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  • 1.
    Berg, Gunnar
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Andersson, Fia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Bostedt, Göran
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Perselli, Jan
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Sundh, Frank
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Wede, Christer
    Högskolan i Borås.
    Skolans kommunalisering och de professionellas frirum: Rapport utarbetad på uppdrag av utredningen om skolans kommunalisering2014Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Förord

    Allt fler är överens om att lärarna är skolans viktigaste resurs. Diskussionen om skolan handlar därför i hög grad om hur vi ska ge bästa tänkbara förutsättningar för lärarna att bedriva en bra undervisning. Man brukar säga att lärare och rektorer är exempel på professioner eller, lite beroende på definitionen, semiprofessioner. För alla grupper av professionella är det av yttersta vikt med autonomi i yrket –så även för lärare och rektorer. När effekterna av skolans kommunalisering ska bedömas är det därför relevant att analysera på vilket sätt lärarnas och rektorernas handlingsutrymme för självständiga professionella handlingar i den svenska skolan förändrats från tiden närmast före skolans kommunalisering och framåt. I denna rapport visas bland annat att staten vid olika tidsperioder tillerkänt skolans professionella varierande grad av handlingsutrymme för professionella handlingar i skolans vardagsarbete. I rapporten talas om att skolan före kommunaliseringen kännetecknades av central regelstyrning, som i samband med kommunaliseringen ersattes av en decentraliserad målstyrning. Numera utmärksstyrningen av centraliserad resultatstyrning. Vidare framhålls i rapporten att lärarna och rektorerna av olika skäl inte alltid använt det frirum för professionella handlingar som staten medgett.Undersökningen har genomförts efter ett uppdrag från denna utredning till professor Gunnar Berg, som utarbetat rapporten i samverkan med en grupp forskare bestående av Fia Andersson, Göran Bostedt, Judit Novak, Jan Perselli, Frank Sundh och Christer Wede. Forskarna ansvarar själva för innehållet i rapporten.

    Utredningen om skolans kommunalisering (U 2012:09)

    Leif Lewin Särskild utredare

  • 2.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå univeristet, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå univeristet, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå universitet, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Mittuniveristetet.
    Skolinspektion som styrning2014In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 5-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we argue that school inspection is an important and potentially influential way of governing education that deserves additional scholarly attention. This introductory article aims to situate and describe the origin, theoretical foundations and methods and materials gathered in the three research projects included in this special issue. We also briefly describe some important characteristics of the Swedish school inspection and finish off with short introductions to the six articles. 

  • 3.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Anpassningarnas för(e)ställning: Om Skolinspektionens tillsyn som en scen för förändring2014In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 127-144Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Novak, Judit
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    De styrdas röster: Rektorers berättelser om Skolinspektionens regelbundna tillsyn2013Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The political motives for reinstating national school inspection in 2003 and reinforcing it through the establishment of the Swedish School Inspectoratein 2008 stressed the necessity of sufficient state involvement in order to retain and ensure nationwide educational quality and equivalence. Since then, additional political efforts have been made to intensify and exercise national state control over education. On July 1, 2011, the Education Act gave the agency enhanced legal support. The aim of this study was to describe and analyze a sample of school leaders' stories of the regular inspection that have been conducted in their schools since the legal changes came into force. School leaders of 20 compulsory schools were interviewed. Theinterviews were analyzed and the results were presented in eight themes. In the following analysis, change mechanisms that had been initiated in the schools during the inspection process were examined through a theoretical framework of evaluation influence. The results from the second analys is also illustrated conceivable forms of pathways that link inspection processes to inspection outcomes. Finally, the empirical findings were discussed in terms of constitutive effects and education governance. The study was a part of the research project "Governing by inspection. School inspection and education governance in Sweden, England and Scotland".

  • 5.
    Novak, Judit
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Effects of School Inspections in Swedish Comprehensive Education: Head teachers' stories2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Novak, Judit
    Mittuniversitetet, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Facing School Inspection: Swedish Head Teachers' Room for Discretion2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The development of the system of school inspections is an emerging policy issue throughout Europe.The number of inspection activities is rapidly increasing, revealing a movement toward intensified political efforts to audit and exercise control over education (Dahler-Larsen, 2012; Power, 1999). Previous research on education governance in Europe, including the agenda-setting and policy-learning capacities of the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates (SICI), suggest that school inspection offers a resource for trans/intra-national policy learning within and across education systems. This renders education policy increasingly homogenous and develops a global field of education policy (see e.g., Ehren, 2012; Grek, Lawn, Lingard, Varjo, 2009; Lawn, 2006; Ozga, Dahler-Larsen, Segerholm & Simola, 2011; van Bruggen, 2010). In light of theories of travelling and embedded policy (Ozga, 2005), concepts of national school inspection policy in Sweden may therefore provide significant issues to be discussed within the context of European education policy research.

