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”Dynamic and stable, broad and deep” Directors’ positioning in response to widening participation in the Swedish Community Schools of Music and Arts

Conference contribution
Authors Cecilia Jeppsson
Published in Presentation vid konferensen Cutting Edge Kulturskole 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Academy of Music and Drama
Language en
Subject categories Educational Sciences

Abstract

This article sheds light on policy enactment in response to political goals of widening participation in Swedish Community Schools of Music and Arts. Interviews with five directors from four such schools were performed. The directors accounts were interpreted in a discourse psychological framework and six different ways to position themselves as leaders were found – The Trend-spotter, The Progressive Enforcer, Friend of Long-term Learning, The Implementer, The Critic and The Pragmatic Facilitator. The results of the analysis reveal common discursive assumptions, interpreted as policy as discourse and local variations interpreted as policy as (con)text. The position The Trend-spotter is associated with common discursive assumptions and policy as discourse while the other positions are associated with variations and policy as (con)text. The Trend-spotter represents a common tendency to pronounce the schools’ mission to reach new target groups and a vibrant activity aiming at developing new marketing- and teaching methods. The directors’ policy enactment can be described as a balancing act defined by loyalty to local political goals and loyalty to learning goals. The directors positioning in relation to the teachers express loyalty as well as a marked tendency to urge the teachers to renew the teaching methods. Whether The Implementer or The Critic dominates is interpreted as depending on allocated resources. The Pragmatic Facilitator strives to integrate different positions. Potential value conflicts between, for example, a breadth and a depth discourse, a management discourse and a discourse for learning are discussed. The results are discussed linked to related policy processes in Sweden and other Nordic countries.

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