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Systematic quality assurance: A demand at odds with the everyday complexity of teachers’ work?
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. Mälardalens högskola. (SOS-ED)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7423-2419
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. (SOS-ED)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9318-1151
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

1. Research topic

In this paper, we present findings from an ongoing research and development program (FoU-program) concerning schools’ work with newly arrived students. The core of the project are three groups from two schools, made up mostly of teachers but also school counselors, study guides and principals, who work with us as researchers to identify areas in need of development. According to the Swedish national curriculum (Skolverket, 2011), it is the responsibility of all school staff to participate in systematic quality assurance as a means of school development. Projects like the one described above are one way of doing that. The topic of this paper is to examine and analyze the conditions for working with development within the everyday complexity of teachers’ work.

2. Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework consists of the concept communities of practice (Wenger, 1998). In everyday life, we take part in communities of practice, and within these communities we in turn affect the practice to a varying degree. Within a community of practice, an individual's participation can be understood as a shift from being a peripheral actor in the outer edge of a community to, over time, becoming an increasingly central actor who increasingly masters the community of practice. In the process, there is a dimension of being able to identify with and considering yourself as part of the community (Wenger, 1998).

3. Methodological design

The method consists of observations by us, discussions with teachers and other school staff during visits to their schools, as well as documentation by the participating staff themselves.

4. Expected findings/conclusions

Systematic quality assurance takes place in the midst of a virtual maelstrom of activities, conflicts and unforeseen events that pull on the attention of the staff. So far within this project, 5 teachers have left the schools, with new ones being employed. Three out four participating principals have been replaced. At every visit, at least one teacher or principal is called away to welcome an unexpected new student – or several. Several of the staff have had to leave meetings to deal with student related matters. It seems to us that working with systematic quality assurance presents a difficulty for teachers and other school staff. On one hand, it can be difficult to become a central actor in such ever-shifting communities of practice. On the other hand, working with such complex communities of practice leads to developing other skills – but those skills are not always recognized and are difficult to convert into strategies and plans.

5. Relevance for Nordic educational research

This paper is relevant to Nordic educational research in that it makes a contribution to the research field of newly arrived students, as well as contributes to analysis of conditions for teachers’ work.

6. References

Skolverket (2011). Läroplan för grundskolan, förskoleklassen och fritidshemmet 2011. Stockholm: Skolverket.

Wenger, Etienne (1998). Communities of practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Research and development, school development
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-44774OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-44774DiVA, id: diva2:1334701
Conference
Nordic Educational Research Association, 2018
Projects
Nyanlända elevers lärande, samarbete med Ifous
Funder
Ifocus - innovation, forskning och utveckling i skola och förskolaAvailable from: 2019-07-03 Created: 2019-07-03 Last updated: 2019-08-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

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Jepson Wigg, UlrikaEhrlin, Anna

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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