23 SES 14 A, Doing democracy. Research Perspectives on Risks and Responsibilities within a Marketised Education Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 23 SES 16 A
In their Inboxes, Swedish school leaders are confronted with offers of a multitude of products and services awaiting their action: digital solutions, school development models, conferences, professional development, etc. These emails are the point of departure of this study, aiming to analyse what happens inside school because of edu-preneurial engagement. Our study is part of a larger research project aiming to explore under what conditions, in what forms and with which consequences ‘edu-preneurial’ actors market, sell and implement their products and services in Swedish schools. An underlying thesis is that external actors are part of translating educational policy as well as offering tools for implementation of these policies. While previous research has studied these questions on a policy-level (Simons, Lundahl & Serpieri 2013; Ball 2009), our study explores the micro-level where the operationalisation of policies can be observed. Theoretically this project learns from earlier studies concerning neoliberal governing (Rizvi and Lingard 2010), the marketization of school (Bunar and Ambrose 2016), and the ongoing blurring of boundaries between public and private sectors (Ball 2007). The collection of empirical data is ongoing and consists of audiotaped focus group interviews with twelve school leaders as well as all the marketing material sent via mail and e-mail to them and gathered for three weeks (for each school leader, covering the whole year together) in 2018-2019. The data is analysed from the following themes and questions: 1) Stories, themes and policy. What does the empirical data tell us about the Swedish school´s challenges and solutions? How does this story, according to school leaders, resonate with school leaders’ actual realities and with ongoing national educational policy changes? 2) Quantity and distribution. What is the extent of the collected material and how is it distributed between different schools? 3) Content, timing and motive. What products and services do the school leaders eventually buy, when and why? In this symposium we expect to present results from all three themes, all though putting an emphasis on the first one: the stories emerging from the collected marketing materials and the stories about these stories. We assert that researching the educational micro-level in this way contributes to the understanding about the effects of national policies and the impact of external actors in implementing policy. As edu-prenurial engagement in education is a global phenomenon this is of importance in our European context.
Ball, S.J. 2007. Education Plc: Understanding private sector participation in public sector education. London: Routledge. Ball, S. (2009). Privatising education, privatising education policy, privatising educational research: network governance and the ‘competition state’, Journal of Education policy, 24(1), 83-99. Bunar, N., & Ambrose, A. (2016). Schools, choice and reputation: Local school markets and the distribution of symbolic capital in segregated cities. Research in Comparative and International Education, 1, 1-18. Rizvi, F., & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. London: Routledge. Simons, M., Lundahl, L., & Serpieri, R. (2013). The Governing of Education in Europe: Commercial Actors, Partnerships and Strategies. European Educational Research Journal, 12(4), 416-424.
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