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Why quality in education - and what quality?: A linguistic analysis of the concept of quality in Swedish government texts
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Utbildning & Demokrati)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8409-9196
2011 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 2, no 4, 709-723 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses why the concept of quality has become such a central theme in Swedish education policy, and what quality or qualities successive governments have pursued between 1990 and 2010. The analysis is based on a close reading of a collection of policy texts from the late 1980s onwards. With a linguistic and historical perspective, the theoretical approach is inspired by Quentin Skinner (1988a, 1988b) and speech act theory. The study shows that certain “criteria of application” long associated with education have gradually been challenged and partly marginalised by criteria highlighting results and relating to market and system needs. As a consequence it can be argued, with support from speech act theory, that use of the concept of quality has led to an acceptance of new social perceptions in education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå School of Education , 2011. Vol. 2, no 4, 709-723 p.
Keyword [en]
education, concept of quality, educational policy, speech act, Sweden
National Category
Educational Sciences Pedagogy
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-21346OAI: diva2:484135
Available from: 2012-01-27 Created: 2012-01-26 Last updated: 2015-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Bergh, Andreas
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