Viktig läsning? : Svensklärare i gymnasiet om läsundervisning i en performativ kontext

Sammanfattning: This study investigates reading instruction in the first year of upper-secondary school in Sweden in the L1-subject Swedish. The thesis focuses both on what happens to students’ reading and teachers’ teaching when classroom reading is controlled by assessments, examinations and a national reading comprehension test, and on what teachers of Swedish want their students to learn when reading and comprehending different types of texts. The aim of this study is to contribute knowledge about what didactic challenges teachers of Swedish in upper-secondary school face when choosing content for their reading instruction in a policy-laden and performative context. Specific focus is on what the teachers consider important for students to learn and what powerful knowledge is made visible in their narrative about their practice. The study draws on qualitative data from interviews with five teachers of Swedish in upper-secondary school. The interviews were carried out in a series of four individual interviews with each teacher and a final group interview with all five teachers. Also included in the data are all the texts and student assignments the teachers used in the course Swedish 1 during a school year. The theoretical framework has three theoretical perspectives where theory of policy enactment is the overarching theory, and where theories on reading and the concept powerful knowledge make contributing analytical and theoretical perspectives.The findings indicate that the local context such as resources, the culture and the organisation of the school, in combination with preferences of students and teachers, is important when it comes to what texts teachers can choose. Teaching content seems to be quite comparable between the five teachers’ courses, despite the different local contexts, even though there is a large variety in how many texts the students read. The five teachers all state that central to their teaching is to encourage students both to read for pleasure and view themselves as readers, and to process basic values and existential questions by reading and working with various types of texts. However, the teachers say they encounter challenges in the classroom such as growing resistance to read and a lack of focus among students. The thesis points out how essential it is that teachers of Swedish have the professional competence to support and develop students’ reading ability throughout their schooling, and that reading instruction should not be regarded as something that ends once students acquire basic reading skills.The findings also indicate that the course knowledge requirements have a major impact on how texts are chosen and how examinations of reading are conducted, and that examination of students’ reading in the classroom is considered more reliable and nuanced than in the national reading comprehension test that forms part of the Swedish 1 course. The teachers also criticise the notion that reading can be objectively measured in a test. The reading comprehension test seems to have little impact on instruction and the teachers say they pay little attention to test results when setting the final grades for the course. The teachers state that they would rather not examine and grade students’ reading at all as this hinders students from reading for pleasure and from experiencing reading as something that can bring with it great personal value. The performative context, including the national Swedish 1 test, affects teachers and their classroom practices significantly in several ways.