    National inspection was reinstated in Sweden in 2003 and was further intensified and strengthened in 2008 by the establishment of the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (the SSI). The political motives for restoration and bolstering of Swedish school inspections during the periods 2001–2003 and 2006–2008 stressed the necessity of sufficient state involvement in order to retain and ensure nationwide educational quality and equivalence (Rönnberg, 2012). Since the reinstatement of school inspections, additional political efforts have been put in place to intensify and strengthen school inspections and exercise national control over education. The SSI now regularly supervises all Swedish schools in all municipalities, focusing on the fulfillment of national objectives, students’ achievement levels, students’ safety, equal access to education for all students, and the legal rights of the individuals’. The inspectors’ assessments regarding the schools are made public and include active measures from the schools to rectify the shortcomings observed by the inspectors. On the first of July 2011, the operations of the SSI were given enhanced legal support in a new Education Act. For example, the authority now has the means to impose fines in order to exert pressure on schools to take action.

    In light of the increased demands for accountability from the schools being inspected, the aim of this paper is to explore and analyze how school principals perceive their room for discretion in their schools’ encounters with regular supervisions conducted by the SSI. In the analysis of this research, opportunities and constraints in reference to taking action and fulfilling the inspection criteria are of specific interest.

    The empirical basis consists of telephone interviews with 18 compulsory school principals whose schools have been inspected by the SSI after the inspectorate’s audited operations gained enhanced legal support. Methodologically, the analysis is informed by O’Connor’s (1995) “continuum of agency.” Within this framework, narrated acts can be understood as ways of claiming, deflecting, or problematizing agency. In this sense, the same narrated acts can also be understood as means to claim, deflect, or problematize the room for discretion at the local level. The interviewees’ ways of ascribing to themselves different “positions” (Harré & van Langenhov, 1999) in the narratives of conducted inspections can also reveal aspects of social structure (such as roles, rules, hierarchies) in the schools’ encounters with the SSI. As the interviewees locate different actors involved in the process in time and space, describing both what enables and what constrains responses from the schools, the narratives point to the opportunities and the limits of agency and discretion within the inspection context.

  • 7. Novak, Judit
    Juridification and Education2017In: Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory / [ed] Michael A. Peters, Singapore: Springer, 2017, p. 1200-1205Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This entry brings together scholarly work on juridification (the systemic drift toward legalism) and education – two strands of research that so far have evolved in largely separates scientific communities and rarely communicate with one another. The strands will be brought together in three steps – first, by presenting a brief overview of research on contemporary conceptualizations of juridification in modern societies; second, by tracing some of the central historical antecedents that inform such juridification; and third, by identifying how the juridification of education proceeds on different paths at different rates, issuing in different relationships to institutional structures in different regions, nations, or societies, thus precipitating different kinds of problems and frictions in different local situations. The article covers all levels, encompassing preschool, K-12 and higher education. Further, it is comparative, involving vignettes from research in several countries. The multiple, complex, and variegated denotations and connotations of juridification are sketched, and their engendering of changes in the education arena is discussed. 

  • 8.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Juridification of Educational Spheres: The Case of Sweden2019In: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812, Vol. 51, no 12, p. 1262-1272Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article takes the interlinkages between law and politics as its starting point. It analyzes recent changes in the legislative style of education governance in Sweden as not only a species of crisis management, but also a long-term response to a series of tensions arising out of the push toward what has been identified as ‘juridification’ in many Western nations—the reliance on law and judicial means for addressing core moral predicaments, public policy questions, and political controversies. The article outlines the notion of juridification at a theoretical level and highlights juridification processes and their possible ramifications on education. It argues that recent changes in the legislative style of education governance in Sweden not only reveal much about the commitments and implicit assumptions of modern regulatory and evaluative regimes, but also reflect the general impact of the rationalization of social and political life on the organization of government. The article provides a case with which to examine some of the theoretical underpinnings and implicit conceptual assumptions of modern regulatory and evaluative regimes as well as educational institutions’ relationships with the State. It shows that regulatory frameworks define the conceptualizations of what educational institutions do and thus of what actually gets done.

