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Relations in a Shared Responsibility – A Case Study of an Improving Swedish LEA

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Mette Liljenberg
Klas Andersson
Publicerad i Symposium - Fundamental and often forgotten perspectives on/in School and Leadership
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Språk en
Länkar https://conferences.au.dk/perspecti...
Ämnesord LEA, school leadership, shared responsibility
Ämneskategorier Pedagogik

Sammanfattning

Research on quality and improvement in the Swedish school system is primarily research on either the state or the local school level (Nordholm, 2015). Consequently, what happens in between, at the local education authority (LEA), seems to be forgotten. In the decentralized Swedish school system LEAs and principals have, by law, a joint responsibility for ensuring quality and systematically improving the school. However, there are indications showing that Swedish LEAs have varying capacity to fulfil this assignment something that brings consequences for principals (Utbildningsdepartementet, 2017). The more extensive international research of LEAs is to a large extent oriented towards policy implementation and show that an active LEA, providing resources, strategies for school improvement, as well as advice and support for principals, improves implementation (e.g. Campbell & Murillo, 2005; Coburn, 2005). Studies of school districts also show that LEAs can have a successful role in closing gaps in achievement of diverse groups of students (Leithwood & Azah, 2017). Consequently, school boards and superintendents are important for organizing quality and improvement work (Kowalski et. al., 2010; Moos, Nihlfors & Paulsen, 2016). The same goes for principals (e.g. Sun & Leithwood, 2015; Moos et. al., 2013). However, the relationship between LEAs and principals in improvement work is a forgotten perspective in the decentralized Swedish context. The aim of this study is to contribute to the knowledge about the relationship between LEAs and principals in the Swedish school system by addressing the research question: How do LEAs handle their responsibility for quality and improvement work and how do principals respond to this?

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