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  • 1.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Child and Youth education, Special Education and Counselling.
    Privatising public education across Europe: Shifting boundaries and the politics of (re)claiming schools2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 413-422Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The issue of privatisation is not new. It has been debated since the end of the 1970s following a major financial crisis and the subsequent ‘crisis’ of the public sector. The once celebrated welfare state that has been a core institution in many industrialised European countries has been under various forms of pressure: financial, social, managerial, but also of political legitimacy. Ideologically, the welfare state has been challenged by (neo)liberals who have seen it as not only financially unsustainable, but also antithetical to the goals of economic efficiency and the pursuit of personal liberties. Its operations have also been attacked by political pragmatists who have seen its cumbersome bureaucratic nature as increasingly problematic. The answer for this latter group was not (necessarily) privatisation but the increased diversity of providers (often all state providers) competing for resources in order to increase the state’s responsiveness and effectiveness.

  • 2.
    Alexiadou, Nafsika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Social inclusion and leadership in education: An evolution of roles and values in the English education system over the last 60 years2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 581-600Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reviews the changing relationships between education policies and their links to social disadvantage and conceptions of school leadership. The argument is that definitions of leadership evolve as the assumptions underpinning the relationships between society, the economy and education institutions change. The article draws on the case of English education policy developments over the last 60 years, and places debates about school leadership against a set of changing relationships between the state and the institutions of the market. Defining a good school leader very much depends on ideas about the core school functions as well as dominant ideas about how these functions relate the institution of the school to major social and economic structures.

  • 3.
    Andersson, Catarina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Palm, Torulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Characteristics of improved formative assessment practice2017In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 104-122Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An earlier study showed that the changes in teachers’ classroom practice, after participation in a professional development program in formative assessment, significantly improved student achievement in mathematics. The teachers in that study were a random selection of Year 4 teachers in a Swedish mid-sized municipality. In the present study, we analyse and describe the characteristics of these changes in classroom practice, which were based on a combination of various strategies for formative assessment. Data were collected through teacher interviews and classroom observations. The teachers implemented many new activities that strengthened a formative classroom practice based on identifying student learning needs and modifying the teaching and learning accordingly. The characteristics of the changes the teachers made reveal the complexity of this formative assessment practice and why such developments of practice are likely to require major changes in most teachers’ practices. We also discuss how such changes in practice afford new learning opportunities.

  • 4.
    Borg, Farhana
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Högskolan Dalarna.
    Winberg, Mikael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Vinterek, Monika
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Children's learning for a sustainable society: influences from home and preschool2017In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 151-172Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although parents and preschool play important roles in developing children?s behavior and attitudes, little is known about their influences on children?s learning of environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. This study investigated the influences of home- and preschool-related practices and factors on children?s declarative and functional knowledge of sustainability issues, and the extent to which eco-certified preschools promote beneficial practices. ?Eco-certified preschools? refers to schools that explicitly work with education for sustainability. Children (n=53), aged five to six years, and the directors (n=7) at six eco-certified and six non-eco-certified preschools were interviewed, while guardians (n=89) and teachers (n=74) filled out questionnaires. Children?s responses were categorized and classified using SOLO Taxonomy. Multivariate analyses were performed in SIMCA P + 14. The findings indicate a positive relationship between children?s declarative and functional knowledge of sustainability issues and the involvement of teachers and guardians in sustainability-related discussions and activities. Teachers? verbal interaction with children about sustainability issues, and the perceived high value of these issues among teachers and directors seem to be more beneficial for children?s declarative knowledge than their functional knowledge. No statistically significant differences between eco- and non-eco-certified preschools in terms of children?s declarative and functional knowledge were found.

  • 5.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Customers, partners, rights-holders: School evaluations on websites2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 327-348Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores how evaluation, which has expanded at all levels of school governance throughout Europe, shapes parental roles by studying how local school governors and schools in Sweden represent evaluation to parents on their websites. Websites are prime locations for public communications and are useful for exploring the functions of evaluations intended for parental use. In recent decades, parental influence over school has increased through “choice and voice” options, while the role of evaluations has continued to expand in school governance. Evaluations construct social roles, identities, and relations and as such are constitutive of the social world and our place in it. By drawing on Dahler-Larsen’s concept of “constitutive effects”, the discursive implications of evaluation are discussed. The dominant type of evaluation represented on websites is performance data used for accountability and informed school choice purposes. Parents are primarily positioned as customers who exert influence through choice and exit options, reinforcing the almost unquestioned norm of parental right to educational authority. Representations of evaluation differ depending on local political majority, school performance, and public versus independent provider; as such, they are not hegemonic but tend to strengthen the position of parents as individual rights-holders, marginalising forms of collective action. 

