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Publications (10 of 22) Show all publications
Billmayer, J., Pastorek Gripson, M. & Bergnehr, D. (2019). A Becoming, Humanist Child: An analysis of Learning and Care in the Swedish Curriculum for the Preschool (Lpfö 18). Education in the North, 26(1), 42-55
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Becoming, Humanist Child: An analysis of Learning and Care in the Swedish Curriculum for the Preschool (Lpfö 18)
2019 (English)In: Education in the North, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 42-55Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new, revised curriculum for the Swedish preschool came into effect in July 2019. According to the National Agency of Education, it differs from its predecessor by putting a greater emphasis on care and teaching. This paper studies how the child is conceptualized in relation to learning and care in the new curriculum. Informed by a posthumanist approach and childhood studies, it scrutinizes how the child is positioned as a being and/or becoming child, an entangled and/or separate child, and, an active and/or passive child. Furthermore, it explores how the child appears in relation to human and non-human agents. The dominant, recurring conceptualization of the child is the child as becoming and passive. Learning and caring processes mainly come across as unidirectional -from adult to child –and future orientated. Although the preschool child is connected to a social context, the child predominantly appears as separate from others rather than entangled

Keywords
curriculum; early childhood education and care (ECEC); childhood studies; posthumanism; Sweden
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22133 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-09 Created: 2019-12-09 Last updated: 2020-01-28
Billmayer, J. (2019). Choose us, we are different! Free schools' self-descriptions and -positioning in the Swedish educational system.. Utbildning och Demokrati, 28(1), 79-98
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Choose us, we are different! Free schools' self-descriptions and -positioning in the Swedish educational system.
2019 (English)In: Utbildning och Demokrati, ISSN 1102-6472, E-ISSN 2001-7316, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 79-98Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since the beginning of the 1990s, Swedish parents have had the possibility of choosing schools for their children based on publicly funded school vouchers. At the same time, free schools started to develop, competing for the pupils. Even though the free schools are a part of the educational system, obligated to follow the same rules as the public schools, they describe themselves as different, something outside the system yet inside the system. The aim of the paper is to analyse and discuss the different strategies of integration into and differentiation within the educational system. Economic theory on competition and differentiation strategies is used to analyse the content of the three largest free school companies’ websites. The free schools mainly integrate into the legal aspects of the educational system and differentiate themselves from other schools by making claims about qualitative superiority. Different free schools position themselves differently relative to the educational system.

Keywords
free schools, market differentiation, marketing, school market, self-descriptions
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22131 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-04 Created: 2019-12-04 Last updated: 2019-12-19Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. (2019). En vision om framtidens lärarutbildning. Skola och Samhälle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>En vision om framtidens lärarutbildning
2019 (Swedish)In: Skola och Samhälle, ISSN 2001-6727Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22134 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-04 Created: 2019-12-04 Last updated: 2019-12-19Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. (2019). Time and Space in the Classroom—Lessons from Germany and Sweden.. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 5(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time and Space in the Classroom—Lessons from Germany and Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, aspects of space and time in German and Swedish classrooms are observed and compared to characterize differences and similarities in classrooms and lessons in different contexts. The organization and control of individuals and their actions in relation to time and space are analysed using categories derived from Discipline and Punish utilizing a model of empirically informed typification analysis. The empirical data consist of field studies conducted by participant observation in German and Swedish classrooms. The type of classroom found in Germany is characterized by fixed boundaries and frameworks. The lessons are uniform, and class time is structured so as to minimize the number of interruptions between different activities. Boundaries are less clear in the type of classroom found in the Swedish material, where the classroom is just one of many places for teaching and learning. The lessons and schedules are less uniformly structured, and a lot of time is spent discussing the plans for instruction.

