education, and the way in which education reproduces social order when certain forms of knowledge are distributed to different groups in society is discussed. Three major conclusions are drawn. First, history as a pedagogic discourse comes forward as versatile and contradictory when the results from the studies are aggregated. There is, however, a shared understanding that the meaning of history in VET is to educate the students to become democratic and active citizens. Secondly, the investigated discourses ascribe history education with the potential to distribute critical and powerful knowledge. The students see a value for history education in their future as citizens and for giving them access the public conversation of society. A final conclusion is that the pedagogic code, embedded in the history curriculum, can be interpreted in two different ways. The emphasis on competencies and the focus on the last two hundred years can be interpreted as (A) an expression of a wish for immediate utility and thus an instrumental view of education or (B) the recontextualisation of scientific theories, concepts, and practices into a pedagogic discourse as a means to give students access to disciplinary (powerful) knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2015. , 57 p.
Series
Umeå studies in history and education, 10
Keyword [en]
History education, history of education, curriculum studies, curriculum reform, vocational education and training, upper secondary education, post-compulsory education, citizenship education
Keyword [sv]
historiedidaktik, historia, läroplan, gymnasiereform, yrkesutbildning, sekundärutbildning, demokrati, medborgarfostran, gymnasieutbildning
National Category
History Educational Sciences
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-99842ISBN: 978-91-7601-228-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-99842DiVA: diva2:788904
Public defence
2015-03-13, Hörsal E. Humanisthuset, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2015-04-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Till nytta eller onytta: argument rörande allmänna ämnen i ungas yrkesutbildning i efterkrigstidens Sverige
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Till nytta eller onytta: argument rörande allmänna ämnen i ungas yrkesutbildning i efterkrigstidens Sverige
2014 (Swedish)In: Nordic Journal of Educational History, ISSN 2001-9076, Vol. 1, no 1, 21-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

General Subjects in Vocational Education and Training in Post-War Sweden

The present article focuses on the role of general subjects in the curriculum for vocational education and training (VET) in Swedish upper secondary schools after the Second World War. It shows that a steady increase in general VET subjects as a result of Social Democratic legislation in 1968 and 1991 was interrupted by a Liberal-Conservative government bill introduced in 2009, which led to a reduction. The rhetoric of these reforms is analyzed with the intent of increasing insight into the perceived educational benefits of general subjects in VET. The study employs the analytical lens of Gert Biesta and his proposed major functions of education: qualification, socialization, and sub-jectification. The results serve to illuminate the present-day educational po-licy debate, showing that the place of general subjects in the curriculum has been motivated by the important role they play in educating youth in demo-cracy, teaching them to function effectively in an increasingly international-ized and multicultural society and economy, for their lifelong learning and for the continued economic growth of the Swedish society. With the enactment of the government bill of 2009, however, the qualifying function of general subjects in VET was devaluated. The new curriculum that followed prioritized strictly vocational skills and the transition of graduates directly into the labour market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Det utbildningshistoriska nätverket, 2014
Keyword
Vocational education and training, general subjects, curriculum reform, educational politics, upper secondary education, Yrkesutbildning, allmänna ämnen, utbildningsreformer, utbildningspolitik, gymnasieskola
National Category
History Educational Sciences
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-89304 (URN)
Available from: 2014-05-27 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2015-02-18Bibliographically approved
2. The Voice of History and the Message of the National Curriculum: Recontextualising History to a Pedagogic Discourse for Upper Secondary VET
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Voice of History and the Message of the National Curriculum: Recontextualising History to a Pedagogic Discourse for Upper Secondary VET
2014 (English)In: Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, ISSN 2000-9879, no 2, 161-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the reform by the liberal-conservative government of Swedish upper secondary education in 2011, history was recognized as an important part of citizenship education and was introduced into the curriculum for vocational education and training (VET) tracks. Through the concepts of classification and framing, this article explores the process of constructing the history syllabus for VET. The data consist of archived material from the working group responsible for the history curriculum under the Swedish National Agency for Education. The analysis shows that there are competing discourses concerning the relative emphasis on competencies and skills and concerning the emphasis on contemporary and modern history. Although historians, history teachers and other agents are invited to respond to the content of the curriculum, the respondents have no influence on the knowledge structure of the curriculum, which is controlled by agents of the dominant educational ideology. From a critical perspective, this article suggests that the curriculum reflects the instrumental and neoconservative message of the reform through strong classification and framing and through the emphasis on general abilities and a contemporary history that has a more direct explanatory value to contemporary society.