  • 6.
    Dal, Michael
    et al.
    School of Education, University of Iceland, Reykjavık, Iceland.
    Elo, Janne
    Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
    Leffler, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Svedberg, Gudrun
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Westerberg, Mats
    Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
    Research on pedagogical entrepreneurship: A literature review based on studies from Finland, Iceland and Sweden2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 159-182, article id 30036Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Strategies for entrepreneurship in the educational system are present not only in the Nordic countries, but also in the majority of other Western countries. Linked to these strategies different research efforts have been made. Although the research efforts have a common origin in supranational policies on entrepreneurship, there has been little research analysing the similarities and differences in how the topic is addressed by researchers in different countries. Being able to relate to both the policy and the available research in a nuanced way is important especially in the context of teacher education. The purpose of this article is to review the most recent research in pedagogical entrepreneurship from three countries: Finland, Iceland and Sweden. The aim is to discover whether the common phenomena of entrepreneurship in an educational context are approached differently in these three countries. The review of 21 articles in all, covering aim, method, concepts, references and results, draws a rather fragmented picture of the research. The main results are that the reviewed research was mostly qualitative and covered the entire spectrum from theoretical research to practice-oriented research. A variety of concepts were used. The analysis of the use of references uncovered a need to be more aware of including research from neighbouring regions. The research field seems to be quite lively and is still developing. However, it would benefit from a better dialogue between researchers in order to strengthen the contribution of Nordic research on pedagogical entrepreneurship.

  • 7.
    Enever, Janet
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
    Lindgren, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
    Early language learning in instructed contexts - Editorial introduction2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-8Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides an introduction to the Thematic Issue of Education Inquiry, reporting on four studies conducted in the field of early language learning (ELL) in instructed contexts. The paper gives an outline of the debates around recent policy initiatives to introduce languages earlier in the primary school curriculum, together with a summary of the four papers included in the issue. The article authors acted as editors of for the Special Issue.

  • 8.
    Erixon Arreman, Inger
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    The degree project in Swedish Early Childhood Education and Care: what is at stake?2015In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 309-332Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study deals with the undergraduate degree project in teacher training programmes for early childhood education and care in Sweden. For the study we draw on documents and qualitative interviews with teacher educators of different disciplinary backgrounds. The aims of this study were to identify discourses on the degree project in the field of early childhood education and care: (1) in documents; and (2) among teacher educators. Our study points to the tensions between discourses on the degree project as being of primary relevance for the vocational field, or as preparation for research activities. It also shows that varying perceptions on the degree project among teacher educators are largely related to different disciplinary fields. It further emerges that teacher educators have different views about text norms for the degree project, based on different underlying epistemologies to which the student teachers must adapt. We conclude that the multiple and often contradictory requirements of the degree project need critical examination and be reviewed. We also suggest an opening up for new and more creative ways of dealing with the degree project, with greater recognition of professional values and knowledges in the field.

  • 9.
    Erixon Arreman, Inger
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Holm, Ann-Sofie
    Borås högskola.
    School as “Edu-business”: Four “serious players” in the Swedish upper secondary school market2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 637-657Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the early 1990s, Sweden experienced state policy reforms, which opened the way for new, private actors to run publicly funded independent schools. In 2010 the independent schools recruited almost a quarter of the upper secondary students. More than eight of the ten schools were managed by limited companies. Against this backdrop, and drawing on Ball (2007) and Whitfield (2006) who focus on policy trends of the transfer of public education (and other public services) to the private sector, this article explores and analyses current commercial trends in Swedish upper secondary education. The aims are to identify expansion trends inside and outside Sweden, including new trends of business formations. In the study four large actors were identified on the basis of official data, company reports, school and company websites and national and international media. The study indicates that the upper secondary education in Sweden has today become “big business”, or “edu-business” (Ball 2007:67).

  • 10.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Academic Literacies: Discourse and Epistemology in a Swedish University2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 221-238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the perceptions of active senior researchers from different scientific and scholarly areas about scientific and scholarly writing, specifically that associated with research. The study

    comprises interviews with 12 researchers in four different faculties at a Swedish university: Arts, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, and Medicine. The article draws on Biglan’s (1973) and Becher’s (1994) four intellectual clusters, i.e. (1) hard pure (natural) science; (2) soft pure (arts and social) sciences; (3) hard applied (engineering) sciences; and (4) soft applied (education) sciences and connects them with Graue’s (2006) four identified writing traditions in academia, of: reporting, interpreting, constituting and praxis. The findings suggest that researchers in the applied sciences see writing as having a mediating and creative function for research while, for pure scientists, writing is based on epistemology that does not attribute a mediating function to language (Wertsch, 1998). The study also indicates that researchers who are active in applied science, e.g. professional education of various kinds, are positioned at the interface between the discipline and individuals as social beings, and that they operate as epistemological boundary crossers for the faculties.

     

  • 11.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Educational sciences: national and international aspects2010In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 1, no 4, p. 259-268Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    On the remediation, relativisation and reflexivity of mother tongue education2014In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 171-194Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, education is regarded as a medium (Salomon, 2000). i.e. a channel for the transmission of knowledge with its specifically and historically defined form and content. From a media ecology perspective, media are not neutral, transparent or value-free channels for transporting information. Instead, the inherent physical structures and symbolic form of media play a decisive role in the design of what and how information is coded and transferred and hence also how it is decoded. It is the structure of the medium that determines the content and nature of the information. In our digital era this medium, i.e. education, is now being remediated (Bolter & Grusin, 2002). With this point of departure, in this article traditional education is placed on a par with a coherent text in the form of an essay. This implies that what typifies an essay in a transferred sense is characteristic of traditional education based on paper, pencil and book technologies. In a new media ecology context, what is polyvocal, interactive and transient is also becoming characteristic of education in its capacity as a medium. Like all remediation this also offers a promise of reforms and changes in the sense of remoulding, which partly corresponds to all the expectations placed on new media as regards the possibilities to develop education, for teaching and for pupils’ learning. This article aims to indicate and discuss what is identified as a relativisation that appears when schools and teaching are remediated and which manifests itself on three different levels in schools, i.e. regarding: (1) the content of the teaching; (2) the forms of teaching; and (3) the relations in the classroom. The examples are taken from teaching of the school subject Swedish (mother tongue). 

