NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ963802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
"I Think I Would Have Learnt More if They Had Tried to Teach Us More"--Performativity, Learning and Identities in a Swedish Transport Programme
Korp, Helena
Ethnography and Education, v7 n1 p77-92 2012
This study is based on an ethnography that was carried out in the Transport Programme (TP) in a Swedish upper secondary school (in this paper referred to as Rockmeadows High). The research is part of a larger project focusing on discourses on Intelligence in Swedish upper secondary school, and how these are produced and used in different educational contexts. The title of the article quotes Emily, a hardworking and high-achieving TP student. Emily is disappointed that the academic courses much of the time operate on a rote level, and that teachers' expectations on the students in the programme generally are quite low. The present study also indicates, in line with several studies of vocational education in Sweden, that academic courses in vocational programmes often seem to provide scarce opportunity for theoretical learning and higher order thinking. Others suggest that the vocational courses present better conditions for such learning. The present article explores learning and instruction in different subjects and the conditions that are structuring them. It discusses the possibility that performativity pressure is one of the structuring forces. "Performativity" is used here to refer to the notion that individuals and systems are valued based on their measured performances in regard to standards, and identified by those standards. Thus ascribed values become ends in themselves and render the use value of knowledge subordinate to the exchange value. This means that not only knowledge but also the pedagogical interaction and relationships become commodified. This is exactly what happens when new managerialism and economic rationality are imposed on the education system, as it has been throughout the Western world in the last decades. Swedish educational policy has gone far down this road, focusing measurable outcomes, individual choice and competition on all levels as means for quality. Still, not all spheres of education are dominated by the economistic rationality, as this articles aims to demonstrate and discuss. (Contains 3 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden