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ERIC Number: EJ1022808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Regulation and Deregulation in Education Policy: New Reforms and School Sports in Swedish Upper Secondary Education
Lund, Stefan
Sport, Education and Society, v19 n3 p241-257 2014
During the 1990s, neoliberal reforms in Sweden increased local school actors' possibilities to develop school profiles regarding both organization and content. This restructuring has increased the total number of school sports programs as well as the possibilities for upper secondary schools and sports clubs to develop elite and amateur sports on a local level. In a new educational reform, the Swedish Government criticizes parts of the Swedish school sports system. The Government believes that the majority of local school sports programs and courses obstruct the maintenance of national equivalence, that upper secondary schools use school sports to attract pupils for economic reasons and that some pupils involved in school sports may fail to reach the academic or vocational goals of regular upper secondary education. Using critical discourse analysis, the present paper illustrates how educational policies are linked to wider symbolic meaning systems in an attempt to legitimize, define and organize upper secondary schools and to characterize pupils as either eligible or ineligible to participate in school sports. The analyses are based on various types of empirical data: policy documents, official letters from the sports movement on the government bill and in-depth interviews. The results indicate that the reform represents a shift in the policy rhetoric: from a normative rhetoric highlighting pupils' social and emotional reasons for choosing school sports, to a rational rhetoric emphasizing efficiency, standardization and regulation of pupils' educational choices. Using school sports as an example, the paper shows how the main aim of the reform--to raise educational standards and maintain national equivalence--is achieved through social differentiation, meaning that pupils with the right performance indicators are selected for participation in programs to which they are suited.
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden