01 SES 03 C, Teacher beliefs and resilience
Trends in modern society put demands on how educational activities can be organized. Institutionalized education system needs continuous legitimation (Schiro, 2008).
Meritocratic principles have long been an integral pillar of justice and social trust in liberal democracies. Life opportunities should be allocated on individual performance. Fair and clear procedures for how knowledge is assessed and graded thereby becomes a central element of a legitimate education and a central aspect of teachers' work. Duplaga and Astani (2010) has shown how proceduriell justice is a key in students' perceptions of fairness in educational contexts.
Contemporary society can be understood as an audit society where public enterprises are constantly exposed to a strong focus on comparing results and to a comprehensive audit (Power, 1999). Performance and accountability have become dominant value concepts in education (Solbrekke & Englund, 2011). In the audit society legitimate educational organizations are expected to produce both good results and to follow quality assured routines in doing this (Ahlbäck Öberg & Wockelberg, 2012).
The performative turn implies a strong focus on measurable outcome (Ball, 2000), which in the world of education may consist of grades documenting pupils knowledge. Evaluation of school quality based on student performance is a strongly growing global trend (Figlio & Loeb, 2011). This is done both at the international level through eg PISA surveys and at the local level through the rankings of schools' grade results. The average points of final grades from the Swedish compulsory and upper secondary schools has greatly increased between the years 1994-2011 (Vlachos, 2012) while the PISA surveys show a deterioration of Swedish student achievement in comparison with students in other countries (Ministry of Education, 2013).
Sweden's education system was deregulated by political decisions in the early 1990’s
and Sweden is today considered as one of the most education-liberalized countries in the world (Levin, 2013). Students grade results have become an important factor in the competition between schools in attracting new students. The performative culture of competition also includes a strong emphasis on individual accountability (Apple, 2007) which affect the possible roles of pupils and teachers.
In the audit society simultaneous demands are put on organizations and individual employees to act according to formalized procedures for grading while creating good grading results. The parallel responsibility is not without problems. Within the framework of new institutionell theory Meyer and Rowan (1977) argues that formalized procedures for quality assurance can make it difficult for organizations to produce good results in an effective way. School-cheating is a phenomenon that can be understood as problematic for teachers' work in relation to both the expectations of complying correct procedures for assessment and for opportunities to exhibit good grade results.
Strong expectations for good measurable resultats and for comprehensive audit routines conditions how organizations prioritize and evaluate its practical activity (Ahlbäck Öberg & Wockelberg, 2012). Pupils and parents demand for good grades are clearly an element of the dilemmas that arise when teachers' professional ethics meet market logics (Fredriksson, 2010) The Swedish teachers' unions expresses concern that teachers are increasingly subject to pressure in terms of setting high scores (Lärarnas Riksförbund, 2011).
Teachers evaluating student knowledge are faced with a goal- and norm conflict where expectations to act as rule complying bureaucrats are likely to be in conflict with the expectation of acting flexibly and customer-friendly towards pupils and their parents. The research question for this study is: How do teachers, based on the phenomenon of students 'school cheating, argue for appropriate courses of action?
Ahlbäck Öberg, Shirin & Wockelberg, Helena (2012). The politics of public administration policy. Statsvetenskaplig tidsskrift, 114(2), s. 273-281. Apple, Michael (2007). Ideological success, educational failure? Journal of Teacher Education, 58(2), pp.108-116. Ball, Stephen J. (2000). Performativities and fabrications in the education economy: towards the performative society. Australian educational researcher, 27(2), pp.1-23. Duplaga, Edward A. & Astani, Marzie (2010). An exploratory study of student perceptions of which classroom policies are fairest. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 8(1), pp. 9-33. Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna (2011). School accountability. In: Eric A. Hanushek; Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (Eds.). Handbook of the economics of education Vol. 3. Amsterdam: North-Holland. Finnemore, Martha & Sikkink, Kathryn (1998). International norm dynamics and political change. International Organization, 52(4), pp. 887-917. Fredriksson, Anders (2010). Marknaden och lärarna: hur organiseringen av skolan påverkar lärares offentliga tjänstemannaskap. Göteborg: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Göteborgs universitet. Gadamer, Hans-Georg (1989). Truth and method. (2., revised edition). London: Sheed and Ward. Hydén, Håkan (2002). Normvetenskap. Lund: Sociologiska institutionen, Lunds universitet. Levin, Henry (2013). Vouchers in Sweden: Scores fall, inequality grows. http://dianeravitch.net/2013/03/26/the-swedish-voucher-system-anappraisal/ Lindseth, Anders & Norberg, Astrid (2004). A phenomenological hermeneutical method for researching lived experience. Scandinavian Journal for Caring Sciences, 18(2), pp.145-153. Lärarnas Riksförbund (2011). Betygssättning under påverkan. Rapport. Meyer, John, W. & Rowan, Brian (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as Myth and ceremony. American journal of sociology, 83(2), pp. 340-363. Ministry of Education (Skolverket), (2013). Kraftig försämring i Pisa. Pressmeddelande. http://www.skolverket.se/press/pressmeddelanden/2013/kraftigforsamring-i-pisa-1.211208 Power, Michael (1999). The audit society: rituals of verification. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Schiro, Michael (2008). Curriculum theory – conflicting visions and enduring concerns. Los Angelses: Sage. Vlachos, Jonas (2012). Är vinst och konkurrens en bra modell för skolan? Ekonomisk debatt, 40(4), s. 16-30.
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