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Parallell Paradigm shifts?: Developments of Market Ideals and Ideals of Inclusion in the Swedish Education System
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5079-9581
2016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Prior research indicates that the marketization of the Swedish education system has contributed to segregation, particularly between schools. Research on school choice, independent schools and special educational provision further strengthens this image which, in an education system previously seen as highly inclusive, must be seen as a disconcerting development. However, the interplay between the individualist discourse of market education and the more collective oriented discourse of inclusive education has not been studied to a high degree on a theoretical level. This article presents and compares developments within Swedish education as encompassing paradigm shifts taking place in international and national discourse on education. The first shift regards the shift from a state centred education system based upon collectivist ideals to a marketized education system based upon individualist ideals. The other shift regards a shift in how the need for special educational support was understood and defined leading to a move from a segregating special educational provision – where individuals were compensated for their deficits – to inclusive education as an ideal – encompassing different positions as regards participation in classrooms, curriculum and peer activities.Commonalities and differences between the two emerging paradigms are discussed as well as how they have affected each other. The article also relates these paradigms to political ideals and discourses about what education is and how it should be organised. As such, both shifts are seen as interventions for more democratic education, each departing from a different view of what democracy is and who is to be in focus for it. Conclusions are drawn about how different understandings of the concept of inclusion may be coloured by the hegemonic market paradigm's focus on the individual, leading to a different understandings of inclusion. This is thus a theoretical contribution to the discussion about inclusive education. As such it utilises theoretical tools from educational philosophy and democratic theory as well as theoretical works about special education and inclusive education, in particular Thomas Skrtic and Clark, Dyson and Millward. Although the focus is upon developments in the Swedish education system, the discussion and conclusions have relevance on an international level, particularly for the Nordic countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31276OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31276DiVA: diva2:911768
Conference
NFPF-NERA
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-12-27

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf