23 SES 10 D, Students as Actors
Parallel Paper Session
European public education is increasingly governed through management by objectives and results. This development also changes the conditions for different concrete practices in everyday school activities. With fixed criteria for both skill levels of individual students, as well as for the effectiveness of individual school units, negotiations arises on how the expected results are allowed to be met. Students in difficulties of passing the fixed limit for acceptable grades become hard currency in the struggle for schools to achieve their set goals in a competitive education market.
From such a meritocratic grounded approach cheating at tests in schools can be regarded as obstructive for schools official assignments of fairly allocation of future life chances. Schoolcheating also risks undermining the social capital that is the ultimate target of values education.
Though schoolcheating is formally a violation of rules at the larger Swedish upper secondary school where my studies took place approximately 80% of the students in the academic prepatory social science program admit of schoolcheating during their secondary education. The overall motive for schoolcheating was to achieve desired grades. One category of students experience difficulties in achieving the centrally set criteria for passing the lowest grades. These students cheat to survive in secondary school. (Fonseca 2006).
Through statistical factor analysis of secondary school pupils' attitudes to the seriousness of schoolcheating and other violations of norms and rules it was found that school cheating can be understood as a socially conventional dilemma. (Nucci 2001) Schoolcheating is thus considered neither as universal right / wrong, or as a free private choice, but as a subject of norm negotiations in a defined culture.
The special interest of this paper is to examine the paradox that both schoolmates and teachers shows a significant tolerance for survivors rulebreaking acts of school cheating. In normresearch, within Sociology of Law, human behavior is regarded not primarily as governed by rules, but by norms (Hydén, 2002). Norms can be understood as socially reproduced imperatives of action, perceived as expectations by the individual (Baier and Svensson, 2009) and thus fall within what Nucci (2001) calls the social conventional domain.
The aim of this study is (i) to examine the norms of survivors school cheating as negotiated in discussions between students, respectively their teachers and (ii) explain how the goal and result-oriented policy terms can be understood as conditional for these norm formation processes.
Baier, M. och Svensson, M. (2009): Om normer. Malmö (S): Liber. Englund, T. och Quennerstedt, A. (2006): Vadå likvärdighet? In: Vetenskapsrådet (2006): Resultatdialog 2006 - forskning inom utbildningsvetenskap, p.51-56. Vetenskapsrådets rapportserie 15:2006. Finnemore, M. och Sikkink, K. (1998): International Norm Dynamics and Political Change. International Organization, 1998 (4), p. 887-917. Fonseca, L. (2006): Gymnasieelevers uppfattningar om eget skolfusk. Växjö (S): Institutionen för pedagogik, Växjö Universitet. Fairclough, N. (2001): A dialectical-relational approach to critical discourse analysis in social research. I Wodak, R. & Meyer, M. (red.), (2001): Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis, p.162-186. London: SAGE Publications. Hydén, H. (2002): Normvetenskap. Lund (S): Sociologiska institutionen. Jackson, P. W. (1968/1990): Life in classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press. Nucci, L. P. (2001): Education in the Moral Domain. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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