23 SES 01 D, Teacher Education Reforms
Genealogically teacher education programs in the Nordic countries have developed according to very different trajectories. This proposal puts forth the hypothesis that national differences in teacher education policies are increasingly leveled out with the result that reform policies become increasingly similar in light of the transnational turn in policy making (see e.g. 'Comparative study of Nordic teacher education programs' EVA & DPU 2009; Skagen, 2006). The proposal suggests that this hypothesis can be explored by scrutinizing communication that extends from municipal and national levels to transnational forums like the EU, the Bologna Process and the OECD in increasingly tight and formalized policy chains (e.g. Nóvoa & Lawn, 2002; Olsson, Petersson & Krejsler, 2011; Rizvi & Lingard, 2010). In exploring this hypothesis the study will highlight the cases of Denmark and Sweden in order to be able to detect commonalities and differences in how different Nordic countries respond to having teacher education reform increasingly integrated into transnational policy networks. This should make it possible to detect whether the hypothesis of the levelling out of national differences holds true, and in the affirmative, to what extent it holds true.
The objective of the study will thus be to trace and elaborate whether and to which extent national teacher education in Denmark and Sweden is being transformed according to new dominant templates that emerge from policy processes in transnational forums, the Bologna Process, the OECD and as the EU in particular. Processes that tend to operate through the opacity of the Open Method of Coordination as a mother-template (Krejsler, Olsson & Petersson, 2012; Meyer & Benavot, 2013). The authors thus take point of departure in the observation that teacher education reform appears very national on a surface level, but that is thoroughly formatted according to transnational discourses that are seldom explicit in national debates. The authors argue that these transnational discourses usually operate around the imagined needs of how modern regions and nations are to succeed in ‘an increasingly competitive global race among Knowledge Economies’ as espoused from the subject positions of administrators, economists and policy-makers (e.g. EurActiv 2004/2007; OECD 1996; Rizvi & Lingard 2010). This language is subsequently copied in national documents from the subject position of the nation or the national government, supplemented by national symbols, and is coined into governmental technologies that transform the field and its subject positions. Consequently, Danish teacher education discourse has emerged from a distinctly national seminary tradition into a modernized university college discourse that increasingly fits the transnational templates of comparability, albeit at a slower pace than her Swedish neighbour (e.g. EVA & Danish School of Education, 2009).
The authors argue that these processes of reconfiguration of Nordic teacher education policies can be fruitfully looked for among the increasing numbers of standardized templates that issue from the consensus oriented transnational policy processes in the form of comparative studies, standards, performance indicators, best practices and so forth. This is assumed to create new conditions for how policy reform can be conceptualized and organized and how teacher and student subjectivities can be thought of.
Theoretically the paper draws on post-Foucauldian governmentality-studies. Empirically it draws upon discourse analysis of European (EU), Nordic and national documents as well as literature on policy reform.
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