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“Living with market forces”: Principals’ perceptions of market competition in Swedish Upper Secondary School Education
School of Education and Behavioural Sciences, University of Borås, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
2011 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, ISSN ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, 601-617 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish education system has undergone major restructuring since the early 1990s. The newpolicy, including e.g. decentralisation, accountability, school choice and a tax-funded voucher system,has led to an expanding “school market”. This article explores how upper secondary school principalsperceive the increased competition among schools and its impact on their work and the school organisation.The data emanate from interviews with principals at eight schools in five municipalities.The presence of the market in everyday work is perceived as a reality, even if its significance varies.The principals argue that competition increases the staff’s efforts and improves school development.However, it is also perceived as problematic since it causes increased stress and uncertainty. The principals’professional identities seem to have changed from a pedagogical role to a more economics ditto.Most principals are pragmatic and make efforts to handle the new policy context the best they can.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2011. Vol. 2, no 4, 601-617 p.
Keyword [en]
upper secondary school principals, market influence, school competition, school leadership
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-51219OAI: diva2:477082
Gymnasiet som marknad.
Swedish Research Council, 2007-3579
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

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