  • 9.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Juridification of Educational Spheres: The Case of Swedish School Inspection2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation argues that the great transformation of education policy and governance that we have witnessed in the last few decades can only be properly understood by taking into account a process of juridification. In and of itself, this is not a novel assertion; what is argued here is that what this entails concretely has been only partially understood. The mounting importance of positive rights in the welfare state as a means of preserving and legitimating the State’s role is underlined, and particular focus is directed to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) as an intermediary body between the State and educational institutions. The main argument that this dissertation advances is that the Swedish 2010 Education Act, along with the changes that its enforcement brought to state school inspection, is an instructive expression of the institutionalization of a juridified school system. Central to this argument is the idea that the legitimacy of the postmodern State in the eyes of its citizens can no longer be taken for granted. Juridification can be seen as a strategy of compensatory legitimation. Drawing on earlier research on governance and juridification, respectively, the dissertation sketches out the general thrust for the examination of the relation between the two and, in particular, just what the theoretical perspective of juridification adds to our understanding of the transformation of education policy and practice. We still know rather little about the latter, i.e., about what the functions and implications of a “juridified” mode of education governance may be more precisely. Against the backdrop of three empirical studies, it advances the argument that a good part of the evolutionary process that is here called “the juridification of educational spheres” comprises operations, institutions and actors deeply involved in locally or regionally situated issues and struggles. It further argues that state school inspection processes as such provide some means of intermediation – the means of making ideologies become real and policies come true. The final discussion is conducted in light of the specific case of the SSI, particularly how the actions and decisions involved in the Inspectorate’s enactment of policy actually constitute policy by giving it certain forms and specific content. These considerations take us beyond the sphere of governance and to the heart of what we may think schooling is or ought to be about. 

    List of papers
    1. Skolan och rättssäkerheten: vad har en elev rätt att kunna?
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skolan och rättssäkerheten: vad har en elev rätt att kunna?
    2016 (Swedish)In: Vad ska en svensk kunna?: Utbildningens dilemma - intressenas spel / [ed] Michael Gustavsson, Tove Österman, Elinor Hållén, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2016, p. 105-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Göteborg: Daidalos, 2016
    Keywords
    Juridifiering, oförytterliga värden, rättssäkerhet, skolinspektion
    National Category
    Educational Sciences
    Research subject
    Education
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300592 (URN)9789171734747 (ISBN)
    Available from: 2016-08-09 Created: 2016-08-09 Last updated: 2018-03-19Bibliographically approved
    2. Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests
    2017 (English)In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, no 5, p. 673-693Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Since 2009, the Swedish Government uses an ‘audit’ agency – the Swedish Schools Inspectorate – to monitor and assess the accuracy with which teachers grade student responses on national tests. This study explores the introduction and subsequent establishment of the Inspectorate’s regrading programme as an example of political management of the tensions between competition and equity inherent in neoliberal regulatory regimes. The programme is considered a case for examining contemporary policies and discourses on fairness and government actions undertaken to resolve issues of unfair assessment and safeguard students’ rights. Work of Carol Bacchi forms part of the theoretical background for the investigation of problem representations around and within the programme. The article demonstrates how discursive practices in the fields of government, audit and media have worked to frame teachers’ assessments as incorrect, unfair and as jeopardizing the credibility of the grading system, thus justifying increased central control and authority over teacher assessments. As such, the regrading programme contributed to increased mistrust in teacher professionalism. A legal discourse is identified, and we argue the examination system is being juridified where the abundance of control over knowledge risks turning into a deficit of that same knowledge.

    National Category
    Educational Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320479 (URN)10.1080/02680939.2017.1318454 (DOI)000402988500008 ()
    Available from: 2017-04-20 Created: 2017-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
    3. Anpassningarnas för(e)ställning: Om Skolinspektionens tillsyn som en scen för förändring
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anpassningarnas för(e)ställning: Om Skolinspektionens tillsyn som en scen för förändring
    2014 (Swedish)In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 127-144Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Örebro: , 2014
    National Category
    Educational Sciences
    Research subject
    Education
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224684 (URN)
    Projects
    Inspektion som styrning, Skolinspektion och utbildningsstyrning i Sverige, England och Skottland
    Note

    Tema: Skolinspektion som styrning

    Available from: 2014-05-17 Created: 2014-05-17 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
  • 10.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Juridification of school inspections in Sweden: A recourse to legislative enactments2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish education sector has been witnessing the emergence of an increasingly complex, financially weighty, and legislatively characterised body of education surveillance since national and centrally administered school inspections were reinstated in 2003. The constructing and intensifying of the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI) has entailed, on one hand, the further strengthening of an overall regulatory framework represented by system-wide legislation and, on the other hand, the linking of the regulatory framework to a powerful agency of evaluation. Scholars argue that the government’s increasing resources given to the SSI, and the inevitable outcome in the form of a spiralling body of legislation, is to be seen as part of the process generally known as ‘juridification’, that is, ‘the (political) recourse to legislative enactment as a means of enforcing practice and implementing policy’ (Neave, 1998, p. 269).

    This paper examines and critically discusses the concept of ‘juridification’ in terms of the way in which the SSI embodies and mediates the contract between the government, society and education. The empirical data consists of a) interviews with a number of legal experts at different levels at the SSI; b) interviews with head teachers who have experienced school inspections after the SSI’s legal regulatory framework was strengthened by the Education Act; and c) internal and official documents produced by the SSI.

    Preliminary results point to a transformation to a structure that relies on legal and legislative aspects as evidence of progress, rather than attends to what can be called the more delicate task of trusting in professional judgement and take-up within the routines of individual schools. Two core structural components stand out, namely, primary traces and evidential linkages. The endeavour for evidentiary traces of performance reflect a forensic dimension and influence how attention and resources are allocated (cf. Power, forthcoming). Preliminary results thus suggest that the forensic dimension have a dual juridical and managerial character. The analysis also suggests a movement towards ‘documentarism’ (Steyerl, 2003). Documentation stands out as a prerequisite of accountability. A mentality of ‘if it is not put on paper, it doesn’t exist’ is displayed. The paper offers empirical illustrations of how ‘countable’ performances are produced locally by the inspectees, and how these productions are used by actors in the education system. 

  • 11.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Skolan och rättssäkerheten: vad har en elev rätt att kunna?2016In: Vad ska en svensk kunna?: Utbildningens dilemma - intressenas spel / [ed] Michael Gustavsson, Tove Österman, Elinor Hållén, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2016, p. 105-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap, Umeå universitet.
    Juridification of examination systems: extending state level authority over teacher assessments through regrading of national tests2017In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 32, no 5, p. 673-693Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since 2009, the Swedish Government uses an ‘audit’ agency – the Swedish Schools Inspectorate – to monitor and assess the accuracy with which teachers grade student responses on national tests. This study explores the introduction and subsequent establishment of the Inspectorate’s regrading programme as an example of political management of the tensions between competition and equity inherent in neoliberal regulatory regimes. The programme is considered a case for examining contemporary policies and discourses on fairness and government actions undertaken to resolve issues of unfair assessment and safeguard students’ rights. Work of Carol Bacchi forms part of the theoretical background for the investigation of problem representations around and within the programme. The article demonstrates how discursive practices in the fields of government, audit and media have worked to frame teachers’ assessments as incorrect, unfair and as jeopardizing the credibility of the grading system, thus justifying increased central control and authority over teacher assessments. As such, the regrading programme contributed to increased mistrust in teacher professionalism. A legal discourse is identified, and we argue the examination system is being juridified where the abundance of control over knowledge risks turning into a deficit of that same knowledge.

  • 13.
    Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå universititet, Institutionen för tillämpad utbildningsvetenskap.
    Questioning Assessments: National Tests, Grades and Student Rights2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research questions, objectives and theoretical framework

    This paper engages with the ongoing education policy debate on fairness, student rights and educational governance related to increased accountability pressure derived from neo-liberal policies and associated state restructurings (eg. Waldow, 2014; Lingard and Sellar, 2013; Ozga et al, 2011). At the centre of the paper is the Swedish Schools Inspectorate’s re-markings of already marked student achievements on national tests – a supervisory programme introduced by the Swedish Government on a three years mandate in 2009 and subsequently assigned on a permanent basis. This programme is situated as an example of political management of the tensions between competition and equality inherent in neo-liberal educational regulatory regimes.

