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Inside or outside the system?: Swedish free schools’ self-descriptions
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since the beginning of the 1990‘s, Swedish parents have had the possibility of choosing schools for their children freely by taking publicly funded school vouchers to the chosen school. At the same time free schools started to develop, competing for the pupils and the school vouchers. Even though the free schools are a part of the school system, obligated to follow the same laws and curricula as the public schools, they describe themselves as something else, something “outside the system inside the system”.The aim of the paper is to identify, analyse and discuss the different communicative strategies of inclusion/exclusion in the educational system that are used in the self-descriptions of the free schools. The paper is theoretically and methodologically informed by Luhmann’s social theory, which allows to study how social systems (the free schools)describe – and establish – themselves in relation to other systems and society.The data for the study is based on official information that can be found on the three largest free schools‘ websites including introductions, welcoming words, presentation of the staff,teacher recruitment sites, statistics etc etc.The data is analysed using Luhmann inspired semantic-analysis which allows to study and discuss how meaning is made inside social systems. It will be discussed and compared how the different free schools describe themselves on the one hand as legitimate and worthy parts of the Swedish educational system at the same time as they – for reasons of competition and marketing – describe themselves as different from the public schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-32278DiVA, id: diva2:1163110
Conference
SERA 2017, The University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, 22-24 November, 2017
Available from: 2017-12-06 Created: 2017-12-06 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Billmayer, Jakob

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • asciidoc
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