  • 13.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    School subjects in the screen culture2014In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 167-170Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    The struggle for the text: – on teacher students’ meetings and negotiations with different academic writing traditions on their way towards a passed paper2017In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 263-267Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Erixon, Per-Olof
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Erixon Arreman, Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Extended writing demands: a tool för 'academic drift' and the professionalisation of early childhood profession?2017In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 337-357Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study explores the extended demands for writing in the Swedish public service sector of early childhood and how academic writing in the higher education programmes aimed at professional work in that sector is perceived to be of value for early childhood practice among practitioners. Empirical data was collected in individual interviews and focus groups among 69 early childhood staff in two different communities. The study points to an overall focus on assessments and evaluation in professional writing which tends to challenge everyday communication, i.e. everyday discourse for an internal audience (staff, parents and children). The study further indicates that professional writing holds implications for social relations and contributes to strengthened hierarchies among early childhood staff; younger generations more trained in academic writing tend to be ‘ranked’ higher than staff more experienced in practice. Whether the twin demands for ‘professional’ and ‘academic’ writing will contribute to a ‘professional’ early childhood staff community, as suggested in policy and teacher union rhetoric, remains an open question. 

  • 16.
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Evaluation in Local School Governance: a framework of analysis2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 2, article id 29914Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article develops a conceptual framework for exploring the role and consequences of evaluation at the local level of school governance. It also provides a frame of reference for the articles in this special issue on the role of evaluation in local school governance in Sweden. It consists of key concepts, three models of decentralised governance (state model, local government model and multi-actor model of governance) and four types of evaluation (indicator-based monitoring and evaluation systems; stand-alone evaluations; synthesis studies; and informal, occasional or everyday evaluations). Local school governance refers to governance that occurs in a municipality and in a quasi-market where local school actors govern and influence schooling and education. It includes the efforts of actors and institutions to govern and influence matters such as school policy, education, school climate and school safety. Evaluation is used as a generic term that refers to, for example, evaluation, inspection, quality assurance, ranking and to both stand-alone evaluations and evaluation systems. The article briefly demonstrates how the framework can be applied in an analysis of the role of evaluation at the local level of school governance by providing an example, and discusses the framework’s advantages and limitations.

  • 17.
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    The role of evaluation in Local School Governance in Sweden: editorial introduction2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, article id 32245Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Hanberger, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Lena
    Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    School evaluation in Sweden in a local perspective: a synthesis2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 349-371Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article synthesises the role of evaluation at the municipal, school, classroom and parental levels of governance, and discusses the results of the articles appearing in this special issue. The discussion concerns the role of evaluation in school governance, the value of evaluation for local school development, the constitutive effects of evaluation, what explains the present results, how knowledge produced by evaluation can be used, and methodological issues. The results indicate that evaluation systems legitimise and support governance by objectives and results, parental school choice, and accountability for fairness and performance. Evaluation systems emphasise measurable aspects of curricula and foster a performance-oriented school culture. The most important evaluations for improving teaching and schools are teachers' own evaluations. The article suggests two explanations for the actual roles of evaluation in local school governance. First, both the governance structure and applied governance model delimit and partly shape the role of evaluation at local governance levels. Second, how local school actors use their discretion and interpret their role in the education system, including how they respond to accountability pressure, explains how their roles are realised and the fact that actors at the same level of governance can develop partly different roles.

  • 19.
    Hanberger, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Lindgren, Lena
    Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Navigating the evaluation web: evaluation in Swedish local school governance2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 259-281Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the use, functions and constitutive effects of evaluation systems in local school governance, and identifies how contextual factors affect various uses of evaluation in this context. This case study of three Swedish municipalities demonstrates that local evaluation systems are set up to effectively sustain local school governance and ensure compliance with the Education Act and other state demands. Local decision makers have learned to navigate the web of evaluations and developed response strategies to manage external evaluations and to take into account what can be useful and what cannot be overlooked in order to avoid sanctions. The study shows that in contexts with high issue polarisation, such as schooling, the use of evaluation differs between the political majority and opposition, and relates to how schools perform in national comparisons and school inspections. Responses to external evaluations follow the same pattern. Some key performance indicators from the National Agency of Education and the School Inspectorate affect local school governance in that they define what is important in education, and reinforce the norm that benchmarking is natural and worthwhile, indicating constitutive effects of national evaluation systems.

  • 20.
    Holm, Ann-Sofie
    et al.
    School of Education and Behavioural Sciences, University of Borås, Sweden.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    “Living with market forces”: Principals’ perceptions of market competition in Swedish Upper Secondary School Education2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, ISSN ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 601-617Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish education system has undergone major restructuring since the early 1990s. The newpolicy, including e.g. decentralisation, accountability, school choice and a tax-funded voucher system,has led to an expanding “school market”. This article explores how upper secondary school principalsperceive the increased competition among schools and its impact on their work and the school organisation.The data emanate from interviews with principals at eight schools in five municipalities.The presence of the market in everyday work is perceived as a reality, even if its significance varies.The principals argue that competition increases the staff’s efforts and improves school development.However, it is also perceived as problematic since it causes increased stress and uncertainty. The principals’professional identities seem to have changed from a pedagogical role to a more economics ditto.Most principals are pragmatic and make efforts to handle the new policy context the best they can.