Keywords
Classrooms, Germany, space, Sweden, time
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22132 (URN)10.1080/20020317.2019.1574516 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-12-04 Created: 2019-12-04 Last updated: 2019-12-19Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. (2018). Choose us, we are so different!: Free schools’ self-descriptions and positioning on the Swedish school marke. In: : . Paper presented at NERA 2018, Oslo, March 8-10, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Choose us, we are so different!: Free schools’ self-descriptions and positioning on the Swedish school marke
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since the beginning of the 1990‘s, Swedish parents have had the possibility of choosing schools for their children freely by taking publicly funded school vouchers to the chosen school. At the same time free schools started to develop, competing for the pupils and the school vouchers. Even though the free schools are a part of the school system, obligated to follow the same laws and curricula as the public schools, they describe themselves as something else, something “outside the system inside the system”.

The aim of the paper is to identify, analyze and discuss the different strategies of inclusion/exclusion in the educational system that are used in the self-descriptions of the free schools. The paper is theoretically and methodologically informed by Luhmann’s (2002)⁠ social theory, which allows to study how social systems (the free schools) describe – and establish – themselves in relation to other systems and society. To describe and analyze the different ways of differentiation, economical theory is used. Porter’s (1980)

generic strategies for reaching competitive advantage and Mintzberg’s (1996)⁠ strategies for differentiation are used as analytical framework.

The data for the study is based on official information that can be found on the three largest free schools‘ websites including introductions, welcoming words, presentation of the staff, teacher recruitment sites, statistics etc etc.

The data is analyzed using semantic-analysis (Andersen 2003)⁠ which allows to study and discuss how meaning is made inside social systems and how they construct and relate to their environment .

It will be discussed and compared how the different free schools describe themselves on the one hand as legitimate and worthy parts of the Swedish educational system at the same time as they – for reasons of competition and marketing – differentiate themselves from other players.

The introduction of the free schools have been a major reform in Sweden which impact has not yet been studied intensively. Educational research has had more focus on the marketisation of the school system, than the free schools in their own right. This study is to be understood as a first step in a forthcoming larger study about free schools in Sweden and their impact on the educational system and society.

References

Andersen, Niels Åkerstrøm. 2003. Discursive Analytical Strategies - Understanding Foucault, Koselleck, Laclau, Luhmann. Bristol: The Policy Press.

Luhmann, Niklas. 2002. Einführung in die Systemtheorie. Herausgegeben von Dirk Baecker. Heidelberg: Carl Auer.

Mintzberg, Henry, Joseph Lampel, James Brian Quinn, und Sumantra Ghoshal. 1996. The Strategy Process: Concepts, Contexts, Cases. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Porter, Michael E. 1980. Competetive Strategy - Thechniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. New York: Free Press.

Keywords
free schools, differentiation, systems theory, Sweden
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-15737 (URN)
Conference
NERA 2018, Oslo, March 8-10, 2018
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-02-13Bibliographically approved
Day, S. P. & Billmayer, J. (2018). Exploring Curriculum Making and Design within the Scottish and Swedish Science Curriculum. In: : . Paper presented at ECER 2018, Bozen/Bolzano, September 3-7, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring Curriculum Making and Design within the Scottish and Swedish Science Curriculum
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Politicians, policymakers and educators across Europe recognise that Science, as a product of human endeavour, is deeply enmeshed within all aspects of the modern world. Increasingly, they view science as an important priority within educational and economic terms. However, this increased political attention on science has intensified recently considering the results of large scale transnational assessments of student attainment such as the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) where poorer than expected results, particularly in mathematics (numeracy) and science have sparked curricular reforms. Scotland and Sweden have recently undergone extensive educational reforms where the Science curriculum has also undergone reform.

