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Ansvarsförhållanden vid skolutveckling
Stockholms universitet.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Relations of Responsibility in School Development

ABSTRACT

The starting point of this study is the changed governance of schools in Swe- den. Decentralization has not only increased the freedom of schools but also responsibility at the different levels of the school system. This in turn has given greater scope for interpreting the assignment. In recent years, however, a cer- tain return to regulation has been evident. Theoretically the concept of respon- sibility is elucidated as a term in philosophy, organisation theory, and psychology-education. Responsibility in school can be described as a relation- ship between the commissioner’s exaction of responsibility and the contrac- tor’s assumption of responsibility. This can cause uncertainty in matters of responsibility. Active school measures may be viewed as a way to clarify re- sponsibility issues. For this study, two models of school development have been selected in order to study how they affect the school actors’ understan- ding of assignment and responsibility. Two case studies examine a number of conceptual dimensions that illustrate different aspects of the assumption of re- sponsibility.

The results show that these two development models and the active measures to which they give rise shape in various ways the actors’ under- standing of assignment and responsibility. These can be considered to place the emphasis on different parts of the control system. The Scope for Action Model emphasizes the role of the local school with the aid of a bottom-up strategy as regards the school’s assumption of responsibility. The Effective Schools Model emphasizes the political level in a more top-down strategy. This means, in practice, that the Scope for Action Model for school devel- opment tries with the aid of culture analysis to clarify responsibility relations by making the actors in the organization aware of their accountability and the potential involved in their assignment. The Effective Schools Model, in contrast, clarifies relations of responsibility by pointing out deficiencies in the school organization in relation to the assignment and the responsibility it entails. The main results show that the school development models contrib- uted to increased cooperation between professionals, partly by exposing the organization and its boundaries, management, and different occupational roles. The cooperation exposes the obstacles but also the opportunities for change and development in the school’s own organization.

Another important finding is that, in the work of school development, there was heavy focus on making activities more pupil-oriented by highlighting the task of both upbringing and teaching among all staff. Shortage of time, deficient organizational structures, and increased administration were per- ceived as obstructing the fulfilment of the assignment.

A further finding is that the school development models led to the exposure and creation of responsibility structures in the schools. Structures revealed inc- luded the organizational structure, management structures, communication and cooperation structures such as the teacher team and different kinds of deve- lopment groups. Responsibility structures were created through firmer structu- ring of cooperation between teachers and parents and through the formation of groups for cooperation and development.

All these active measures furthered the individual and collective learning processes through which the professionals’ understanding of assignment and responsibility is (re)shaped. This understanding in turn constitutes an essential part of the professionals’ competence development and professional develop- ment. Some conclusions that can be drawn from the study are that knowledge of the school’s responsibility reduces the discrepancy and helps professionals to improve their competence and develop the school. The professionals’ auto- nomy is essential for increased commitment, motivation, and understanding.

Proceeding from the professionals’ own needs when implementing de- velopment measures further increases their motivation and serves as a motor driving the work of development.

The learning process should be staged and designed as different arenas for more effectively satisfying the different needs of competence in the pro- fessionals. School development as learning should be continuous, with the aid of organization, support, leadership, and encouragement. School devel- opment should be the responsibility of all levels. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholms universitet , 2011. , p. 199
Series
ISBN 978-91-7447-277-6 ; 6
Keywords [en]
responsibility, accountability, understanding assignment and responsibility, learning, professional development, school development
Keywords [sv]
ansvarstagande, uppdrags-och ansvarsförståelse, lärande, professionell utveckling, skolutveckling
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332623ISBN: 978-91-7447-277-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332623DiVA, id: diva2:1153588
Public defence
(Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2017-11-20Bibliographically approved

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