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An Act of Interpretation?: A case study exploring the role of school principals in implementing educational reforms in Swedish upper secondary schools
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

Denna uppsats undersöker vilken roll två rektorer för gymnasieskolor spelar för hur den nya skollagen tolkas och implementeras.

Tidigare forskning kring rektorrollen i Sverige har visat att  kommunaliseringsreformerna under 1990-talet ledde till att styrdokumenterna fick mycket större utrymme för tolkning. I detta läge har kontextuella faktorer blivit allt viktigare för att avgöra hur rektorer förhåller sig till styrdokumenterna.  Begrepp såsom styrmedel, ledarskapsnormer samt personliga normer är relevanta i detta avseende.

Utgår man från fallstudiens empiriska material kan det föreslås att de två skolornas profil och organisation har en viktog roll i att avgöra vilka delar av skollagen de respektive rektorerna väljer att fokusera på. De här faktorerna bidrar således till hur rektorer väljer att betrakta sin roll in skollagens genomförande.

Fallstudiens resultat diskuteras i ljuset av såväl tidigare forskning som samhällsdebatten kring utbildningsreformerna. På basis av den empiriska materialet resonerar uppsatsen att rektorerna har behållit ett visst mått av tolkningsutrymme vad gäller specifika åtgärder, trots att skollagen ökar statens juridiska makt överlag. Däremot anser rektorer att skollagens tydlighet på många punkter har gjort att rektorer upplever skollagens tolkningsutrymme som relativt begränsat.       

  

Abstract [en]

This dissertation explores the role of two Swedish upper secondary school principals in the process of interpreting and implementing the Education Act.

Previous research around the role of school principals in Sweden has shown that decentralization reforms in the 1990’s has resulted in much broader interpretative frameworks for central steering documents. In this situation contextual factors are important for determining how principals relate to central steering documents. Concepts such as governing tools, leadership style and personal norms are relevant in relation to this process.

Based on the empirical material gathered in the case study it is suggested that the profile and internal organization of the two schools in question play an important role in determining which parts of the Act the respective principals choose to focus on. These factors thus help shape how the principal sees his/her role in the implementation of the Act.

The results of the case study are discussed in the light of such previous research, as well as a wider political debate around the recent educational reforms. On the basis of the empirical material it is proposed that although the Education Act increases the judicial powers of school principals, principals still retain some independence vis-à-vis the state with regard to the implementation of certain specific measures contained within the Act. Nevertheless, principals express the view that the clarity of the Act on many points has ensured that the degree of free interpretive space experienced by principals with regard to the Act has been relatively small.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 49 p.
Keyword [en]
school principals, Education Act, Swedish educational reforms, interpretation, implementation.
Keyword [sv]
rektorer, skollag, utbildningsreformer, tolkning, implementering.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-170055Local ID: 2011ht5024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-170055DiVA: diva2:508261
Subject / course
Educational Sciences
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme
Presentation
2012-01-13, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers Allé 1A, 752 37, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2012-03-08 Created: 2012-03-07 Last updated: 2012-03-08Bibliographically approved

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