Deng (2011), citing Doyle (1992a; 1992b) suggests that curriculum making operates at three levels, the institutional, programmatic, and classroom, where each level is associated with distinct kinds of curriculum discourses. The institutional level is represented by curriculum policy at the interface between schooling, culture and society and is typified by what is desirable in socio-cultural terms and by what society deems valuable. The programmatic level is contained within curriculum documents and materials used by schools to orient classroom activities. It has suggested by Day and Bryce (2013) that the curriculum policy vision (or rationale) represents the Institutional level of curriculum making and that the documents which exemplify and outline the syllabus represent the policy image. Curriculum making at this level transforms the institutional curriculum into school subjects. As Doyle (1992b) suggests, school subjects are framed by a set of arguments that rationalise the selection and arrangement of content, in terms of knowledge, skills and dispositions and the translation of the content for school and classroom use. The programmatic curriculum embodies a theory of content that aligns with the institutional expectations and teaching activities. The classroom curriculum is characterised by the interaction of teachers with their students. However, classroom curriculum making necessarily involves teachers translating the programmatic curriculum into instructional events through a process of elaboration with the intention to make the content meaningful to students and connects with their experiences, capacities and interests.

Scientific literacy is widely accepted as the central goal of science education for the 21st century and is a major aspect of the PISA Science assessment. Indeed, Roberts (2011) has argued that scientific literacy has had a strong impact on the discourse about curriculum policy, curriculum development, and assessment in contemporary school science education. This notwithstanding, what has been debated within the science education discourse is what should constitute the content for teaching and learning for the development of scientific literacy. Curriculum policy, Roberts (2011) argues, expresses the purpose for learning. Roberts (2007) characterises the current science education landscape as being mired in a struggle between two broad “visions” of the purposes for learning school science where on the one hand there is the discipline of science itself, the products, processes, and characteristics of the scientific enterprise (which he names Vision I). On the other, there are those situations in which science demonstrably plays a role in human affairs, including, but not limited to scientific thinking and activity (which he names Vision II). Using the Vision I - Vision II broad distinction, makes it possible to discuss and analyse competing meanings of scientific literacy without becoming embroiled in the debate as to how scientific literacy is defined.

This paper aims to examine the extent to which the Scottish and Swedish Science curriculum share common features, reflect the stated aims of the curriculum, and orientate, focus and attend to the development of students as scientifically literate citizens by focusing on the institutional and programmatic level of curriculum making as outlined within major curricular documents from both countries.

Method

A textually oriented discourse analysis of the Scottish and Swedish Science curricular policy documents relating to the primary and lower secondary school phase of education was performed. First, all the relevant science curriculum documents relating to the Scottish Broad General Education phase and the Swedish Compulsory phase of the science curriculum where identified and shared. All documents where read and analysed in English, with the Swedish curricular documents having been published in English and cross checked with the Swedish version for translational issues. Second, the authors read, identified and analysed the science documents to assess how these documents orient the science curricula. Third, the authors identified the common and contrasting features of each countries science curriculum to establish the extent to which each curriculum attended to the orienting vision for the curriculum. Fourth, the texts where analysed to establish the dominant voice projected by each curriculum document, i.e. that of the policy maker, the teacher, the student.

Expected Outcomes

Analysis indicates that at the programmatic level of curriculum-making there are structural similarities between the Scottish and Swedish science curricula in terms of breadth and range of content areas. The main differences being in content detail, specificity of language and explicit orientation. Both science curricula have a clear orientation statement but the Scottish documents explicitly oriented the curriculum towards developing pupils as scientifically literate citizens with skills, competencies and knowledge whereas the Swedish curriculum is oriented more towards pupils’ accumulation of scientific knowledge. In fact, the Swedish science curriculum do not use the term scientific literacy explicitly at all. Both the Scottish and Swedish science curriculum are oriented towards a Vision I-like Scientific Literacy curriculum with elements of Vision II suggesting that at the programmatic level, each focuses heavily on science content knowledge and investigation and inquiry skills than on socio-scientific discussion. In terms of language specificity, the Swedish curriculum is more specific in its use of language, with the Scottish curriculum being more vague despite being more explicit in terms of content and advice to teachers than the Swedish curriculum. The predominant voice speaking within the Scottish Science Experiences and Outcomes is that of the pupil, with the use of terms such as “I can” “I have participated in”, whereas the Swedish Science curriculum documents are more neutral. The Swedish Science curriculum is less prescriptive, in terms of content and only indicates what the expectations for pupil attainment at different levels ought to be, with no indication of advocated pedagogy. By contrast, the Scottish Science principles and practice document – with the policy makers’ voice – details 12 developmental priorities for science teachers to focus on. The Science benchmarks sets out what pupils need to know and can do, at each level, to progress their learning within the curriculum.

References

Day, S. P., and Bryce, T.G.K, (2013) Curriculum for Excellence Science: Vision or Confusion? Scottish Educational Review, Doyle, W. (1992a). Curriculum and pedagogy. In P.W. Jackson (Ed.), Handbook of research on curriculum. New York: Macmillan. Doyle, W. (1992b). Constructing curriculum in the classroom. In F.K. Oser, A. Dick, & J. Patry (Eds), Effective and responsible teaching: The new syntheses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publisher. Roberts, D. A. (2007) Scientific literacy/Science literacy. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Roberts, D.A. (2011). Competing Visions of Scientific Literacy: The Influence of a Science Curriculum Policy Image. In C, Linder, L Östman, D.A. Roberts, P-O Wickman, G, Erickson, A MacKinnon (Eds.), Exploring the Landscape of Scientific Literacy. London: Routledge.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-15736 (URN)
Conference
ECER 2018, Bozen/Bolzano, September 3-7, 2018
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-02-13Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. & Day, S. P. (2018). Visions and Voices: Scientific Literacy and Room for Autonomy in the Scottish and Swedish Science Curriculum.. In: : . Paper presented at SERA 2018, Glasgow, November 21-23, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visions and Voices: Scientific Literacy and Room for Autonomy in the Scottish and Swedish Science Curriculum.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Curriculum making operates at the institutional, programmatic and classroom level (Doyle, 1992a 1992b). The institutional level, represented by curriculum policy at the interface between schooling, culture and society is typified by what is valued by society and desirable in socio-cultural terms. Day and Bryce (2013) argue that the curriculum policy vision (rationale) statements represent Institutional level curriculum making. The programmatic level is contained within documents and materials for use by schools to orient classroom activities. Day and Bryce (2013) further suggest that these documents represent the policy image. Curriculum making at this level transforms the institutional curriculum into school subjects which are framed by a set of arguments that rationalise the selection and arrangement of content and the translation of content for school and classroom use (Doyle, 1992b). This paper critically examines the extent to which Scottish and Swedish Science curriculum documentation supports meaningful curriculum making.

Two competing visions of scientific literacy (SL) can be identified within most science curricular documents. Vision I SL, looks inward and relates to the discipline of science itself, e.g. its products and processes. Vision II SL looks outward at situations in which science has a role and relates to the situations in which science demonstrably plays a role in human affairs. These two visions of SL are used as a framework for analysing the Scottish and Swedish science curricula.

A textual discourse analysis of Scottish and Swedish Science curricular policy documents relating to the primary and lower secondary school phase of education was performed. First, all relevant science curriculum documents relating to the Scottish and Swedish curriculum were identified and shared. Second, the authors read and analysed the orientation of the science curricula. Third, the authors read and identified the common and contrasting features of each country’s science curriculum and established the extent to which vision each curriculum attended.

Analysis indicates structural similarities between the two countries science curricula in terms of breadth and range of content areas covered. They differ in terms of content detail; specificity of language and explicit orientation. They also differ substantially in the emergent voices and room for teacher autonomy. The Swedish science curriculum is more specific in its use of language with the Scottish being more vague. Both countries curricula have a clear orientation statement but the Scottish curriculum is orientated towards developing students as scientifically literate citizens with skills, competencies and knowledge whereas the Swedish curriculum is oriented towards students’ accumulation of scientific knowledge. The Scottish curriculum emphasizes scientific literacy more strongly than the Swedish, whereas both orientate mainly towards a Vision I SL.

References.

Day, S. P., and Bryce, T.G.K, (2013) Curriculum for Excellence Science: Vision or Confusion? Scottish Educational Review, 45 (1), 53-66.

Doyle, W. (1992a). Curriculum and pedagogy. In P.W. Jackson (Ed.), Handbook of research on curriculum. New York: Macmillan.

