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Skolan och den politiska offentligheten - öppning eller tillslutning?: Styrning och skolutveckling utifrån "försöket utan timplan"
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This study concerns school-development and the political public sphere in a Swedish context. It draws on an earlier study in which school-leaders expressed political signals in relation to school-development as being ambiguous and contradictive. On one hand they saw a political support for openness and dialogue in school. On the other hand they perceived control and competition. Another point of departure for the study is what tentatively was suggested as a shift in focus for the state government of schools during the 1990:s, from decentralization as such to an increased emphasis on control of its consequences. The overriding aim of the study was to illuminate how this shift could be understood regarding the relation between school-development and the political public sphere.

The study was conducted within a larger, national project where almost 900 schools worked without the national time table. Policy texts behind the governments’ decision on starting the project were used in order to describe and analyse school policy. School-leaders´ accounts on school-work and school-development in the project was used for analysis and description of school practice.

Habermas’ theory of communicative action, particularly his notions on “the welfare-state crisis” as an opening for a revitalized political public sphere grounded upon communicative action, was used as a theoretical frame for the study.

The results support the assumption that school policy, as formulated in the studied documents, did shift over time from a focus on decentralization to an emphasis on control of its consequences. The school-leaders, however, gave voice to a school practice where the importance of a communicative direction was emphasized. The overall conclusion is that while a vital political public sphere in Habermas´ terms is supported in school practice, school policy seems to direct school development in the opposite direction, thereby closing the opportunity for school to support a revitalized public sphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten , 2006. , 253 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2006:59
Keyword [en]
school-development, political steering, political pubic sphere, purposive-rational action, communicative action
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-702ISBN: 91-7063-090-9OAI: diva2:6400
Public defence
2006-12-15, Andersalen, 11D 121, Karlstad universitet, Karlstad, 13:15
Available from: 2007-03-06 Created: 2007-03-06

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