23 SES 04 B, Teacher’s work, Training and Professionalism II
Teachers hold a key position in today’s society where education is seen as imperative for prosperous societies. The Swedish school system is under influence of various governance forces which can be described as the logic of the profession, the logic of the bureaucracy and the logic of the market. Changes such as this influence the conditions for teachers’ work. However, teachers, just as other public sector professionals, are faced with the dilemma of working in accordance with the values of the profession and with the aims of the work organisation. This is often described in terms of the tension between profession and organisation. This tension becomes particularly interesting to study in times of changed governance, for example the introduction of school choice and the marketization of schooling.
The Swedish case is interesting in an international perspective as the development is part of a common school marketization trend, in which Sweden can be regarded as “a good example” from a market perspective. Sweden makes up a distinct case in the substantial shift of school policy, the fast expansion of market-solutions and the strong state support for the construction of an arena for competition in which student fees are neither allowed nor needed, while profit for shareholders are allowed. The privatisation and marketization of public services has indeed become a force to count with in Sweden, not least visible in the upper secondary schooling. The school choice reform has in a few years lead to independent upper secondary schools today make up almost 20 per cent.
The aim of this paper is to examine how upper secondary teachers in independent as well as public schools experience the conditions surrounding their work, in relation to the school choice reform, focusing on the issue of competition. We will also discuss what this may mean for teaching as a profession.
The article uses sociology of professions to analyse the changed governance of teachers’ work. Freidson’s (2001) three logics of how work can be organized and controlled are used as a theoretical framework. His approach illuminates the logics of the profession, the bureaucracy and the market. These logics are ideal-types, and as such do not exist in their pure forms. However, the benefit of using this categorisation as an analysis model is that it sheds light on how teachers are situated in a dilemma in a tension between different logics, and it highlights the complexity of the context of teachers’ work today. The three logics can be seen as discourses “infused with values” (Selznik, 1957). All three of them involve ideas about how work should be governed, organised, carried out and evaluated. They can be described as discourses, or value systems, influencing the work. According to Freidson (2001:5), his model is “able to provide a stable point against which empirical variation and process can be systematically compared and analyzed”.
Ball, Stephen (2003). The teacher’s soul and the terrors of performativity. Journal of Education Policy, 18 (2), 215-228 Evetts, Julia (2006) Short Note: The Sociology of Professional Groups: New Directions. Current Sociology. 54 (1) 133 – 143 Fredriksson, Anders. (2009). On the consequences of the marketisation of public education in Sweden: for-profit charter schools and the emergence of the ’market-oriented teacher’. European Educational Research Journal. Volume 8 Number 2. Freidson, Eliot (2001) Professionalism, the Third Logic. Cambridge: Polity Press Goodson, Ivor & Hargreaves, Andy (2003). Educational change and the crisis of professionalism. In Goodson, Ivor Professional Knowledge, Professional Lives (125 – 133). Maidenhead: Open University Press Lindbom, Anders (red) (2007) Friskolorna och framtiden – segregation, kostnader och effektivitet. (Independent schools and the future – segregation, costs and efficiency). Stockholm: Institutet för framtidsstudier Lipsky, Michael (1980) Street-level Bureaucracy. Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services. New York: Rusell Sage Foundation. Government Bill 1991/92:95. Om valfrihet och fristående skolor (On Choice and Independent Schools). Government Bill 1992/93:230 Valfrihet i skolan (School choice) Lundström, Ulf (2007) Gymnasielärare – perspektiv på lärares arbete och yrkesutveckling vid millennieskiftet . (Upper secondary school teachers – perspectives on teachers’ work and professional development at the turn of the millennium). (diss.) Umeå: Umeå universitet. Institutionen för barn- och ungdomspedagogik, specialpedagogik och vägledning Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartementet Parding, Karolina (2007). Upper secondary teachers' creation of discretionary power : the tension between profession and organisation. Luleå : Division of Industrial Processes, Department of Human Work Sciences, Luleå University of Technology. Selznik (1957) Leadership in administration : a sociological interpretation. New York : Harper & Row, publ. Swedish National Agency for Education (1994) Curriculum for the non-compulsory school system, Lpf 94. Stockholm: Fritzes Watson, Cate (2006) Narratives of practice and the construction of identity of teaching. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice. 12, (5), 509 – 526
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