Skolreformernas dilemman En läroplansteoretisk studie av kampen om tid i den svenska obligatoriska skolan

Sammanfattning: Educational restructuring is an international phenomenon, which emphasizes flexibility, local decision-making, self-regulation and innovation in contrast to previous bureaucratic governing and standardised teaching. Current reforms aim at a school adapted to the emerging information- and knowledge intensive society. The aim of the dissertation is to examine current curriculum reforms concerning the governing and organisation of time in compulsory school. In what ways is the temporal order of schools changing in a late modern post-industrial society? What new conditions for teaching are these changes implicating? What kinds of dilemmas emerge for different school actors in conducting these reforms?By using critical discourse analysis, educational reforms are studied as a dynamic discursive practice with different concurring imperatives formatted in tension fields of cultural, social and political changes. Four case studies are used to explore how a current Swedish curriculum reform, Without a National Timetable in Compulsory School, was conducted in an experiment period over five years. The local appropriation of the policy intentions was found to depend on: (i) the preparedness of reform within the particular school, (ii) the dominant school culture, (iii) the local decision-making processes, and (iv) variations in reform mobilisation (identified in the case studies as micro-political struggle, resistance by evasiveness, preservation of consensus and stratification).The results demonstrate that curriculum reform, the ongoing movement of educational restructuring, is not a linear unambiguous process of application. On the contrary, it is a discursive arena, which has a great impact as it involves discourses of efficiency and quality development, increased professionalism, economical cost-reduction, choice and devolution. These discourses involve concurring imperatives for school actors to handle time in the organisation of teaching dependent upon how they are positioned as (i) effective ‘goals makers’ (ii) problem-solvers, who remove obstacles for individual learning projects, (iii) strategists in a more competitive educational landscape, (iv) and moral agents, who in deliberation with others work towards a fair and equal school. It is concluded that for school actors, who work under the crossfire of educational restructuring, these imperatives pose a number of complex dilemmas.