  • 21.
    Hudson, Christine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Evaluation: the (not so) softly-softly approach to governance and its consequences for compulsory education in the Nordic countries2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 671-687Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Public sector reform involving decentralisation and marketisation has led to “soft” indirect forms of governance aimed at steering more fragmented systems. Although based on information and guidance rather than hierarchy and legislation, these new methods of regulating through evaluation and quality control may be as powerful as more direct control methods. Frequently embodying practices building on values concerning consumer choice and competition, they may challenge values of equality and social justice associated with the Nordic model of education. Drawing on a qualitative analysis using documentary data concerning evaluation structures and techniques, the development of an evaluative culture and consequences for compulsory education in the Nordic countries are examined. Although soft governance techniques of evaluation and control have impacted on compulsory education in all five countries, there are differences concerning the extent to which the Nordic model’s values have been challenged. Further, there are signs of resistance and reluctance to abandon the model’s basic tenets.

  • 22.
    Hult, Agneta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Edström, Charlotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Teacher ambivalence towards school evaluation: promoting and ruining teacher professionalism2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 305-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Today’s evaluation society makes teachers participate in a stream of external evaluations. How teachers experience evaluation in school and how this affects their work and professionalism is the focus of this article. Teachers’ views of external and internal evaluations and of the consequences for school practice are described and analysed. The interviewed teachers emphasised the importance of internal evaluations performed close to daily teaching practice and jointly with students and colleagues. These evaluations are generally overlooked in evaluation and school-policy research and seldom attended to or appreciated by school providers. Further, teachers were critical of and reported several negative consequences of accountability and external evaluations, but still generally complied by participating in them. The present results are discussed in relation to professional responsibility and accountability as well as to possible constitutive effects. By emphasising that their daily informal evaluations represent their efforts to improve teaching, teachers are describing parts of their professional responsibility. However, the negative consequences of external evaluations signal constitutive effects on teachers’ work, described as making it less creative, discretionary and autonomous as well as increasing mistrust, meaning that more tests are required in order to legitimate student grades.

  • 23.
    Hult, Agneta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Edström, Charlotta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Umeå universitet.
    Balancing managerial and professional demands: school principals as evaluation brokers2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 283-304Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The evaluation trend in the global education field implies new professional challenges for school principals. The purpose of this article is to describe and analyse Swedish school principals’ experiences of prevailing evaluations and the implications for the profession. Specifically, we examine: a) how principals respond to evaluations and their consequences in their schools; and b) the implications of the evaluations for the profession in light of professional responsibility and accountability. The interviewed principals are ascribed huge evaluation responsibilities and are in this respect key actors but to some extent are also ‘victims’ of external pressures. All schools are embedded in a web of evaluation systems. They share the view that evaluations that are useful for improving teaching, student achievement and everyday school life are those conducted close to practice, and involve teachers. Most of them are also aware of the risks for the reduction of the broad goals of schooling and for work overload. The principals express a desire to protect the fundamental values of professional responsibility but the total demands of the local evaluation web have involved.a shift in their professional role towards professional accountability.

  • 24.
    Håkansson Lindqvist, Marcia JP
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Possibilities and challenges for TEL from a student perspective through the uptake and use of digital technologies in a 1:1 initiative2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 629-647Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The uptake and use of digital technologies in the classroom is studied in Unos Umea°, a jointOne-to-One (1:1) project between Umea° University and the Municipality of Umea° in Sweden. Thispaper presents the results of a survey completed by upper secondary students (N923), focusgroup interviews (N7) and classroom observations (N22). Students see possibilities inaccessing information, text skills, and work variation, while the challenges they see are difficultiesin focusing on the task at hand, technical problems, and the lack of alignment between students’and teachers’ skills in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Using the Ecology ofResources Model (Luckin 2010), these challenges can be interpreted as the manifestation of filtersin the learning environment. How collaborative learning environments are created, the lack ofalignment between teachers’ and students’ ICT skills and how everyday use of computers in theclassroom develops will hold implications for Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in theclassroom.

  • 25.
    Ineland, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Logics and ambivalence: professional dilemmas during implementation of an inclusive education practice2015In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 53-71, article id 26157Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although inclusion has been a value set forth in international policy arenas and a focus for school development, research indicates there are problems in establishing more inclusive practices. Teachers may favor an inclusive model of education but often experience difficulty implementing inclusive practices. The aim of this article was to analyze teachers’ experiences during the implementation of a top-down-initiated inclusive practice in a municipality in northern Sweden. The empirical data is based on qualitative interviews with four teachers, two from a special school and two from a compulsory school. The results show professional ambivalence in relation to introduction and information, cooperation and views on inclusion. The results are analyzed from an institutional theoretical approach and show that two institutional logics are apparent. One is educational logic, which is formal/ideological and contains norms and values connected to ideological ideals such as normality, equality, and inclusion. The other is social logic, which is not informal but vague and pragmatic; differentiation and disability are key aspects. Consequently, important inter-professional aspects of the implementation process, such as information, cooperation, and views on inclusion, were characterized by ambivalence. To conclude, the article adds to the discussion of the challenges—administrative, organizational, and practical—in implementing new discursive practices within inclusive education such as norms and values, routines, and rituals, which are not easily changed, regardless of political rhetoric.

