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Reconsidering school politics : Educational controversies in Sweden

Fredholm, Axel LU (2016) In The Curriculum Journal 28(1). p.5-21
Abstract
School politics in Sweden has recently moved in a conservative direction, emphasising the importance of conventional school subjects, stronger teacher authority and more discipline in the classroom. At the same time, consensus on the utility of such measures is lacking in the school debate. The conservative approach is often criticised as misleading and behind the times in relation to contemporary knowledge demands. This article examines and discusses the relevance of this critique. The main argument is that the conservative approach has a better matching with a previous phase in the history of Swedish school politics and that conventional schooling is difficult to combine with two of the major goals of schooling today – the diffusion of... (More)
School politics in Sweden has recently moved in a conservative direction, emphasising the importance of conventional school subjects, stronger teacher authority and more discipline in the classroom. At the same time, consensus on the utility of such measures is lacking in the school debate. The conservative approach is often criticised as misleading and behind the times in relation to contemporary knowledge demands. This article examines and discusses the relevance of this critique. The main argument is that the conservative approach has a better matching with a previous phase in the history of Swedish school politics and that conventional schooling is difficult to combine with two of the major goals of schooling today – the diffusion of democracy and multipurpose skills. From this perspective, the political notion of schooling seems decoupled from the broader domain of public demands on education. To alleviate this problem school politics should draw less on the pedagogical ideas of essentialism and more on the historical legacy of progressivism in the Swedish education system. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Sweden, school politics, multipurpose skills citizenship education, progressivism, essentialism, school–society nexus
in
The Curriculum Journal
volume
28
issue
1
pages
5 - 21
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:84975153605
  • wos:000396541100002
ISSN
1469-3704
DOI
10.1080/09585176.2016.1191361
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8cddfd0a-afe5-45c9-a5a4-23ce059938a7
date added to LUP
2016-06-21 06:14:28
date last changed
2017-10-04 10:52:15
@article{8cddfd0a-afe5-45c9-a5a4-23ce059938a7,
  abstract     = {School politics in Sweden has recently moved in a conservative direction, emphasising the importance of conventional school subjects, stronger teacher authority and more discipline in the classroom. At the same time, consensus on the utility of such measures is lacking in the school debate. The conservative approach is often criticised as misleading and behind the times in relation to contemporary knowledge demands. This article examines and discusses the relevance of this critique. The main argument is that the conservative approach has a better matching with a previous phase in the history of Swedish school politics and that conventional schooling is difficult to combine with two of the major goals of schooling today – the diffusion of democracy and multipurpose skills. From this perspective, the political notion of schooling seems decoupled from the broader domain of public demands on education. To alleviate this problem school politics should draw less on the pedagogical ideas of essentialism and more on the historical legacy of progressivism in the Swedish education system.},
  author       = {Fredholm, Axel},
  issn         = {1469-3704},
  keyword      = {Sweden,school politics,multipurpose skills citizenship education,progressivism,essentialism,school–society nexus},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {5--21},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {The Curriculum Journal},
  title        = {Reconsidering school politics : Educational controversies in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585176.2016.1191361},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2016},
}