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Systematic quality work in Swedish schools: intentions and dilemmas
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
2015 (English)In: Offentlig Förvaltning. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2000-8058, E-ISSN 2001-3310, Vol. 19, no 1, 23-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the intentions and internal logic of a systematic quality work programme in Swedish schools as an example of institutionalization of an international super-standard in large public organizations. A programme theory analysis is used to illuminate the intentions, inner logic, involved actors, possible limitations and underlying assumptions of the evaluation system, which together constitute the systematic quality work. What is realistically achievable is also highlighted and analysed in relation to current research and the welfare liberal, and social democratic education policy perspectives expressed in the National curriculum. The programme analysis indicates an ambitious, all-embracing, and ever-present evaluation system and exposes inherent potential contradictions. The programme could foster improvement and mirrors the distribution of responsibilities that characterizes Swedish school governance, which implies that how the programme is enacted in schools will be decisive for its results. The potential of the programme in practice is discussed in relation to the varying local context’s inherent risks and dilemmas, concerning governance, reductionism, constitutive effects, and working conditions. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 19, no 1, 23-44 p.
Keyword [en]
systematic quality work, school development, programme theory analysis, management by goals and results, constitutive effects
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-111648OAI: diva2:872476
Vetenskapsrådet: Utvärderingars konsekvenser för grundskolans praktik - styrning, ansvarsutkrävande och verksamhetsförändring
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-11-19 Created: 2015-11-19 Last updated: 2016-09-09Bibliographically approved

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Lundström, Ulf
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