  • 26.
    Isaksson, Cristine
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Larsson, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Jurisdiction in school social workers’ and teachers’ work for pupils’ well-being2017In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 246-261Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article describes how school social workers and teachers perceive their cooperation with each other with regard to pupils’ well-being in Swedish schools. A total of 23 qualitative interviews were conducted with a strategic sample of teachers and school social workers. The analysis of the interview data was based on Andrew Abbott’s theory of the system of professions, and the cooperation and boundary work of the two professional groups are discussed in terms of jurisdictional conflicts and “cultural machinery”. The analysis shows that on a general level both school social workers and teachers seem to agree about the need for school social work, but tensions and diverging views were uncovered when investigating the cultural machinery in their daily work. This study shows how both of these professional groups protect the boundaries of their own jurisdictions, but also how these boundaries are relaxed when social workers and teachers jointly try to solve everyday problems.

  • 27.
    Isling Poromaa, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    ICT Practices, Social Class and Pedagogy in Swedish Lower Secondary Schools2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 649-669Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 28.
    Jonsson, Bert
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Wiklund-Hörnqvist, Carola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nyroos, Mikaela
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC).
    Börjesson, Arne
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Self-reported memory strategies and their relationship to immediate and delayed text recall and working memory capacity2014In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 385-404Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to examine the performance of fifth-grade children in the reproduction of the content of a new text - directly, after they had read it (immediate recall), and one week later (delayed recall) - and to investigate the relationship between performance, self-reported memory strategies, and working memory capacity (WMC). The results revealed that more complex strategies are associated with better performances, and that children with high WMC outperformed children with lower WMC in immediate and delayed text recall tasks. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that memory strategy and WMC are the strongest predictors for both immediate and delayed recall tasks. It is argued that self-reported memory strategies are possible to use as estimates of strategy proficiency. The awareness of the importance of memory strategies and children’s WMC in education are further discussed.

  • 29.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Spaces of social inclusion and exclusion: A spatial approach to education restructuring and identity in Sweden2010In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 75-95Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The decentralised Swedish school system has become increasingly directed to the construction of self-governing and responsible pedagogic identities that are supposed to enable integration and participation. Drawing on the work of the geographer Edward W. Soja, I acknowledge how material and symbolic spatialisation intersect with the local production of included and excluded identities in the context of restructuring education. The paper is based on a study in two areas in a segregated Swedish city; one disadvantaged and one advantaged area. I use a wide range of data such as policy documents, questionnaire data, longitudinal statistics, interviews with local politicians, school actors and former students. The findings show that former students from the disadvantaged area were more often excluded from further education and were dependent on social welfare to a higher extent. Moreover, they faced low expectations and were simultaneously excluded from new educational processes that explicitly aim at social inclusion. In the paper I discuss how ethical ideals of decentralisation and participation, and the evaluation of such policies in terms of access to further education and work, conceal the local production of excluded identities. This production, I argue, is based on an amalgamation of material conditions and spatial representations.

  • 30.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Pedagogiska institutionen, Mittuniversitetet.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Mediating school inspection: Key dimensions and keywords in agency text production 2003-20102012In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 569-590Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on an analysis of how school inspection in Sweden – its aims, directions and procedures – is portrayed in texts produced by the responsible national authorities. The study involves a textual analysis of official annual accounts and plans (texts directed to the government,municipalities, schools and the public) produced by the National Agency for Education and the Swedish Schools Inspectorate. The analysis concentrates on key concepts conveying the dominant ideas of inspection and education. The analysis is structured around four dimensions that arebased on an understanding of inspection as education governance and on the characteristics of the Swedish education system. The results suggest that the rhetoric and dominant ideas of school inspection changed when the responsibility for inspection was transferred to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate in the autumn of 2008. Key concepts before that time are more supportive of schools and municipalities, recognising local conditions. Later, a language with the intention of detecting shortcomings and supporting an ideology of individual rights and juridification is apparent.

  • 31.
    Lindgren, Lena
    et al.
    Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet.
    Hanberger, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Evaluation Systems in a Crowded Policy Space: Implications for Local School Governance2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 237-258, article id 30202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Evaluation systems of various types are an integral part of a country’s education policy space, within which they are supposed to have the basic functions of enhancing accountability and supporting school development. Here we argue that in a crowded policy space evaluation systems may interfere with each other in a way that can have unintended consequences and create new ‘policies by the way’ that are not the result of intentional policy decisions. To shed light on this argument, we examine five of approximately 30 evaluation systems operating in the Swedish education system. Our analysis examines a situation in which many evaluation systems are doing almost the same thing, i.e. collecting a similar and limited set of quantitative data, and addressing the same local governance actors with the primary goal of supporting school development in the same direction. By doing so, these evaluation systems could thus give rise to several unintended consequences, including a scaling down of the school law and curriculum, multiple accountability problems, increased administration and new intermediary job functions at the level of local education governance.

  • 32.
    Lithner, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC).
    University mathematics students’ learning difficulties2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 289-303Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The processes of learning mathematics are immensely complex and we do to large extents lack insights in these processes. This is especially problematic when it comes to tertiary mathematics education, which has been much less researched than primary and secondary mathematics education. Thus it is far from possible to clarify all relevant issues related to university mathematics learning difficulties. This paper will discuss the notion of learning difficulties and some related insights.

