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Navigating Sweden’s Parental Choice Education System: A Study of Asylum-Seeking Parents
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As high levels of forced migration continue to challenge Europe, countries like Sweden are attempting to incorporate asylum-seekers into its education system. Over the past 50 years Sweden’s education system has undergone a unique shift from a centralized to a decentralized parental-choice model of schools. An approach called plural education promotes equity through shared experience and support for equity creating initiatives. Proponents of choice argued that plural education was maintained across the decentralizing shift in policy. Yet some evidence has begun to show that these values are not being upheld. Marginalized groups, such as asylum-seekers, appear to face a number of barriers to accessing the entirety of choices.

In this qualitative study employing a grounded theory methodology, seven asylum-seeking parents were asked for their experiences entering their children into the Swedish compulsory school system. Semi-structured interviews explored the barriers, information and strategies each parent had for enrolment and school choice. Analysis found that parents had insufficient information for school choice, few strategies to find new information and faced a number of barriers. The implication of these findings are that these asylum-seekers did not have the support or knowledge to successfully participate in school choice and that education in Sweden may have weakened in its ability to promote equity for these respondents. 

Abstract [sv]

Samtidigt som stora flyktingströmmar fortsätter att utgöra en utmaning för Europa, försöker länder som Sverige att integrera asylsökande i dess utbildningssystem. Under de senaste 50 åren har Sveriges utbildningssystem genomgått ett unikt skifte från ett centraliserat till ett decentraliserat skolsystem baserat på det fria skolvalet. Ett tillvägagångssätt kallat "plural" utbildning har som syfte att främja rättvisa genom gemensamt lärande och erfarenhetsutbyte mellan elever. Förespråkare av det fria skolvalet hävdar att "plural" utbildning har kunnat upprätthållas efter systemskiftet till en decentraliserad skola. Det finns emellertid studier som visar på motsatsen. Marginaliserade grupper, som till exempel asylsökande, tycks stöta på flera hinder när de ska nyttja det fria skolvalet.I denna kvalitativa studie som bygger på en grundad teorimetodik intervjuades sju asylsökande föräldrar om sina erfarenheter rörande deras barns tillgång till den svenska grundskolan. Genom semi-strukturerade intervjuer undersöktes hinder och information samt strategier som föräldrarna hade beträffande inskrivning och skolval. Analysen visade att föräldrarna hade otillräcklig information gällande skolval och få strategier för att hitta ny information samt att de möttes av diverse hinder. Studien visar att dessa asylsökande familjer inte hade tillräckligt med stöd eller kunskap för att framgångsrikt delta i skolvalet och att den svenska undervisningen därmed har misslyckats med att ge dessa familjers barn en rättvis utbildning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 101 p.
Keyword [en]
Asylum-seekers, migration, school choice, plural education, Sweden, grounded theory
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Didactics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145171OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145171DiVA: diva2:1128488
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Available from: 2017-08-07 Created: 2017-07-26 Last updated: 2017-08-07Bibliographically approved

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