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The cautionary tale of the “educational enthusiast”: A social sustainability perspective on educational trends
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
2019 (English)In: Educating for the future?: Critical perspectives on social sustainability in education / [ed] Ulrika Jepson Wigg, 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This presentation aims to outline and analyse the tendency towards educational trends in education, and the ensuing lack of social sustainability. The example used is what I have termed the “educational enthusiast”-problem pertaining to schools’ work with newly arrived pupils.

Previous research in Sweden and internationally shows that work with newly arrived pupils is largely dependent on the commitment from teachers, specifically the teachers whose job it is to teach newly arrived pupils during an introduction period; the educational enthusiasts. In recent years, there has been a widespread attempt in Sweden to make newly arrived pupils schooling the responsibility and interest of the entire school, not merely the introductory teachers. Nationwide courses, research projects, and development projects were initiated on a large scale. Now, however, these projects have run their course, and the educational decision makers are moving on to other problems. This coincides with Sweden changing its laws and accepting fewer immigrants and refugees, which makes the problem of receiving newly arrived pupils less critical for the schools.

The inevitable result of this is that the schools then drop the work they are doing with newly arrived pupils, in order to focus their attention and resources on the new areas defined by decision makers. Meanwhile, there are still pupils who are defined as newly arrived, and schools still receive students although they are fewer. Thus, the responsibility of making sure these pupils are given a good start in school in Sweden again falls on the “educational enthusiasts” and not on the schools.

Theoretically, the presentation uses the concept of liquid modernity (Bauman, 2000). In late modernity phenomena cannot hold their shape for long, like liquid shapes they quickly changes are rapid and the future is difficult to predict. This concept will be used both in the analysis of educational trends and their consequences for the educational enthusiast, as well as put in relation to the idea of social sustainability in education. The empirical material has been gathered over the course of a year’s work in a research- and development program, and consists of documented development work, recorded group discussions and observations.

The conclusions are expected to point to a gap between the tendency towards trends in education and the idea of social sustainability as a central idea in education for the future. Another expected outcome of the analysis is that schooling for newly arrived pupils is not a sustainable practice.

The paper presentation is relevant to Nordic educational research in that it makes a contribution to the research field of newly arrived pupils, as well as a contribution to the discussion on social sustainability in education in a broader sense.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
newly arrived students, liquid modernity, social sustainability
National Category
Educational Sciences Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-44775OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-44775DiVA, id: diva2:1334421
Conference
Nordic Educational Research Association, Uppsala, Sweden
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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