19 SES 07 A, School, Education and Power
The global restructuring of the state has led to changes in how to organise and deliver public policies. The former bureaucratic, political and administrative processes has been replaced with a network-based process consisting of market relations and managerial form of steering (Lindvall & Rothstein, 2006). This changing style of governance, referred to as network governance, describes how new actors joined up in complex and evolving social networks are active in the formation of state policy and the delivery of public services in general and public education in specifically. Networked governance is a complex and multi-faced process of privatisation that are taking place “… ‘of’, ‘in’ and ‘through’ public education and education policy making, ‘in’ and ‘through’ the work of educational business and the actions of the state” (Ball, 2009, p 83). This has meant that new kinds of policy actors from the private sector and interest groups are increasingly participating in contemporary thinking about public education and education reforms.
The background for the study is the Swedish school act (2010:800) stating that the Swedish school should "Educational programmes must be based on scientific knowledge and proven experience" (Ch1§5). The long-neglected issue of classroom-based research has suddenly become a hot issue. Since the implementation in 2008, the Swedish government has initiated about thirty research-schools for practicing teachers and preschool teachers. In total, 435 teachers have got the opportunity to get a research education (RFRI 2016/2017) within different Swedish universities during the last decade.
At the same time as the implementation of the new school act, the private research institute, Ifous Ltd., started conducting research, development work and in collaboration with different universities and local schools. Ifous Ltd is a non-profit-making company and is a subsidiary of Skolporten AB that in turn is a private actor in a Swedish educational policy network that has as a business idea to compile and convey Swedish education research and to convey training school teachers, headmasters, and local policy-actors. Local school boards could pay a fee and become members of Ifous Ltd. Skolporten AB and Ifous Ltd. has become important for the school sector and also a powerful actor in the national education debate. All in all, this means that this private actor has interpretative precedence in relation to what research is being conveyed to schools and thus forms the foundation for school development. We will in this study examine the consequences these kinds of actors with private financial interests may have for the diversity of educational research. What research-studies and results will be considered relevant to the teacher profession and the school? The paper will in this way put the attention to national and local places and actors where policies are supposed to be interpreted and put into action.
The methodological design that has been used is a synergistic research design between social network analysis and ethnography, called network ethnography, developed by Howard (2002). The aim has been to become involved in and explore processes involving these forms of networking which forms the basis for our data production.
Private actors together with governmental actors and actors from the public sector are participating in the formation and thinking about public education and education reforms. In this special case, we discover i) how private actors, act as brokers, connect school heads with different university institutions for school development projects, ii) how private actors create interpretative actions for what research should be conducted and ii) how private actors invite politicians and principals to various seminars to discuss what kind of school development is needed for future collaborations. Research focusing on teachers’s work get interpretative precedent. New companies can be created, as e.g. merit companies for qualification of teachers in response to political, economic and social pressures (Beach 2010).
Ball, S. J. (2009). Privatising education, privatising education policy, privatising educational research: network governance and the ‘competition state’. Journal of Education Policy, 24(1), 83-99. doi:10.1080/02680930802419474 Ball, S. J. (2012). Global education inc. : new policy networks and the neo-liberal imaginery. New York, NY: Routledge. Beach, D. (2010). Identifying and comparing Scandinavian ethnography: comparisons and influences. Ethnography & Education, 5(1), 49-6. Howard, P. N. (2002). Network Ethnography and the Hypermedia Organization: New Media, New Organizations, New Methods. New Media & Society, 4(4), 550-574. doi:10.1177/146144402321466813 Lindvall, J., & Rothstein, B. (2006). Sweden: The Fall of the Strong State. Scandinavian Political Studies, 29(1), 47-63. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9477.2006.00141.x RFR (2016/2017) Forskarskolor för lärare och förskollärare – en uppföljning av fyra statliga satsningar [Research schools for teachers and preschool teachers - a follow-up of four government initiatives]. Stockholm: Ministry of Education.
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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