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Dilemmas in the implementation of the children's right to Equity in Education in the Swedish Compulsory School
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (Elsie)
2007 (English)In: Paper presented to the conference ECER 2007 GHENT Belgium – 19-22 September 2007, 2007Conference paper (Other (popular scientific, debate etc.))
Abstract [en]

This proposal discusses the dilemma between the claim for an equal education standard and the claim for free choice and the difference involved in the equitable education Swedish Compulsory School's goals. This article also emphasizes the difficulties to study the impact of educational reforms on the children's right to equity in education because this right is renegotiated time and time again in school practice. Educational reforms are never static packages of measures that can guarantee equity in a consistent way. In the Swedish Education Reforms of the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's the children's right to equity was aimed at reducing educational differences among the various social classes, as well as between sexes. Paradoxically, these reforms hampered the progress of ethnic minorities because they were based on a hegemonic vision of educational equality that sees the pupils belonging to the minorities and diversity in education as a problem. Instead, the Education Reform of the 1990's was aimed at assuring children’s right to equitable education by increasing individuals' rights to free choice and diversity. However, during the 1990's and the 2000's the implementation of the compulsory goals of free choice and respect for diversity has sometimes threatened the compulsory goals of equal education standard for all pupils. To discuss and exemplify the complexity to integrate the distribution of social justice and equality and cultural recognition, this proposal analyses the impacts of different kinds of decentralisation strategies in the implementation of Children’s right to an equitable education. This analysis should be considered a discussion about the dilemma between equality and free choice that is present in the concept of equity. If we wish to promote equality of choice we sometimes put the equality of standards, resources, and result in jeopardy. This article proposes to reflect how much we are willing to lose the right to equality in standards, resources and results to obtain an increase in free choice. Perhaps, we should find an alternative way that avoids both uncontrollable free choice and hegemonic equality to assure the implementation of the right to equity in education for all children in the Swedish Compulsory School.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-13828OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-13828DiVA: diva2:41598
Available from: 2008-01-27 Created: 2008-01-27

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