  • 33.
    Lundahl, Lisbeth
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Erixon Arreman, Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Holm, Ann-Sofie
    Högskolan i Borås.
    Lundström, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Educational marketization the Swedish way2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 497-517Article, review/survey (Refereed)
  • 34.
    Lundgren, Berit
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
    Bridging discourses in a writing classroom2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 315-332Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to describe and analyse the writing discourse in one classroom and how students learn through studying a topic, i.e. the teaching and learning of written argument. The study takes its stance from a sociocultural perspective and is influenced by discourse analyses, new literacy studies and critical literacy (Fairclough1989; Barton 2007; Janks 2010; Ivanič 2004). Data from year 6 in Sweden consists of observations, informal conversations, teachers’ planning and students’ written texts, i.e. letters to a newspaper editor. The results are presented in terms of four themes that became apparent during the reading of the data, viz. (1) teaching for learning - deconstruction; (2) dialogue and scaffolding for learning – enabling access; (3) reconstruction, feedback and students’ reflections for learning; and (4) writing to learn. The data is analysed and discussed on the basis of four concepts for developing critical literacy, viz. access, deconstruction, reconstruction and domination (cf. Janks 2010:21 – 32). The study indicates that explicit teaching of a written argument gives students access to the dominating structure of the genre if they are given the time and tools to reflect and be given feedback from the teacher.

  • 35.
    Lundgren, Berit
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
    Exploring critical literacy in Swedish education: Introductory notes2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 215-223Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is an introductory note to The thematic section in this issue of Education Inquiry has its background in the need for research interpreting literacy from a critical perspective. Teaching literacy is not solely about technical reading skills but is also about understanding and the making of meaning. From that point of view, teaching must also consider the use of language, the context within which language is used, and issues of power. The thematic section includes five articles about critical literacy in Swedish education.

    The contributions were developed after a workshop conducted by Professor Hilary Janks, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She introduces the framework of a critical literacy theory in the first article of the issue. Further, the contributions of Swedish scholars are united in their interest in applying a mode of critical literacy designed by Janks to different practices, sites and speech-events, for example policy documents, home reading, teaching and learning practices. The articles offer a wide perspective of critical literacy in education and further understanding of the complex processes in teaching.

  • 36.
    Marner, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Digital media embedded in Swedish art education: a case study2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 355-373Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this case study a secondary school and its art education is studied. Pupils and the art teacher are interviewed and observations are made in school and out of school. The study is based on socio-cultural theory, media ecology and semiotics. In this school manual and digital media each share about 50 percent of the time available for art. It is shown that it is the teaching method – the change from a dialogic to a multivoiced method – that enables the embedded use of digital media. Arguments for digital media in art are that they are time-saving, promote aesthetic aspects and will put an end to the process of traditional education where the teacher is reduced to being a conveyor of information. The computer lab is no option for an embedded art education. On monitors and in exhibitions pupils are surrounded by other pupils´ works, which promotes a desire among them to improve their creativity, and a local art culture is developed in a cumulative process.

  • 37.
    Marner, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Örtegren, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Four approaches to implementing digital media in art education2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 671-688, article id 23217Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is included in a research project called Skola¨mnesparadigm och undervisningspraktik i skärmkulturen bild, musik och svenska [‘‘School subject paradigm and teaching practice in the screen culture art, music and Swedish’’]. Due to digital changes in the media world of pictures and art, digital media are implemented in the Swedish school subject ‘‘bild’’, art in Englishspeaking countries, in secondary school. The school subject bild is seen as conforming to a school subject paradigm. It is supposed to meet another paradigm, ICT and digital media, with its values and expectancies. What happens if a traditional art subject paradigm, with the idea of the relevance of manual expression of self and of traditional techniques, meets digital media? Four different approaches to the implementation of digital media in the subject of art are discussed: resistance, add-on, embeddedness and digital media as dominant. The main focus is what is happening to the core of the subject, called the sacred, and what really is the core and sacred of the subject. Also discussed is what we call the profane of the subject, which may be expelled, and the relationship between the sacred and profane. Is digitalisation the future of the art subject or is it a way of leaving the art subject the way we are used to thinking of it?

    We are using empirical studies in nine schools in Sweden, including observations and interviews with pupils, art teachers and school administrators, that are accounted for in other articles.

  • 38.
    Mendonça, Marta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Popov, Oleg
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Frånberg, Gun-Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
    Cossa, Eugénia
    Eduardo Mondlane University, Mocambique.
    Introducing a student-centred learning approach in current curriculum reform in Mozambican higher education2012In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 37-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Mozambique is introducing new participative forms of pedagogical practices into the process of its current curriculum reform. This article presents a case study of the introduction of a student-centred approach at one department and discusses some of the lecturers’ perceptions and experiences concerning the process. A qualitative study was carried out based on classroom observations and interviews. Activity theory was used in the analysisof the results. The findings show that the lecturers do not feel ownership of the curriculum reformintroducing student-centred learning. They express a need for training and the creation of adequatematerial conditions to apply the innovation. The findings also reveal contextual factors affecting student engagement in learning. In the conclusions, reflections are presented concerning the place of the generic values of learner-centeredness in the academic culture of the UEM.

