Två artskilda perioder för pedagogisk forskning

det utbildningspolitiska systemskiftets juridiska dimension och dess djupgående konsekvenser för samhälle, skola och pedagogik

  • Tomas Englund Örebro universitet


How might we explain and understand Swedish educational policy and the development of the Swedish school system, from the comprehensive, equality-oriented direction introduced in the early 1960s to the fragmented and divided system of today? In the following I will claim that two fundamentally different educational policy periods can be discerned. The first coincides with the first three decades of the comprehensive school system, from 1962 to 1989, the second with the three decades from 1989/1990 to the present. These two periods have created quite different conditions for the work of schools, and also for educational research. The crucial reforms laying the foundations for the shift in educational policy between the two periods were heavily influenced and inspired by the transnational emphasis in the late 1980s on the individual rights set out in international conventions, implying a parental right to educational authority.

In recent decades, the consequences of this shift have manifested themselves in a partly privatised and marketized school system, characterised and driven by a logic clearly distinguished from the ideals and aspirations underpinning the struggles of the earlier period for a democratic and equality-oriented school system.