23 SES 09 A, School Policies of Diversification
In view of expanding globalization, worldwide competition and economic crisis gifted and talented education is increasingly promoted as a means to secure any society´s competitive strength. ”Nations which have the expertise to succeed in helping their talents to tap their full potential […] insure not only prosperity but also social, cultural, scientific as well as economic progress”, Albert Ziegler recently stated (Ziegler 2009).
In Sweden, a country with a social democratic and egalitarian tradition, giftedness and talented education were long taboo (Persson 2010, Persson 2011). In 2009, however, advanced placement tracks for theoretical subjects were introduced also at Swedish high schools. The Swedish government did hardly give any reasons for introducing talented education, which can be regarded as an expression of a decreased collaboration between researchers and decision makers. When education policy is influenced by international agreements, school development is to an increasing extent determined by education ministers and administrators in the Council of Europe and other international fora (Wahlström). This paper will address the need for a thorough scientific discussion of the motives and ideas behind advanced placement tracks in Sweden.
The project has a threefold purpose. It will
1) examine the ideas behind Swedish advanced placement tracks
2) conduct comparative historical analyses of scientific discussions relevant for gifted education in Sweden, the GDR and West Germany
3) use the results of these historical analyses to discuss current trends in gifted education and advanced placement tracks
As gifted and talented education has been taboo in Sweden during several decades, Swedish educational researchers usually have a limited knowledge about this field. This paper also starts a discussion about gifted and talented research in Sweden and explains the Swedish taboo for an international audience.
Axelsson, Thom, Rätt elev i rätt klass. Skola begåvning och styrning 1910-1950. Linköping 2007. Silke Hahn, Zwischen Einheitsschule und Eliteförderung. Semantisch relevante Phänomene in der Bildungspolitik als Beitrag zu einer Sprachgeschichte der Bundesrepublik. Frankfurt am Main 1998. Kubow, Patricia & Fossum, Paul, Comparative Education. Upper Saddle River 2002. Gerhard Schreier, Förderung und Auslese im Einheitsschulsystem. Debatten und Weichenstellungen in der SBZ/DDR 1946 bis 1989. Frankfurt am Main 1996. Persson, Roland, ”Experiences of Intellecutally Gifted Students in an Egalitarian and Inclusive Educational System: A Survey Study”, in Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 2010/4, pp 536-569. Persson, Roland, ”Ability climates in Europe as socially represented notability”, in High Ability Studies, 2011/1, pp 79-101. Trautmann, Thomas & Manke, Wilfried, Begabung – Individuum – Gesellschaft. Begabtenförderung als pädagogische und gesellschaftliche Herausforderung. Weinheim 2013. Wahlström, Ninni, ”Var står kampen om utbildningspolitiken?”, in Nordisk pedagogik, 2008/3, pp 173-192. Ziegler, Albert, ”Research on Giftedness in the 21st Century”, in Larisa Shavinina, International Handbook on Giftedness. Springer 2009, pp 1509-1524.
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