  • 39.
    Nylund, Mattias
    et al.
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Rosvall, Per-Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Eiríksdóttir, Elsa
    University of Iceland.
    Holm, Ann-Sofie
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Isopahkala-Bouret, Ulpukka
    Niemi, Anna-Maija
    Gudrun, Ragnarsdottir
    The academic-vocational divide in three Nordic countries: implications for social class and gender2018In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 97-121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we examine how the academic–vocational divide is manifested today in Finland, Iceland and Sweden in the division between vocationally (VET) and academicallyoriented programmes at the upper-secondary school level. The paper is based on a critical re-analysis of results from previous studies; in it we investigate the implications of this divide for class and gender inequalities. The theoretical lens used for the synthesis is based on Bernstein´s theory of pedagogic codes. In the re-analysis we draw on previous studies of policy, curriculum and educational praxis as well as official statistics. The main conclusions are that contemporary policy and curriculum trends in all three countries are dominated by a neo-liberal discourse stressing principles such as “market relevance” and employability. This trend strengthens the academic–vocational divide, mainly through an organisation of knowledge in VET that separates it from more general and theoretical elements. This trend also seems to affect VET students’ transitions in terms of reduced access to higher education, particularly in male-dominated programmes. We also identify low expectations for VET students, manifested through choice of textbooks and tasks, organisation of teacher teams and the advice of career counsellors.

  • 40.
    Nyroos, Mikaela
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Jonsson, Bert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Korhonen, Johan
    The department of Special Education, Åbo Akademy University Vaasa, Finland.
    Eklöf, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Children’s mathematical achievement and its relation to working memory, test anxiety, self-regulation: a person-centered approach2015In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 73-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Meeting the challenges of teaching for all individuals requires a multifaceted approach, especially from the Swedish standpoint of inclusive education for all pupils. In the context of applied standards for receiving special educational provision, the present paper strives to shed light on the scope of novel indicators, which can accommodate pupils’ different needs.  Founded upon 3 hitherto established robust psycho-educational concepts – working memory, test anxiety and self-regulation – all of which are important for educational, social, emotional and behavioural development, the present study examined those concepts in terms of profiles and their relations to mathematical achievement. 624 children between the ages of 8 and 10 completed a battery of tests, assessing working memory, test anxiety, self-regulation, and mathematical achievement. Person-centred analyses reiterated the negative academic outcomes associated with the aforementioned variables but also revealed individual variations that warrant attention. Furthermore pupils labelled with an ‘At-risk’ profile were more likely to achieve low Math scores, compared to pupils with an ‘In-vigour’ profile. Implication for special educational provision is discussed, and practical suggestions provided.

  • 41.
    Nyroos, Mikaela
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Korhonen, Johan
    Åbo Akademi Vasa.
    Linnanmäki, Karin
    Åbo Akademi Vasa.
    Svens-Liavåg, Camilla
    Åbo Akademi Vasa.
    A cross-national comparison of test anxiety in Swedish and Finnish grade 3-pupils: measured by the CTAS2012In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 615-636Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The education systems in Sweden and Finland have different formal and informal testing traditions. A recognised possible adverse effect of testing is test anxiety among pupils and students which may have a negative impact on examination performance. Research into which factors of testing practice affect the levels of test anxiety in younger pupils in real classroom settings is a neglected area internationally yet holds great importance for school practitioners. A cross-national study was conducted to determine whether there are any differences in test anxiety between groups of young pupils in Sweden and Finland, as measured by the Children’s Test Anxiety Scale (the CTAS), and whether these differences are ‘real’ differences or a result of differential item functioning. The dimensionality of the CTAS construct is further examined. Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling was used to analyse the data obtained. Partial measurement invariance with respect to nationality and gender was achieved, demonstrating that the CTAS accurately measures latent constructs such as thoughts, autonomic reactions and off-task behaviours in boys and girls, and Swedish and Finnish pupils. No differences were found in the levels of test anxiety experienced by Swedish and Finnish pupils. Girls reported higher levels of autonomic reactions related to test anxiety, but no gender differences in thoughts and off-task behaviours were identified. Methodological limitations and the future implications of the results obtained are discussed.

  • 42.
    Olofsson, Anders D.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindberg, J Ola
    Mittuniversitetet, Härnösand.
    Jianli, Jiao
    South China Normal University Guangzhou, China.
    Gu, Limin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Editorial2013In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 595-606Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent years have seen the increased use of digital technologies for educational activities at all levels of the education system (Jopling, 2012). The one-to-one initiative (also called the 1:1 initiative), referring to one digital device per student (Penuel, 2006), is widespread in many parts of the Western world (see, for example, Bebell & O’Dwyer, 2010; Fleischer, 2012), with the Nordic countries being no exception (Kroksmark, 2011; JRC, 2013). On a policy level, digital technologies are said to influence teaching and learning (OECD, 2009) and to embody the potential to both improve and change activities in school settings (European Commission, 2008). This optimistic yet also naïve understanding of digital technologies in schools expressed on the policy level represents a challenge.

  • 43.
    Olovsson, Tord Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The assessment process in two different year-five classrooms in Sweden2014In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 561-581Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to explore, describe and analyse the assessment process in two different Swedish year-five classrooms. The study is mainly based on observations and interviews with pupils and teachers. The data were analysed in relation to Bernstein’s (1977, 2000) theoretical concepts of classification, framing, codes, and pedagogic device. The analysis indicated differences in the assessment process between the two classrooms: first, in the systematicity and transparency of the learning goals; second, in the approach to teaching; and third, in the focus of the assessment in the classroom. This study argues that the assessment process in the classrooms was affected by external influences. Direct impacts on it include the official national guidelines, the tools provided for pupil documentation and the teachers’ in-service training.