    Associated with accountability and improvement regimes, standardised national testing policies have a long history in many nations (Mons 2009), whereas in others they reflect a more recent change in the steering of education systems (Eurydice 2009; Lingard and Sellar 2013). In highly decentralised, marketised and competitive education systems it has been stressed that national tests are important tools for follow-up and evaluation of the performance of education (Blanchenay et al. 2014; Segerholm 2009) as well as to gauge the overall effectiveness of education policies and practices (Eurydice 2009).

    Up until 2009, Sweden was one of the few countries in Europe where teachers assessed their students’ achievements on national tests independently, with no external checks of the assessments taking place (Eurydice 2009). The lack of external reviewers put strong emphasis on the teachers’ ability to make reliable assessments and fair judgments (Wikström and Wikström 2004). However, these assessments, and consequently, the merit and worth of national tests as monitoring instruments on a system level, have been questioned due to reports on ‘grade inflation’ and differences in marks on national test results and the final grades for those subjects. Parallel to this development, international assessments and evaluations have indicated declining learning outcomes among Swedish students and an increasing disparity among Swedish schools. Education has been portrayed by the media as being in emergency and crisis. Media discourses are part of ‘policy as becoming’ (Ball et al. 2012) when constructing issues and subjects in specific ways, and this media logic has notably become a necessary aspect of governing (Gewirtz et al. 2004; Lingard and Rawolle 2004).

    Previous scholarship has provided important insights into the different conceptions of justice built into the blueprints of various systems of examination and assessment in Europe, with a claim that national tests in Sweden serve as ‘safeguards of fair procedure’ (Waldow 2014), and with critique to the methodology of the Inspectorate’s re-marking of national tests (Gustafsson and Erickson 2013). Less attention, however, has been directed to contested claims for authority over teacher assessment, and especially to the processes by which state level authorities have consolidated and extended their control over teachers’ assessment of national tests. Consequently, the ‘thick descriptions’ (Geertz 1983) and contexts (Stake 1995) necessary in order to understand the complex nature of political forces, interactions, and processes involved, are lacking.

    A conceptual framework informed by work of Bacchi (2009) guides the analysis of the ways and means by which an external agency has been able to expropriate control of teachers’ assessments of national tests from the internal control of the schools. Unfolding texts are examined with regard to key questions, in this case: How are teachers’ assessments of national tests represented as a problem, and what different assumptions underpin these representations? Further, how do the ways policy actors discuss and address these issues shape the problem descriptions? We further draw on Rawolle’s (2010) concept of mediatisation, focusing on the implications of representations in different social fields in the becoming of policy.

     

    Methods, Research Instruments and Sources Used 

    We employ a case study approach grounded in the work of Robert Stake (1995) in order to provide a holistic mode of inquiry consistent with, and responsive to, the discovery, exploration, and understanding of the processes of the Inspectorate’s re-marking programme as well as its contextual characteristics. In line with this approach, the programme at hand is not regarded as a concrete resolution of ministerial decisions, but as a site within which it is possible to observe policy being shaped and value being competed for (Kushner 2012). Hence, by deepening the understanding of complex interactions that intervene between presumed causes and observable effects – ‘i.e. not what programmes achieve, but how they work’ (ibid p. 108) – policy is thought of less in terms of decision-making by a political elite, and more of as being shaped at sites. 

    The documentary material to be examined comprises mainly three types of text, each from a different social field: 1) laws and ordinances as well as other government official documents relating to the Inspectorate’s re-marking of national tests, such as reports (‘SOU’), government bills (‘Prop.’), government commissions (‘Regeringsbeslut’), and regulation letters (‘Regleringsbrev’) from the Government to the Inspectorate and the National Agency of Education; 2) internal and official material produced by the Inspectorate as part of the re-marking commission, such as annual accounts and plans, specific inspection reports, web information and broschures; 3) newspaper articles from the two largest morning newspapers (‘Dagens Nyheter’ and ‘Svenska Dagbladet’), and the two largest tabloids (‘Expressen’ and ‘Aftonbladet’). 

     

    Conclusions, expected outcomes or findings 

    Preliminary findings support observations that the Swedish Government sees indications of discrepancies between students’ final grades in subjects and the marks they receive on national tests in those subjects as a threat to fair assessment (Waldow 2014; Gustafsson and Erickson 2013). In addition, we observe how a legal discourse has come to penetrate the problem representations of unfair teachers’ assessments in the domains of politics, audit practice and media. We demonstrate how and by which means essential signifiers of this legal discourse have come to materialise, pointing to a juridification of education governance.

    The Inspectorate is positioned as a ‘safeguard’ of fair teacher markings of national tests. National tests in Sweden have been described by Waldow (2014) as functioning as ‘safeguards of fair procedure’. As such, we understand the Inspectorate’s re-markings of student achievement on national tests similar to what Power (1997) describes as ‘control of control’ in audit societies. We further demonstrate that the inspection regime amplifies the national tests’ embodied potential for narrowing the curriculum, not only by the scope of the tested curriculum constructs, but also by the processes that undergo juridification in resolving issues of unfair assessments. Especially in the media, the problem representations tend to contribute to an increased mistrust in teachers’ professionalism, which, in turn, strengthens state level authority over education. Representing the problem as unfair assessments and calling for an external supervisory body to safeguard the assessment procedures opens up for policy changes and implications that are both notably similar to, and substantially different from, those observed in studies on the harmonisation of politics and policies across and beyond Europe.

     

    References

    Bacchi, C. L. (2009). Analysing policy. What's the problem represented to be?  Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: Pearson.

    Ball, S. J., et al. (2012). How schools do policy. Policy enactments in secondary schools.  London: Routledge.

    Blanchenay, P., et al. (2014), “Shifting Responsibilities - 20 Years of Education Devolution in Sweden: A Governing Complex Education Systems Case Study”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 104, OECD Publishing.

    Eurydice (2009) National Testing of Pupils in Europe: Objectives, Organisation and Use of Results. http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/109en.pdf

    Geerts, C. (1983).  Local knowledge.  New York:  Basic Books.

    Gewirtz, S., et al. (2004). Unravelling a 'spun' policy: A case study of the constitutive role of 'spin' in the education policy process. Journal of Education Policy, 19(3): 321-342.

    Gustafsson, J.-E, and Erickson, G. (2013). To trust or not to trust? - teacher marking versus external marking of national tests. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 2013(25): 69-87.

    Kushner, S (2012) Case Study and equity in Evaluation. In Marco Segone (ed.), Evaluation for equitable development results (pp. 172-191). New York: UNICEF.

    Lingard, B., and Rawolle, S. (2004). Mediatizing educational policy: The journalistic field, science policy, and cross‐field effects. Journal of Education Policy, 19(3): 361-380.

    Lingard, B, and Sellar, S (2013) 'Catalyst data'. Perverse systemic effects of audit and accountability in australian schooling. Journal of Education Policy, 28(5): 634-656.

    Mons, N. (2009), “Theoretical and Real Effects of Standardised Assessment”, Background paper to the study: National Testing of Pupils in Europe, Eurydice Network, http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/111EN.pdf

    Ozga, J., et al (2011) Fabricating quality in education. Data and governance in Europe. London: Sage

    Power, M. (1997). The audit society. Rituals of verification.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Rawolle, S. (2010). Understanding the mediatisation of education policy as practice. Critical Studies in Education, 51(1): 21-39.

    Segerholm, C. (2009) ‘We are doing well on QAE’: the case of Sweden, Journal of Education Policy, 24(2): 195-209.

    Stake, R.E. (1995). The Art of Case Study Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Utbildningsdepartementet (2009). “Uppdrag till Statens Skolinspektion om viss central rättning av nationella prov”. Stockholm. http://www.regeringen.se/contentassets/ff415038346847edaca0b0e0251c0f2f/uppdrag-till-statens-skolinspektion-om-viss-central-rattning-av-nationella-prov

    Waldow, F. (2014). Conceptions of justice in the examination systems of England, Germany, and Sweden: A look at safeguards of fair procedure and possibilities of appeal. Comparative Education Review, 58(2): 322-343.

    Wikström, C., and Wikström, M. (2004). Grade inflation and school competition: an empirical analysis based on the Swedish upper secondary schools. Economics of Education Review, 24(3), 309–322.

     

     

     

     

  • 14. Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Vad gör en ökad "rättighetifiering" med högre utbildning?2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Abstract [sv]

    Med utgångspunkt i att Högsta domstolen har beviljat prisavdrag p.g.a. bristande utbildningskvalitet diskuteras hur utbildningsval och kontraktstännkande förstärker idén att studenter kan bryta kontrakt och få pengar tillbaka vid missnöje med "leveransen", liksom en tendens att söka konfliktlösning på rättslig väg. 

