23 SES 03 A, Effects of Education
The focus on teacher education is increasing all over the world. Teacher education is in many sees as part of the solution to many of the challenges we are facing in today’s globalization (Trippestad, Swennen & Werler 2017). The increasing migration leads to a more multicultural society. This leads to a need for more knowledge about cultural, religion, traditions and so forth. Several other challenges such as fake news for example also leads to a request for more knowledge about source criticism. These are just examples of challenges in today’s world, which are closely connected to the request for reforming teacher education.
Teacher education in Norway is no exception from this trend. On the contrary, Norway seems to be a quite interesting case for studying this. Both teacher education and kindergarten teacher education have been at the center for policy makers over the last decade. This is not only a result of the Norwegian authorities wanting reform, but also the fact that supranational bodies such as the OECD have contributed to a quite great extent.
The reform of the kindergarten teacher education in Norway from 2012 was all about providing a high quality education. The solution seems to be increased standardization and management through a new framework plan and national guidelines. However, it is an important notion that policy shapes the context and vice versa (Ball, Maguire & Brown 2012). Ingram & Schneider’s (1997) model of policy studies presents three areas: Policy design, societal context and issue context. This article aims to look at the issue context where the aim is to map out social constructions, political power and least but not last institutions and institutional culture. Ball, Maguire & Brown (2012) uses the concept policy enactment when describing how policies are interpreted, received and put into practice. The theory adds 4 dimension: situated context, professional cultures, material context and external context. The first one, situated context is about geographic location, history and student intake. The second, professional culture is all about professional values, philosophy, experience and management. The third, material context concern material goods, budget, resources and infrastructure. The last one, external context concerns expectations and pressure from the local community, but also national government through measurements and the like.
The overall research question for this article is:
To what extent do local context affect the quality concept in Norwegian kindergarten teacher education?
The theoretical framework presented has however led to concretization and operationalization of the overall research question. In the article, answers will be sought to who the actors in the local work with quality are, who participates in the debate about quality and who doesn’t, how is the work organized and in what way does professional judgement count?
The aim is to provide more knowledge about policymaking and reform activity in the teacher education field. This article is based on a study of the Norwegian kindergarten teacher education in three different institutions. Even if this study focus is on Norway it may be interesting to other researchers and policymakers around the world, after all the reason for reform can be traced to international trends and supranational bodies.
The article is based upon a qualitative case study of three Norwegian Universities or University colleges which all offers kindergarten teacher education. The institutions have been chosen as a result of strategic selection where the goal has been to look at institutions that differ from each other in areas such as geographical location, size and ownership. The first institution is a University located in a city. The university has long traditions and public ownership. Over the last few years the University has merged with a smaller university college which also provided kindergarten teacher education. The second institution is a private foundation which only offers kindergarten teacher education. This institution have long traditions and are situated in one of Norway’s biggest cities. The third institution is a rather small university college with public ownership. This institution is located in a small city. At each institution management, employees and students have been interviewed – in total the material consists of 35 semi-structured interviews. All interviews have been transcribed. Along with the interviews, documents from the institutions themselves constitute the data material for this article. The documents consists of local quality systems, local policy documents, websites, consultations letters and local program plans and study plans. The documents will both serve as background information before the interviews are conducted and in the analysis afterwards. The material will be analyzed by the means of NVivo in line with the theoretical framework presented above.
This article is currently work in progress. However, some preliminary results will be presented. The institutional contexts do play a role in how national policy for the kindergarten teacher education have been interpreted and brought to life. The authorities’ attempts at standardization may at first glance seem to be unsuccessful. However, it may not be that simple. The institutions does not ignore the standards outlined by the government in the framework plan and in the national guidelines, but they have all found a leeway that makes interpretation possible. This leeway leads to the education being relatively differently organized. In terms of quality and what kind of quality concept policy makers uses and what kind of quality concept the institutions and its management, employees and students are using this also seems to differs quite a lot. The institutions official policy are quite close to the governments standards. However, the interviews shows a larger and more nuanced picture. These results are a bit early to present and comment. By the time of ECER2019 this will be analyzed and presented at the conference.
Ball, Stephen J.; Maguire, Meg & Braun, Annette (2012) How schools do policy Policy enactments in secondary school. Routledge. Oxon Bobrow, Davis B & Dryzek, John S (1987) Policy analysis by design. University of Pittsburg Press. Pittsburg Engel, Arno;Barnett, Steven;Anders, Yvonne; Taguma, Miho (2015) Early childhood education and care policy review Noway. OECD Ingram, Helen & Schneider, Anne (1997) Policy design for democracy. University Press of Kansas. Kansas Trippestad, Tom Are; Swennen, Anja & Werler, Tobias (2017) The Struggle for teacher education, Introduction In Trippestad, Tom Are; Swennen, Anja & Werler, Tobias [Red] The Struggle for teacher education. Bloomsbury Academic. London, UK Van Dooren, Wouter; Bouckaert, Geert & Halligan, John (2010) Performance management in the public sector. Routledgde. London & New York
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