  • 44.
    Pirttimaa, Raija
    et al.
    Department of Education, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.
    Takala, Marjatta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Department of Special Education, University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Ladonlahti, Tarja
    Open University, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.
    Students in higher education with reading and writing difficulties2015In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 5-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to explore adult students’ descriptions and understandings of their reading and writing difficulties, and to describe the ways they are copying with them. In higher level studies, information is typically gained by reading and giving evidence of knowledge acquisition in writing. When students have difficulties with these essential academic skills, studying and lifelong learning can be hard work as well as time-consuming. General understanding of dyslexia and reading difficulties at the higher education level has improved, although considerable ambiguity remains about what these mean in practice. This is a qualitative, interview-based study that seeks to improve our understanding of these difficulties. The data were analysed using content analysis, and our findings are presented in terms of: (a) the social experiences of students; (b) their expectations and solutions with respect to their academic progress; and (c) the individual strategies employed for copying with reading and writing tasks.

  • 45.
    Ramstedt, Madeleine
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Hedlund, Tomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Björn, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Fick, Jerker
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Jahnke, Isa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
    Rethinking chemistry in higher education towards technology-enhanced problem-based learning2016In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 115-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A range of factors can lead to situations where university courses have to be taught with a very small number of students. In this paper, we report on our experiences of a chemistry course that was especially designed to encourage learning in small groups of students (four to five per course). The course design included inquiry-based approaches, case methodology and problem-based learning concepts. The main goal was to enhance student motivation and to support them to become active agents (‘pro-sumers’). Technology was adopted to support students in their inquiry-based learning processes by using online logs, group wikis and quizzes and with sections of laboratory work. We explored student perceptions during the first 2 years in two courses. The students were, in general, very positive about the course and communicated that the technological tools along with the pedagogical design decisions had assisted them to different extents in their learning. Our conclusion is that such a design is appropriate for an advanced-level chemistry course with small numbers of students, and the course will continue to be given in this form.

  • 46.
    Rosvall, Per-Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Perspectives of students with mental health problems on improving the school environment and practice2019In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mental health problems are increasingly common risk factors for chronic pain, while stressors in school are associated with persistent and recurrent pain among students, and negatively associated with educational achievements. Clearly, it is important to identify elements that influence frequencies or intensities of mental health problems. To assist such efforts, this study analysed views of interviewed upper secondary students, in terms of physical, social and mental spaces. The results corroborate previous findings, such as the importance of school staff members collaboratively addressing students’ problems. However, the participants also explicitly or implicitly suggested other improvements in school environments and practices that could help them to cope, thereby enhancing their functioning. These included treating mental health problems as general problems rather than problems of a specific group, to reduce stigmatisation and frequencies of symptoms. They also indicate that small interventions, e.g. providing help with structuring schoolwork and other activities may be surprisingly beneficial.

  • 47.
    Råde, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Professional formation and the final thesis in European teacher education: a fusion of academic and professional orientation2019In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 226-242Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper deals with possibilities and difficulties involved in the integration of academic and professional goals in two final thesis models in European teacher education, the thesis model and the portfolio model. The methodology used is a review of relevant research articles. The thesis model was identified in 19 articles and the portfolio model in 41 articles. Five dimensions were found to promote the integration of the two kinds of goals while four hamper this integration. The dimensions identified are similar in the two models. The implications of this result for future teachers are discussed using the concepts of vertical and horizontal discourses. One such implication is that teacher education should use the adaptive function of the final thesis in a more developed way in order to strengthen the fusion of academic and professional orientation in the education.

  • 48.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Education Governance by Marketisation and Quality Assurance: Introductory Notes2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 555-561Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 49.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Exploring the Intersection of Marketisation and Central State Control through Swedish National School Inspection2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 689-707Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on the role of the state in the context of an increasing market orientation in Swedish education policy. It asks if and how a market orientation and privatisation can be reconciled with attempts to re-establish central output control. The controlling function of the state is emphasised in the form of efforts to inspect both public and private schools. Drawing on the literature on governance, dealing with the “hollowing-out” and “filling-in” of the state, two scenarios are distinguished asserting that a market orientation in the case of education policy could either reduce or intensify the need for state-led control. It is concluded that the characteristics of Swedish education policy conform to the “filling-in” line of argument, namely that central state control is strengthened at a point in time when a market orientation and greater choice and privatisation are gaining ground.

  • 50.
    Sjöberg, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The past in peril: Greek history textbook controversy and the Macedonian crisis2011In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 93-107Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The conflict between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the name and the historical heritage of Macedonia, which in the early 1990s erupted in a diplomatic and political crisis, can in part be analysed as a "history war". In this article, the Macedonian conflict's roots in and impact on debates concerning the contents of history education in Greece, at the time of the crisis, are examined, along with the conditions which gave rise to revision. Using samples from Greek press and educational journals, professional and identity political interests are analysed as boundary-work, brought about by the need for various advocates of "national values" in history education to demarcate themselves from extreme nationalism, in the name of science and patriotic duty.

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