  • 15.
    Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Combs, Dominic D.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Greene, Jennifer C.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Helton, Benjamin
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    McNeilly, Jennifer
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Solomon-Strutz, Candice
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Teasdale, Rebecca M.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    A Kaleidoscope of Values-Engagement in Evaluation2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Central to the evaluation enterprise is the challenging practice of valuing, of making of empirically-supported judgments of quality about the program being evaluated. In evaluation, values guide the selection of evaluation purposes and audiences, the key evaluation questions, and the criteria by which the quality of the evaluand is judged. Guidance for the practice of valuing, however, remains muted in some evaluation theories, and muffled or muddied in others. Little is known about the processes and parameters that shape which particular values are chosen, purposefully or not, to anchor an evaluation study. Toward better understanding of how values are defensibly engaged in evaluation practice, this paper presents highlights from an empirical study of the evaluative reasoning of eight seasoned evaluators (mostly North-American), in particular, how and with what justifications values show up in their practice. Interviews and evaluation report reviews constituted the study data.

    Rationale

    Evaluation research is research on evaluation itself as a practical and societal phenomenon. The field of evaluation is a body of a knowledge-producing practice that is characterized by its own logic, its own “imaginaries” (Schwandt, 2009), and its own problematics. It is also characterized by its own blind spots, its own dynamics, and its own discussions. One such discussion pertains to the ways in which values are present in evaluation practice.

    The conversation on valuing was long marginalized due to a dominant values-neutral view that endorsed a fact-value dichotomy (House & Howe, 1999; Shadish, Cook, and Leviton, 1991). In current scholarly debate, however, the previous conviction that value judgments cannot be examined or justified rationally is a contested issue, and there exists considerable disagreement regarding how evaluators should attend to values and make value judgments (Julnes, 2012; Scriven, 2006, 2012; House, 2015, Stake, 2004). This disagreement has accelerated partly with the increasing scholarly recognition that the methodologies employed to enact evaluation practices themselves advance values, purposefully or not, as they, among other things, incorporate philosophical assumptions about what counts as legitimate knowledge (Greene, 1997, 2002). In addition, diverse views on who constitutes legitimate audiences for evaluation also remain, thus engaging debate about the political and moral dimensions of evaluation practice (Schwandt, 2003, 2009). Hence, evaluators’ work can be understood as neither scientifically nor politically neutral, but inherently values-committed (Greene, 2001).

    Drawing on Greene’s (1997, 2006; Hall, Greene and Ahn, 2012) view of what it means to be “values-engaged,” we ask: how do values show up in evaluation practice? Our study of values in evaluation involved interviews and evaluation report reviews with eight seasoned evaluators. Our results illuminated features of both descriptive and prescriptive valuing, alongside the strategies employed by our respondents to make the valuing strands of evaluation more explicit, and thereby more contestable. We share selected findings from this study in the form of case vignettes that illustrate how values show up in evaluation, how they proceed along different pathways, and how they are present in evaluation results and the uses made of these results. The varied contexts of our evaluator sample add culture and custom to these values portraits.  We position this study within the ongoing research on the relationship between evaluation theory and practice and address, in particular, the fundamental questions of purpose and role of the evaluator. We direct attention to the practices of evaluation and the built-in assumptions that bear, among other things, different value commitments regarding the purpose and location of our work in society, and the methods and procedures that enable enactment of these commitments.

     

    References 

    Greene, J. C. (1997). Evaluation as advocacy. American Journal of Evaluation, 18(1).

    Greene, J. (2001). Evaluation extrapolations. American Journal of Evaluation, 22(3): 397-402.

    Greene, J. C. (2002). With a Splash of Soda, Please: Towards Active Engagement with Difference. Evaluation, Vol 8(2): 259–266

    Greene, J. C. (2006). Making the World a Better Place Through Evaluation. In M. C. Alkin (Ed.), Evaluation Roots: A Wider Perspective of Theorists' Views and Influences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

    Greene, J.C. (2012). Values-engaged evaluation. In Marco Segone (ed.), Evaluation for equitable development results (pp. 192-206). New York: UNICEF.

    Hall, J.N., Greene, J.C., & Ahn, J. (2012). Values-engagement in evaluation: Ideas, implications, and illlustrations. American Journal of Evaluation, 33(2), 195-207.

    House, E., & Howe, K. (1999). Values in Evaluation and Social Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

    House, E.R. (2015). Evaluating values, biases, and practical wisdom. Charlotte, NC: IAP.

