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  • 1.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Education Department at Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.
    Social inclusion and social exclusion in England: Tensions in education policy2002Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 17, nr 1, s. 71-86Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Social exclusion is a key policy theme for the New Labour government, and has been closely associated with education policy. The emphasis is on the need to combat social exclusion by creating a globally competitive economy through the education system, and through responsible individual attitudes. However, this dominant discourse is interpreted differently at various levels of policy making that provide alternative conceptualizations of the problem, and suggest different roles for education. This paper draws upon a research project that explored the links between education governance and social exclusion, and seeks to illustrate different approaches to social exclusion and education, as these are articulated by politicians and civil servants involved in policy making, or policy implementation in England.

  • 2.
    Erixon Arreman, Inger
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    Holm, Ann-Sofie
    Borås Högskola.
    Privatisation of public education?: The emergence of independent upper secondary schools in Sweden2011Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 26, nr 2, s. 225-243Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the upper secondary (or post-16) school market. The study on which it is based, funded by the Swedish Research Council, was entitled 'Upper-secondary education as a market'. Empirical data include official statistics, policy documents, school publications, company reports and school visits. Printed and other news media were also scrutinised to identify how the marketisation of education is represented in public discourse. A number of themes emerged from the study which included mapping the expansion of the school market, chains of ownership and influence, marketing strategies, choice and the school market and issues raised in the media. These imply that there is a new market discourse which represents a clear break with previous social democratic education policies primarily aimed at enhancing citizenship and wider democratic values within an inclusive public school. However, critiques have also emerged including a call for strengthened regulations of and control over independent schools and concern about an education market equated more with shares and profits rather than pedagogy and student citizenship.

    Keywords: upper secondary education; independent schools; Sweden; privatisation; marketisation; education funding; profit-maximisation; discourse

  • 3.
    Lange, Bettina
    et al.
    Centre for Socio‐Legal Studies, University of Oxford, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ, UK.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Department of Education, School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, University of Keele, Staffordshire, Keele, ST5 5AZ, UK.
    Policy learning and governance of education policy in the EU2010Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 25, nr 4, s. 443-463Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Open methods for coordinating (OMC) education policies in the EU rely on a number of techniques, one of which is policy learning. This article examines how policy learning and governance transform each other. More specifically, policy‐learning in the education OMC becomes differentiated into four distinct learning styles: mutual, competitive, surface and imperialistic learning. While they overlap with some forms of policy learning discussed in the literature, they are also different by focusing upon interactions and political dynamics between the European Commission and the member states. In seeking to understand how governing through learning occurs, we argue that any 'impact' of EU‐level policy‐learning is co‐constructed by both the European Commission and the member states. The analysis of this article is grounded in a discourse analytical and institutionalist perspective. It draws on qualitative data derived from semi‐structured interviews with officials from the Directorate General for Education and Culture in the European Commission and on EU documents generated during policy‐learning activities.

  • 4.
    Lundahl, Lisbeth
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskaplig fakultet, Barn- och ungdomspedagogik, specialpedagogik och vägledning.
    Sweden: Decentralisation, deregulation, quasi-markets - and then what?2002Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 17, nr 6, s. 687-697Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The aims of this article are (1) to describe features of Swedish education politics over a 25 year period, with a focus on the 1990s and the first years of the 21st Century, and (2) to discuss how education politics relate to the socio-economic changes which have taken place during the last 10-15 years. Three time periods, based on the prevailing view of education governance and the role of the State, are identified: 1975-1990, 1991-1998 and 1999-2002, respectively. For each period, the context/agenda, processes and outcomes of education policy are discussed. The article is based on statistical data, public reports, policy documents and interviews with central and local actors in the field of education. It is concluded that access to education has increased at all levels during the last 25 years. However, young people's transition to the labour market takes place later, has become more complicated, and in reality requires successful completion of at least upper-secondary education. In the wake of reductions, decentralization and deregulation of education, the differences and divisions between municipalities, schools and different pupils have increased. It is argued that active efforts to counteract such tendencies were weak in the 1990s, and that education politics may instead have reinforced social division and exclusion.

  • 5.
    Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap, Centrum för utvärderingsforskning (UCER).
    Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests2017Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, nr 5, s. 673-693Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Since 2009, the Swedish Government uses an ‘audit’ agency – the Swedish Schools Inspectorate – to monitor and assess the accuracy with which teachers grade student responses on national tests. This study explores the introduction and subsequent establishment of the Inspectorate’s regrading programme as an example of political management of the tensions between competition and equity inherent in neoliberal regulatory regimes. The programme is considered a case for examining contemporary policies and discourses on fairness and government actions undertaken to resolve issues of unfair assessment and safeguard students’ rights. Work of Carol Bacchi forms part of the theoretical background for the investigation of problem representations around and within the programme. The article demonstrates how discursive practices in the fields of government, audit and media have worked to frame teachers’ assessments as incorrect, unfair and as jeopardizing the credibility of the grading system, thus justifying increased central control and authority over teacher assessments. As such, the regrading programme contributed to increased mistrust in teacher professionalism. A legal discourse is identified, and we argue the examination system is being juridified where the abundance of control over knowledge risks turning into a deficit of that same knowledge.

