Det är enklare i teorin...Om skolutveckling i praktiken : En fallstudie av ett skolutvecklingsprojekt i en gymnasieskola

Sammanfattning: This dissertation is a case study dealing with a school development project that took place in an upper secondary school as a result of a merger of two schools with different cultures. The project used a method called “Frirumsmodellen” and was planned to be conducted in three steps. The first was to carry out a cultural analysis in order to map the preconditions to start a school development project. The second was to carry out concrete actions and finally study eventual effects from such activities by doing a second cultural analysis. My role was to be a supervisor in the school development work, but at the same time study how this work was conducted and its impact in the ordinary school day.The dissertation takes its departure in the fact that schools are political governed. The mission of schools is never neutral; it is always an expression of behind laying social forces, ideologies and ideals of the contemporary society. Of this reason, there is a close connection between the macro political level and the micro political level. Another point of departure is the transition from a modern to a post modern society that gives the character to the changes that take place in schools. Steering of schools has partly been treated as a technical implementation problem. Schools contain on going conflicts between different interest groups that, more or less regularly, end up in educational reforms. These reforms generate school development activities in the single school. Undoubtedly, this makes school development to a complex process.At a rather late stage of the study I decided not to fulfil my task to follow the original plan. I instead let the school development project as a model to be in focus. The over all purpose was formulated: How is it possible to understand what happened in the school development project in the Falkgymnasiet and why was it not possible to carry it out as it was said in the project plan? To interpret what took place during the project I did create an interpretation frame of implementation and complexity theory that also made it possible to critically scrutinise the “Frirumsmodellen”.Already in an early stage of the process it was obvious that the “Frirumsmodellen” did not supply any tools to use and it became disconnected from the project. The project in it selves was marginalised and made invisible. The headmaster used the situation to change things she thought were important to develop. As a result, things happened, but most of the involved people did not at first hand connect this to the project. It is, of course, difficult in detail to say what caused what. The complexity theory successively made the hidden patterns revealed, hidden unofficial potentates visible, as well as unpredictable conditions that generated reactions from the personnel in front of a development work. Together this was rather efficient obstacles for not changing this school.I also discuss school development and implementation problems on a general level, for example, the possibility to transform a top-down initiated project to be bottom-up driven and using project as a tool for school development work. It was obvious that headmasters and teachers must be prepared to handle the ideological dimensions of problems schools have to face. Consequently, development work is about making problems visible and to handle these in the intersection point between the intentions of educational policies, pedagogical researchers, school administrators, headmasters, teachers and pupils. The ideological dimension also contains an existential issue. Do I as a teacher share the intentions for the development work? If not, how must I act?