Diskutant: Professor Inger Eriksson, Stockholms universitet.
Huvudhandledare: Professor Ulf Blossing, Göteborgs universitet
Bihandledare: Docent Åsa Hirsh, Göteborgs universitet
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In the Swedish decentralized education system, professionals and managers in various positions within municipal local educational administrations have both separate and shared responsibilities for educational quality. Hence, several locally adjusted organizational routines and tools aimed at inter-professional knowledge work have been generated. In national policy guidelines for systematic quality work, it is stated that the local educational authority (LEA) should have an ongoing dialogue with principals, as should principals with teachers. Hence, regular ‘quality dialogues’ are arranged within many local educational administrations, where managers and professionals at different levels of the vertical hierarchy meet to discuss qualitative and interpretative aspects of education. There is much research on the importance of communication for school improvement and educational leadership. However, there is need for in depth studies on how and why professionals and managers in educational organisations communicate and engage in joint knowledge work.
The overall aim of this compilation thesis is to deepen the knowledge about ‘Quality Dialogue’ as a tool in local educational administrations’ systematic quality work. Thus, the study focuses on the purposiveness of quality dialogues in inter-professional knowledge work at the boundaries of several practices. The aim will be answered by a case study analysed from an activity theoretical perspective. The case is a local educational administration with responsibility for municipal preschools. Data has been sampled from a combined set of quality dialogue meetings where professionals and managers in various positions and levels, as well as politicians, meet to discuss preschool quality. A first sub-study aims at describing how the collective purpose of the quality dialogues is formulated and understood by participants, i.e., in activity-theoretical terms discerning ‘the object(s) of activity’. A second sub-study aims at deepening the knowledge about administrators’ tools for mediating dialogue with preschool staff and managers.
Seminariet hålls på svenska.