Doyle, W. (1992b). Constructing curriculum in the classroom. In F.K. Oser, A. Dick, & J. Patry (Eds), Effective and responsible teaching: The new syntheses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publisher.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-15735 (URN)
Conference
SERA 2018, Glasgow, November 21-23, 2018
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-02-13Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. (2017). Imported Teachers in Sweden: Reasons for Import. In: : . Paper presented at NFPF/NERA 2017, Copenhagen Denmark, 23-25 March, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Imported Teachers in Sweden: Reasons for Import
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Keywords
Imported teachers, Sweden, Migrant Teachers, Teacher Shortage
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-14531 (URN)
Conference
NFPF/NERA 2017, Copenhagen Denmark, 23-25 March, 2017
Available from: 2018-07-03 Created: 2018-07-03 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. (2017). Inside or outside the system?: Swedish free schools’ self-descriptions. In: : . Paper presented at SERA 2017, The University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, 22-24 November, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inside or outside the system?: Swedish free schools’ self-descriptions
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since the beginning of the 1990's, Swedish parents have had the possibility of choosing schools for their children freely by taking publicly funded school vouchers to the chosen school. At the same time free schools started to develop, competing for the pupils and the school vouchers. Even though the free schools are a part of the school system, obligated to follow the same laws and curricula as the public schools, they describe themselves as something else, something “outside the system inside the system”.The aim of the paper is to identify, analyse and discuss the different communicative strategies of inclusion/exclusion in the educational system that are used in the self-descriptions of the free schools. The paper is theoretically and methodologically informed by Luhmann’s social theory, which allows to study how social systems (the free schools)describe – and establish – themselves in relation to other systems and society.The data for the study is based on official information that can be found on the three largest free schools‘ websites including introductions, welcoming words, presentation of the staff,teacher recruitment sites, statistics etc etc.The data is analysed using Luhmann inspired semantic-analysis which allows to study and discuss how meaning is made inside social systems. It will be discussed and compared how the different free schools describe themselves on the one hand as legitimate and worthy parts of the Swedish educational system at the same time as they – for reasons of competition and marketing – describe themselves as different from the public schools.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-14532 (URN)
Conference
SERA 2017, The University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, 22-24 November, 2017
Available from: 2018-07-03 Created: 2018-07-03 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
Billmayer, J. (2017). Is leadership really everything?: Practitioners perspectives on schooldevelopment in a low-achieving Swedish municipality. In: : . Paper presented at SERA 2017, The University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, 22-24 November, 2017.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is leadership really everything?: Practitioners perspectives on schooldevelopment in a low-achieving Swedish municipality
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is part of a larger ongoing study which is conducted in a mid-sized Swedish municipality where the students results lie behind the national average and lower than theirsocio-economic background would implicate. This makes the municipality in question quiteunique and the general question is, what makes this municipality so special, what are thereasons behind the deviant results? Earlier attempts to identify and eliminate causes have notyet been successful, maybe because they have been aiming at areas of development in a toogeneral way, such as leadership, study environments or student health.The study which is presented in this paper has the aim to identify more specific andcomplimentary areas of development and improvement to the above mentioned.This will be done by using an inductive research strategy with teachers as informants whohave moved to the municipality during the last two years with prior teaching experiencesfrom other municipalities. (School education is organized by the municipalities in Sweden.The local “school systems” can differ quite a lot, structurally and pedagogically.) Theseteachers are due to their professional history capable of comparing different municipalities,they contribute to the research with inductive comparisons. The study will be able to add apractitioners perspective to school development and improvement work. Structural andorganizational aspects are completed by practical ones. The research is conducted usingletter writing, interviews and focus groups. The paper will include a discussion ofmethodological and data collection challenges and how they could be addressed.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-14533 (URN)
Conference
SERA 2017, The University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, 22-24 November, 2017
Projects
ÄLVA - Är ledarskapet verkligen allt?
Available from: 2018-07-03 Created: 2018-07-03 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-5315-452x

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