NEW AIMS AND OLD PROBLEMS IN SWEDISH SCHOOLS: FLEXIBILITY, FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND SELF-RELIANCE IN LEARNING AS PART OF SOCIAL REPRODUCTION

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Identity, Agency and Social Institutions in Educational Ethnography

ISBN: 978-0-76231-144-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-297-9

ISSN: 1529-210X

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

The main policy discourses in education in Sweden now emphasise personal flexibility, creativity, responsibility for learning and freedom of choice for learners and the aim to produce creative, motivated, alert, inquiring, self-governing and flexible users and developers as opposed to just recipient reproducers of knowledge. These curriculum ideas are reflected in National Curricula (such as Lpo 94; Lpf 94) in statements relating to such things as “students developing capacities to take personal responsibility for learning…by taking part in planning and evaluation and by choosing courses, subjects, themes and activities” (Lpo 94, p. 85). However they derive from policy writing at the political level of the education system internationally (Zackari, 2001) as exemplified in writing such as OECD (1992) and (1995), which states that individual schools should create their own profiles and help individual pupils to influence the content of their studies’ (OECD, 1995, s. 137) and exhort the “willingness and ability of individual citizens and families to take responsibility for choices and priorities of their own” (OECD, 1995, s. 86). These ideas have filtered through things like official national propositions (Dir. 1991, p. 117; SOU, 1992, p. 94) and reports (e.g. Skolverkets rapport 1999, p. 443) to the arenas of action comprised by schools and colleges, where they are developed into new working aims for our modern schools and are described as contributing toward a new school vision (see also Lundahl, 2001).

Citation

Dovemark, M. and Beach, D. (2004), "NEW AIMS AND OLD PROBLEMS IN SWEDISH SCHOOLS: FLEXIBILITY, FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND SELF-RELIANCE IN LEARNING AS PART OF SOCIAL REPRODUCTION", Troman, G., Jeffrey, B. and Walford, G. (Ed.) Identity, Agency and Social Institutions in Educational Ethnography (Studies in Educational Ethnography, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 123-140. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-210X(04)10007-7

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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