23 SES 10 C, Governing By Inspection II: National Developments
Symposium, Part 2
This paper provides results from a study of the complex and hidden processes of consensus formation that precede and make possible official judgments and decisions of The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SI). The following research questions are put forward: What forms of knowledge does the Swedish school inspectors prioritize, and what is the relationship between professional judgment and expertise, and evidence? How is knowledge negotiated at the back stage of inspection and presented in the front stage? The paper builds on case studies of school inspections in 12 schools. Data included internal and official material from SI, observations of inspections in schools and of internal quality assurance meetings at SI, and finally, interviews with inspectors. The analysis is inspired by Goffman’s (1959) usage of the concepts back- and front stages. The paper is also informed by literature on knowledge and systems of reason in processes of inspection (Clarke & Ozga, 2011) and other forms of governance and performance management (Dahler-Larsen, 2008; Power 1996). Preliminary results suggest that the back stage of school inspection involves rigorous technical steering in terms of indicators and formalization. Judgments tend to be located within a struggle between two parallel professional cultures: pedagogical and juridical.
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