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Engelskundervisning i gymnasieskolan för mobilisering av ungdomars livschanser
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4182-9387
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Berggren, Jan (2013). Engelskundervisning i gymnasieskolan för mobilisering av ungdomars livschanser. (English teaching in upper secondary school and mobilization of young people's life chances). Linnaeus University Dissertations No 156/2013, ISBN: 978-91-87427-64-0. Written in Swedish with a summary in English.

English is a school subject which every Swedish upper secondary student is required to take. The selection and dissemination of knowledge among students attending upper secondary programmes carries the intention of social integration as well as specialization. The aim of this dissertation is then to show how perspectives on education in English elicited from teachers’ and students’ responses in interviews as well as Swedish education policy (SOU, directives, propositions) contribute to the conditions for the selection of knowledge and teaching, on and between programmes.

Inspired by Basil Bernstein’s theories of educational sociology (1990, 2000) and Fairclough och Chouliaraki’s critical discourse analysis, CDA (1999), albeit adjusted to the aim of this study in pedagogics, the focus is on teachers’ and students’ views on teaching and knowledge in English classes on four vocational and academic programmes, establishing varying discourse practices on the different programmes. Moreover, perspectives on upper secondary teaching in Swedish education policy texts are analysed following the same methodology.

Results indicate that education policy texts at the time of the interviews strive for adjustment of course content in English teaching to the programme (termed ‘infärgning’ in Swedish). Reflecting this trend in education policy, teachers and students on programmes speak of aspirations for English teaching as being either adapted for mainly academic purposes, or vocational and everyday-life purposes. On the basis of these aspirations it is argued that teachers and students establish either academically oriented discourse or vocational and everyday-life oriented discourse as the dominant pedagogical discourse on the individual programme. Thus, education policy as well as teachers and students reflect each other in striving for knowledge to be adapted for the programme. The two discourses contribute to a movement in favour of differences between programmes, though some of the vocational students complain on not being offered possibilities to analyse and discuss current problems in society. This is to say they complain that they do not receive an education in line with the academically oriented discourse, which is offered to students on academic programmes. At the same time, vocational students are dissatisfied in not gaining adequate knowledge in vocational English.

Finally, these perspectives indicate discursive conditions for the selection of knowledge and the organization of teaching in English classes on different programmes. In the last chapter of the dissertation these varying perspectives on programmes concerning the selection of knowledge are analysed but now with a focus on the relationship between programmes. Consequences of the varying dominant pedagogical discourses on the programmes are discussed with regard to how they can be understood to mobilize life chances of young people differently, creating conditions for social integration and differentiation.


Keywords: Selection of knowledge, upper secondary education, English, education policy, critical discourse analysis, sociology of education, social integration, social differentiation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2013. , 203 p.
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 156/2013
Keyword [sv]
Kunskapsurval, gymnasieskolan, engelska, policy, kritisk diskursanalys, utbildningssociologi, integrering, differentiering, livschans
National Category
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, General Didactics
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30773ISBN: 9789187427640OAI: diva2:667818
Public defence
2013-12-13, Wicksell, Hus K, Campus Växjö, Växjö, 10:00
Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-27 Last updated: 2016-01-27Bibliographically approved

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