23 SES 11 B, Youth on the Move – Transitions in Times of Uncertainty (Part 1)
Symposium: to be continued in 23 SES 12 B, 23 SES 13 B
In recent years, the equivalence in Swedish education has decreased. The free school choice has led to homogenization of schools, which combined with peer effects and teacher expectations have widened the segregation. The competition forces schools to 'niche' their marketing to specific groups of students and to construct pedagogical identities or ‘brands’ (Dovemark & Holm, forthcoming). Some students become more desirable than others (Ball, 2004). The polarization between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ schools has made school-choice important for students´ learning outcomes and future chances (Skolverket, 2012; Östh et al, 2013). Present paper focuses on young people in two upper secondary schools in Sweden. The first is a big public school located in a deprived immigrant suburb, the second is a small independent middle class school in a city center. The schools represent different pedagogical identities (Bernstein, 2000). The study aims to examine a) students’ views of their school choice and transition from compulsory to upper secondary education, b) how current school practices prepare the students for future studies/careers. The study is based on interviews with students, principals and teachers and classroom observations, emanating from the project Inclusive and Competetive? Changing understandings and practices of social inclusion in upper secondary school´.
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