22 SES 13 D, Academic Freedom and Collegial Governance in Sweden and Canada
The main research question we explore in this session is how academic freedom and collegial governance are being undermined in universities in Europe and Canada. Academic freedom is indispensable to the critical search for knowledge and central to the life of universities. It enables faculty to espouse views and articulate theories that differ from those dominant in their disciplines and their society. Since the goal of education is the public sharing of knowledge among those who seek it, academic freedom provides the ground for this process to take place. Collegial governance has also enabled faculty to control the teaching and learning taking place in academic programs as essential features of the learning community, since they are the most qualified to do so. However, the Bologna process in Europe has resulted in comparative standards among universities being used to determine the performance and policy recommendations of national governments. In Sweden, political, professional, and commercial interests often influence what should be investigated and how it should be interpreted. In Canada, reforms tied to “innovation in the knowledge economy” emanating from federal and provincial governments, as well as corporate lobby groups increasingly determine university policy and practice. Because university administrations have done little to resist this trend, the scope of academic freedom is diminished and collegial governance eroded by forces both external and internal to European and Canadian universities.
Our objectives include the following:
1. To provide a full account of the key concepts of academic freedom and collegial governance;
2. To explain how the twin processes of standardization and market-driven reforms are influencing European and Canadian universities;
3. To assess the ways in which both processes are undermining academic freedom and collegial governance;
4. To determine how teaching, learning, and research are all affected;
5. To ensure that we recognize the differences between European and Canadian universities and the issues they face;
6. To draw conclusions from our analysis that may benefit further research about universities in Europe and Canada;
7. To enable faculty to become more aware of the importance of academic freedom and collegial governance.
The theoretical frameworks we employ are diverse, reflecting the research backgrounds of each presenter. We utilize theories from the disciplines of higher education, sociology, public health, and philosophy in order to provide an inclusive and critical analysis of the situation facing European and Canadian universities. In doing so, we draw upon our strengths in these fields, which are reflected in the references. Our goal is to gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the ways in which academic freedom and collegial governance are currently threatened. We examine the conditions for academic research in Sweden, focusing on public health research, policy, and education; we consider the bureaucratization of Canadian universities resulting from the demand to acquire external funding, and we analyze how this process undermines the goals of education and research as well as the participation of faculty in academic decision making. And our overall aim is to provide theoretical understanding that furthers not only research but a belief in the importance of preserving and strengthening academic freedom.
Clark, H.C. (2004). Growth and governance of Canadian universities: An insider's view. Vancouver: UBC Press. Gadamer, H-G. (1975). Truth and method. (Rev. ed. Weinsheimer, J. & Marshall, D.G. Trans.). London: Sheed and Ward. Geertz, C. (1983). Local knowledge; Further essays in interpretive anthropology. New York: Basic Books. Kerdeman, D. (2014). Hermeneutics. In Phillips, D.C. (Ed). Encyclopedia of educational theory and philosophy. Vol. 1. (pp.373-383). Los Angeles: Sage. Qvarsell, R. & Sundin, J. (1995). The social and cultural history of medicine and health. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 17, 315-336. Sundin, J. (1999). Worlds we have lost and worlds we may regain: Two centuries of changes in the life course in Sweden. The History of the Family. 4(1), 93-112. Sundin, J. (2007). Health and wealth: Studies in history and policy. Medical History. 51(3), 403-404. Sundin, J. & Willner, S. (2007). Social change and health in Sweden: 250 years of politics and practice. Stockholm: Swedish National Institute of Public health. Winchester, I. (Ed.) (1984). The independence of the university and the funding of the state: Essays on academic freedom in Canada. Toronto: OISE Press. Winchester, I. (1986). The future of a mediaeval institution: The university in the twenty-first century. In Gaffield, C. (Ed.). Universities in crisis: A mediaeval institution in the twenty-first century. (pp.269-290). Montreal: The Institute for Research on Public Policy. Winchester, I. (1992). Elite and ordinary: The essential tension. Interchange. 23 (1-2), 91-95. Winchester, I. (2013). Editorial: Two meanings of collaboration in education. Interchange. 44(3-4), 149-151. Woodhouse, H. (2001). The market model of education and the threat to Canadian universities. Encounters on Education. 2, 105-122. Woodhouse, H. (2009). Selling out: Academic freedom and the corporate market. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. Woodhouse, H. (Forthcoming). The contested ground of academic freedom in Canada's universities: Where are we going? American Journal of Economics and Sociology.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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