  • 6.
    Nylund, Mattias
    et al.
    Göterborgs universitet.
    Rosvall, Per-Åke
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    Ledman, Kristina
    Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier.
    The vocational–academic divide in neoliberal upper secondary curricula: the Swedish case2017Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, nr 6, s. 788-808Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    A historical tension between a more general and a more specific focus in post-compulsory education is made visible in some educational systems by the division into more academic and more vocational programmes. Embedded in this tension are questions of social justice and the purposes of education. In addition, division into academic and vocational programmes has class dimensions since youth with working class backgrounds are often over-represented in vocational programmes. This study investigates how this tension is handled in the Swedish upper secondary curriculum, which reflects an international neoliberal policy trend in promoting competition, employability and employer influence over the curriculum. By analysing how the educational content of vocational educational and training (VET) programmes and higher educational preparatory (HEP) programmes is contextualised, we found that the two programme types were based on very different logics. In VET programmes, knowledge is strongly context-bound and often related to regulating behaviours. This contrasts sharply with the way knowledge is contextualised in HEP programmes in which less context-bound knowledge and skills such as using concepts, models and critical thinking are dominant. Students in VET programmes are trained to ‘do’ and to ‘adapt’, while the students in HEP programmes are trained to ‘think’ and to ‘imagine possibilities’. Thus, students from different social classes are prepared for very different roles in society.

  • 7.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    From national policy-making to global edu-business: Swedish edu-preneurs on the move2017Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, nr 2, s. 234-249Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This study explores the movements of some Swedish former education policy-makers that are currently active as commercial edu-business actors with the ambition to expand in the Global Education Industry (GEI). The aim is to map and analyze how a selection of Swedish edu-preneurs affiliated with a particular Swedish school chain enter the GEI and thereby market both their commercialized services and the policy ideas about so-called free schools, in its Swedish version. The study shows how these edu-preneurs move from the domestic to global arenas and how their business and policy advocacy activities are framed and represented. Mobilization and public exposure of previous and present policy advocacy networks are important assets for these edu-preneurs as they navigate the GEI. The study illustrates how these actors make use of particular forms of knowledge, from department ministerial work and party politics, which blends with work in public relations and various edu-businesses, pointing to the interrelatedness of politics, policy, business, power, and ideology. The paper concludes by raising issues in need of further exploration and debate, pertaining to our understanding of education policy-making and, ultimately, democracy.

  • 8.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Department of Education, Mid-Sweden University.
    In the public eye: Swedish schoolinspection and local newspapers: exploring the audit–media relationship2013Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 28, nr 2, s. 178-197Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper focuses on the dual dependencies apparent at the intersection of the media society and the audit society by empirically exploring and discussing the relationship between Swedish local newspaper coverage and school inspection activities. The research questions pertain to the Inspectorate’s media strategy, how inspection is represented and conveyed, the messages sent, and who gets to speak. Literature on governance, and the role and function of the media in the wider audit society is applied theoretically. Four municipalities were selected to represent different demographical and economical structures and previous inspection experiences. The empirical material includes interviews with leading inspection officers and newspaper articles. The local newspapers portray the Inspectorate as a legitimate institution acting on behalf of and protecting the public, and even more so, the educational consumer. The current format used by the Inspectorate – a succinct reporting only on deviations – links with a favored format of the media, reinforcing the tight media–inspection relationship and leading to implications for education governance and policy

  • 9.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    'We are doing well on QAE': the case of Sweden2009Ingår i: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 24, nr 2, s. 195-209Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper analyses quality assurance and evaluation (QAE) policy and activities in mandatory schooling at national level in Sweden. Two studies are reported: a textual analysis of national policy documents concerning QAE, and an interview study conducted with national policy brokers. Questions addressed are: What are the characteristics of Swedish QAE activities? What European and international ideas on QAE are considered relevant to Swedish national policy? To what degree is international QAE policy disseminated across the Swedish school system? And, does Sweden influence international QAE policy in any way? QAE activities are analysed in relation to the European Union's and international organisations' efforts to influence national education policy. Results show that Sweden was historically early equipped with means to control quality in schooling. By the end of the 1990s, there was a marked increase in national regulations, increasing the number of QAE activities directed at Swedish schooling. The development of QAE in Sweden, therefore, has been related to a shift in governing policies and practices towards governing by objectives and results; and national QAE policies have successively strengthened this governing doctrine. Finally, Swedish national brokers maintain an image of doing quite well on QAE policy and practice compared to other European countries.

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