Keyword
history education; vocational education; upper secondary education; curriculum; curriculum reform
National Category
History Didactics Educational Sciences
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96312 (URN)
Available from: 2014-11-18 Created: 2014-11-18 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Navigating historical thinking in a vocational setting: teachers interpreting a history curriculum for students in vocational secondary education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Navigating historical thinking in a vocational setting: teachers interpreting a history curriculum for students in vocational secondary education
2015 (English)In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 47, no 1, 77-93 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, history has recently become a compulsory subject in upper secondary vocational education and training (VET). The aim of this interview study with teachers was to problematize the transition between the ideals of history education in the curriculum and the everyday practices of history teaching. It investigated how the teachers assess the objectives of the history curriculum and how they relate the curriculum to their knowledge and conceptions of their students. This study complicates the phenomenon of academic subjects in vocational education and provides an empirical example to centre a discussion of the challenges associated with a history curriculum that seeks to acknowledge different orientations of history teaching. The teachers articulated potential problems that stem from the students’ capabilities and motivation. The objectives of the disciplinary and critical orientation assume factual knowledge, which, according to the teachers, the students do not have. In the interviews, the teachers showed that they seek to transform the curriculum to allow them to teach more substantive knowledge. Continuing citizenship education for students in upper secondary VET through compulsory academic subjects, such as history, might contribute less than expected to the individual’s process of becoming a citizen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2015
Keyword
history education; vocational education; curriculum reform; post-compulsory education
National Category
History Didactics Educational Sciences
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96311 (URN)10.1080/00220272.2014.984766 (DOI)000346845700004 ()
Available from: 2014-11-18 Created: 2014-11-18 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. “Så man kan vara med”: om historieundervisningens värde och mening enligt elever på yrkesprogram
Open this publication in new window or tab >>“Så man kan vara med”: om historieundervisningens värde och mening enligt elever på yrkesprogram
2015 (Swedish)In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 24, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Artikeln behandlar hur elever på yrkesprogram förhåller sig till den historieundervisning som sedan 2011 är en obligatorisk del av gymnasiets yrkesprogram. Studien baseras på gruppintervjuer med elever kring deras uppfattningar om historiekursens utbildningsvärde. Analysen av elevernas utsagor tar sin utgångspunkt i begreppsparet vertikal och horistontell kunskap och resultaten visar att eleverna efterfrågar ett innehåll som berör dem och som hjälper dem att förstå samhället. Historisk kunskap uppfattas ha liten betydelse för det yrke de utbildar sig till idag, däremot värdesätts den i förhållande till deras framtida liv på en arbetsmarknad mer generellt. Det som dominerar elevernas tal är dock att historia ger kunskaper som behövs för att de ska kunna förstå samtiden, för att de ska erövra kunskap som de betraktar som allmän och som behövs för att ha en legitim röst i samhället. För att detta ska bli verklighet menar eleverna att historiekursen måste ha ett innehåll som fokuserar på den samtida historien och som sträcker sig fram till idag. Det ger möjlighet till en insikt som är betydelsefull för utbildningens demokratiska uppdrag: att dagens samhälle är historiskt skapat, och därför möjligt att förändra.

Abstract [en]

“So one can participate”: On the value and meaning of history education in the view of pupils on a vocational programme

History is a compulsory subject in Swedish upper secondary Vocational Educational and Training (VET) programs since the reform of the national curriculum in 2011. On a general level, the vocational/academic divide of upper secondary education contributes to social reproduction. This article argues that history education has an important role to play in the acquisition of powerful and critical knowledge for the students in VET, knowledge that can empower subjects and groups in society. Data consists of interviews with 46 students. The analysis draws on the concepts of horizontal and vertical discourse. The results show that the students do appreciate the potential of knowledge in history. However, history education must provide the students with the opportunity to interact with contemporary history in order to answer to the needs that the students in this study articulated, that is to understand present-day society.

Keyword
history education, vocational education and training, citizenship education, upper secondary education, critical knowledge, sociology of education, historieundervisning, historia, yrkesutbildning, demokrati, medborgarfostran, kunskap, gymnasiet, yrkesprogram
National Category
History Educational Sciences Didactics
Research subject
history of education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-99840 (URN)
Note

Artikeln har vid publicering fått en annan titel än den hade vid publiceringen av avhandlingen.

Available from: 2015-02-13 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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