På tal om elevinflytande : hur skolans praktik formas i pedagogers samtal

Sammanfattning: Educational research shows that it is problematic to implement the curriculum's intentions in the practice of schools. Within this problem area I have studied how the curriculum's intentions about student influence are shaped by pedagogues. The results of my licentiate report showed that the circumstances of the work governed the way in which the pedagogues came to shape the students' influence. The present thesis presents a deeper study of this area in order to describe and understand how student influence is shaped in schools. The aim of the thesis is thus to describe and provide an understanding of how student influence is constructed in staff conversations taking place in working teams of pedagogues. In the study I have followed a team working within the framework of a renewed development strategy. The purpose of the altered strategy has been to increase the pedagogues' influence and participation in school development. In the study I have observed five staff conversations in which the pedagogues of the working team discussed the school's work with student influence. The conversations were tape-recorded and then transcribed. The texts were analysed in order to study how the student influence was shaped through staff conversations. As a point of departure for explaining the object of study I have used a theoretical frame of reference starting out from sociology of knowledge (Berger & Luckmann, 1967), social constructionism with links to Mikhail Bakhtin, Jürgen Habermas and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The methodological implementation has been inspired by ethnomethodology and critical discourse analysis. The results show that the working team did not contribute to any great extent to realising the curriculum's intentions about student influence. On the other hand, it was evident that the pedagogues used different strategies in the staff conversations. Through these strategies they guarded their control of their individual scope of action for modifying how and by what means student influence should be implemented. The strategies used appeared as three main lines with specific patterns. These lines and patterns are accounted for in the study with the aid of a number of empirical concepts. In the first main line, called conceptual shifting, there appeared patterns of conceptual neutralisation, practical loading and conceptual change. In the second main line, called attention shifting, there appeared patterns termed situation adapted management, selective attention and goal shifting. In the third main line, called problem shifting, there were patterns termed circumstantial explanations and excuses. The study thus show that through the staff conversation the pedagogues have created a "free space" in which they construct student influence by taking as their starting-point the intentions that they conceive of as possible to realise. They have developed a battery of strategies in order to be able to handle their own practice. The strategies may be understood as an effect of the pedagogues being forced to handle the paradoxes that have arisen in the field of tension between a desired and a possible school. The results indicate a need for further research in order to reach a deeper understanding of how pedagogical activities develop at the micro level, such as in all the meetings and conversations that pedagogues take part in.