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Education politics and rural secondary schools
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT. (PAUS)
2019 (English)In: Young People’s Life and Schooling in Rural Areas / [ed] Elisabet Öhrn and Dennis Beach, London: Tufnell Press, 2019Chapter in book (Refereed)
Sustainable development
According to the author(s), the content of this publication falls within the area of sustainable development.
Abstract [en]

The chapter has attempted to draw out and focus on some of the major relevant themes that have emerged from the analyses in the previous chapters. There are many but we will discuss five of them here. One of them is that rural areas, the schools in them, the pupils that go there, and the relationships (real and present and imaginary and future) that they form with education institutions and their agents to create educational opportunities and experiences are not uniform within let alone also across rural areas (as seems to be understood by national policy makers), but quite different. As the chapters show, there is no one standard form of rurality or rural educational relation or output. Rather this summarising and disfiguring norm is a chimera produced and reproduced through metro-centric lenses. Another relates to the identification of an ‘us and them’ discourse in rural areas that challenges the dominant urbanite /metro-centric representations of people from rural places and rural regions with cultural deficiencies (Corbett, 2015).

The next theme is connected to the first. It is that despite differences, there are some consistencies with respect to rural education and schools, the people in them, and the educational and life opportunities they create that are not simple metro-centric aberrations and some of them seem to be present in schools and education social relations in urban areas as well. It is the hegemony of private ownership and private value within a current global politics of market governance in education and a general fall in educational performance standards and increasing inequalities in schools (Yang Hansen & Gustafsson, 2018) and between densely and sparsely populated areas (Fjellman, Yang Hansen & Beach, 2018). Although not dwelt on extensively in the chapters as such, there are two sub-points. The first is that market politics is now the ubiquitous policy context for and framework of the educational macro level. The second is that market governace has completely failed to live up to the promises made for it by the governments who proposed and introduced it. This applies both nationally (SOU 2017:35; Yang Hansen & Gustafsson, 2018) and internationally (Verger, Fontdevila, Zancajo, & Steiner-Khamsi, 2016), particularly in rural and poor sub-urban spaces (Åberg-Bengtsson, 2009; Fjellman, 2019). Market governance has not produced a uniformly rich expansion of choice options, national system efficiency and quality improvements of the kind promoted in proposal by the national government (see e.g. Swedish Government Proposition 1991/91: 95), but rather instead a lack of educational (choice) possibilities for economically subordinated groups in territorially stigmatised “off-places” in urban areas and in remote rural areas that also strikes unevenly in terms of social class, ethnicity and educational special needs (Berhanu, 2016a, 2016b; Lundahl, 2016; Beach, 2018; Beach, From, Johansson & Öhrn, 2018; Bunar & Ambrose, 2016; Fjellman et al., 2018; Forsberg, 2018).

Although again not extensively dwelt on in the earlier chapters the deterioration of educational quality and equality in Sweden following marketization is apparent and has also been identified in other works, such as by Östh, Andersson and Malmberg (2013) in relation to school choice and Yang Hansen & Gustafsson (2018), who identified increases in inequities particularly from the late1980s onwards that were distinctly acute in sub-urban spaces and for children from families with a migrant history (Bunar & Ambrose, 2016; Beach, 2017). Increased segregation with respect to student composition and academic outcomes across different schools was found to be a main driver and differential trends in the relationship between family educational background and school outcome between immigrant and non-immigrant sub populations were also indicated. Between-school differences in achievement levels have increased in all regions and school segregation with respect to SES composition of students has increased too (Yang Hansen & Gustafsson, 2018)....

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Tufnell Press, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Metrocentricy, education politics, rural schools
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Teacher Education and Education Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-21912ISBN: 1872767745 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-21912DiVA, id: diva2:1367170
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2019-11-01 Created: 2019-11-01 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved

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