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Local quality work in an age of accountability - between autonomy and control
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2015 (English)In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 30, no 4, 590-607 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses a specific part of the actions taken to improve the quality of Swedish education, namely the expectations formulated in national policy documents for the quality work that local authorities, schools and teachers are supposed to undertake. For the empirical analysis of how these expectations have changed over the last two decades, two sets of theoretical concepts have been combined: management of placement and management of expectation and autonomy and control. The specific research question is: How can local systematic quality work be understood in an age of accountability and what are the implications for teachers' practices? The results show that expectations for local quality work have changed radically during the studied period. There has been a significant change in the language used, the content of education has been recontextualised and there are obvious changes in the relation between local autonomy and national control. It is argued that these changes are a consequence of the changed design of the education system, rather than an answer to a content-related question of what is educationally desirable. As a consequence, paradoxical expectations land at the local level and have to be resolved by teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 30, no 4, 590-607 p.
Keyword [en]
control, accountability, quality work, autonomy, Sweden, teacher
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-255033DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2015.1017612ISI: 000354455000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-255033DiVA: diva2:826158
Available from: 2015-06-24 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2015-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Bergh, Andreas
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