    Julnes, G. (ed). (2012). Promoting valuation in the public interest: Informing policies for judging value in evaluation, New Directions in Evaluation, (133), 3-15.

    Schwandt, T. A. (2003). In Search of the Political Morality of Evaluation Practice. Studies in Educational Policy and Educational Philosophy, 1-6.

    Schwandt, T. A. (2009) ’Globalization influences on the western evaluation imaginary’, in K. E. Ryan and J. B. Cousins (eds), The Sage International Handbook of Educational Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Scriven, M. (2006). Conceptual Revolutions in Evaluation: Past, Present, and Future In M. C. Alkin (Ed.), Evaluation Roots: A Wider Perspective of Theorists' Views and Influences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

    Scriven, M. (2012). The Logic of Valuing. New Directions for Evaluation, 133, 17-28.

    Shadish, W.R., Cook, T.D., & Leviton, L. (1991). Foundations of program evaluation, theories of practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Stake, R.E. (2004). How far dare an evaluator go toward saving the world? American Journal of Evaluation, 25 (1), 103-107.

     

  • 16.
    Novak, Judit
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet, Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Mittuniversitetet, Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Utvärdering av omorganisation vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet.2012Report (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Williams, Julian
    et al.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Greene, Jennifer C.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Mustafaa, Rafiqah
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Novak, Judit
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Perez, Marielisbet
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Using “Mini-Case Study” to Examine Underrepresented Students’ Experiences in STEM2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    This paper will present what we learned from implementing a “mini case study” methodology to document the course experiences of students historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Since January 2014, we have evaluated a higher education STEM project that is advancing active learning reforms in introductory STEM courses, toward increasing (1) student course engagement and learning, and (2) the recruitment and retention of students in STEM majors who come from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Our work to date has monitored program implementation and assessed student engagement and learning; yet, neither of these has yielded substantive information on the project’s success with targeted underrepresented students. We are now conducting “mini case studies” of selected underrepresented students to gather this substantive information. With this methodology, we gain access to students’ personal, contextual course experiences with modest intrusion and affordable costs. This presentation will offer our critical reflections on this methodology.

    Relevance statement 

    Case studies have been documented as a useful approach for investigating the uniqueness and complexity of a phenomenon through in-depth study (Stake, 1995). By identifying a “case,” an evaluator can study characteristics of the case and processes occurring within the case to contribute to greater understanding of that phenomenon (Stake, 2006). A recognized limitation of the case study methodology is the evaluator’s inability to make generalizations about the larger population of which the case is a member. Thus, there are important factors to consider when deciding to employ a case study methodology including: 1) identifying the phenomenon of interest, 2) determining the utility of the case study approach for studying that phenomenon, 3) selecting the case, and 4) assessing the time, energy, and resources available to investigate the phenomenon. Since evaluators have several factors to consider when deciding to implement a case study methodology, the design of case studies often varies.

    In the context of higher education STEM reform program evaluation, we decided to implement a case study methodology to investigate the experiences of students whose experiences were being overlooked by faculty implementing the project. These were students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM majors. 

    When designing the case study, we acknowledged factors present in the context which were relevant for our work moving forward. Those included limited time, and limited evaluation team members to assist with carrying out the case study. Ultimately, this acknowledgement led us to design what we called a “mini case study,” which involved identifying a small group of students whose course experiences we would seek to begin to understand – using interviews and observations – in a relatively short period of time. This paper presents the “mini case study” as a useful approach for gaining a modest degree of contextual understanding of a key phenomenon within limited resources.

    The context at hand is the evaluation of a higher education STEM project that is advancing active learning reforms in introductory STEM courses, toward increasing (1) student course engagement and learning, and (2) the recruitment and retention of students in STEM majors who come from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Throughout the implementation of our evaluation, we recognized that the first project objective received a considerable amount of attention from faculty implementing the project at the departmental-level, as well as from the Co-Principal Investigators who were responsible for leading faculty teams in carrying out the project. At the same time, the objective related to recruitment and retention received less attention, as evidenced by observations of faculty meetings and interviews with faculty from various teams. Thus, we decided to focus on this objective in our evaluation, to understand students’ experiences in the course contexts.

    In this paper, we present 1) findings from our mini case study on the course experiences of women students and students from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in STEM fields, and 2) what we learned from our process of implementing a mini case study.

     

    References:

    Stake, R.E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Stake, R.E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

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