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Den subtila ojämlikheten: Om grundskolors materiella förutsättningar och elevers utbildningsmöjligheter
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2360-1565
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.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 117
Keyword [en]
institutional habitus, materiality, pedagogy, compulsory school, social class
Keyword [sv]
institutionell habitus, materialitet, pedagogik, grundskola, social klass
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-120226ISBN: 978-91-7601-450-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-120226DiVA: diva2:927412
Public defence
2016-06-10, Humanisthuset, Hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2016-05-12 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Om betydelsen av skolhabitus i högstadiepraktiken
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Om betydelsen av skolhabitus i högstadiepraktiken
2012 (Swedish)In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 17, no 1-2, 45-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Artikeln studerar hur grundskolepraktiken framträder för elever och vilken betydelse den har för deras uppfattningar om sin tillvaro i skolan. Den fokuserar skoleffekter relaterade till sociala och pedagogiska aktiviteter. Artikeln bygger på en studie som genomfördes i en åttondeklass på en högstadieskola där en majoritet av eleverna kommer från familjer med hög utbildningsnivå. Empirin består av intervjuer, klassrumsobservationer och policydokument. Studien visar att de ideal skolan grundar sin praktik på, skolhabitus, får olika konsekvenser beroende av hur väl elever kan förkroppsliga dessa ideal. Beroende på framgångar i detta avseende följer ett mer eller mindre positivt bemötande och större eller mindre frihet i klass-rummet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2012
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63747 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-07 Created: 2013-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. ICT Practices, Social Class and Pedagogy in Swedish Lower Secondary Schools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ICT Practices, Social Class and Pedagogy in Swedish Lower Secondary Schools
2013 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-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
Keyword
ICT, pedagogy, lower secondary school, equity in education, institutional habitus
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83823 (URN)10.3402/edui.v4i4.23224 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-12-09 Created: 2013-12-09 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. The school-family relationship in socially divided Swedish lower secondary schools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The school-family relationship in socially divided Swedish lower secondary schools
2013 (English)In: Barn, ISSN 0800-1669, Vol. 31, no 4, 89-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines the school-family relationship in order to understand what significance the family has for teachers, students, and head teachers. Drawing on theory by Reay (2004), this article deploys family and school habitus to analyse two Swedish lower-secondary schools with different social structures. The data consist of interviews and observations. Results indicate that one of the schools has a compatible habitus – that is, similar values among its families about education – which simplifies the relationship and allows it to be used to strengthen and develop school practices. The other school has a diverse habitus – that is, different values among its families about education. Therefore an equal relationship is more difficult to facilitate, because the families have different abilities to take on this responsibility. This article concludes that developing a pedagogy that fully integrates and acknowledges students’ ideas and life experiences is a potential force to change a school’s habitus, diminish the importance of the family habitus in schooling, and ensure that students receive equivalent education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trondheim: Norsk senter for barneforskning (NOSEB), 2013
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84638 (URN)
Conference
Tema: Hjem-skole-partnerskap i et nordisk perspektiv
Available from: 2014-01-13 Created: 2014-01-13 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. The significance of materiality in shaping institutional habitus: exploring dynamics preceding school effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The significance of materiality in shaping institutional habitus: exploring dynamics preceding school effects
2017 (English)In: British Journal of Sociology of Education, ISSN 0142-5692, E-ISSN 1465-3346, Vol. 38, no 3, 384-402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines the objective possibilities of Swedish schools to offer an equal and functional pedagogical practice for students' acquisition of knowledge and skills. The data consist of policy documents, observations, and interviews with students, teachers, and head teachers in three educational settings distinguished by different social demographics. The focus allows for a comparative understanding of how tangible objects generate formations of schools as a relational phenomenon depending on geographic location and social background of students. The article indicates that the impact of materiality lies in its preceding power. It shapes the condition of institutions visualised in architecture, buildings, and the quality of and design of facilities and artefacts. From this material root emanates schools' values, appeal, social status, and pedagogical organisations – school effects – that empower or weaken the school's attraction and self-confidence. Different materialities influence each school's institutional habitus, producing school effects with unequal educational outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keyword
material conditions, institutional habitus, school effects, pedagogy, social class
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110334 (URN)10.1080/01425692.2015.1093406 (DOI)000395421600008 ()
Available from: 2015-10-20 Created: 2015-10-20 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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