23 SES 13 B, Governing by Inspection: School Inspecting as Brokering and Mediating Work
Throughout Europe and with the support of the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates (SICI), school inspection has become one of the more visible means to govern education (Lawn and Grek 2012). This education and inspection policy is mediated, brokered, translated and learned through networked activities where the global/European meet the national/local, giving national and local ‘uptake’ a variety of characteristics (Grek and Ozga 2012, Sassen 2007). In this paper we explore the local features of this ‘uptake’ as processes of policy learning in the interaction between schools and inspectors. Drawing theoretically on Jacobsson’s notion of governing as increasingly done through meditative activities (Jacobsson 2006, 2010) we suggest that school actors learn education policy, as well as inspectors learn about education and schools, in the inspection process. Based on a rich and diverse material of observations of inspection visits, interviews with teachers, head teachers and inspectors, and school documents and inspection reports and decisions, we portray how governing education is done through inspection processes in two Swedish schools. The case narratives underscore the importance of local context in these governing and learning processes.
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