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Urbas, A., Nehez, J. & Svensson, P. (2023). First Teacher Assignments in the light of Responsibility and Accountability. In: : . Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2023), Glasgow, UK, 22-25 August 2023.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>First Teacher Assignments in the light of Responsibility and Accountability
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is increasing attention to the role of education in teaching environmental issues such as climate change (Teach the Future, n.d.). Whilst environmental issues are science-dependent, science is not sufficient to respond to today’s environmental challenges. Yet internationally, science and geography are those subjects most likely to include environmental content (UNESCO, 2021). In England, students can expect to learn about environmental challenges including climate change, biodiversity and pollution during their compulsory science education (DfE, 2013). These topics are often controversial, rife with moral tensions (Zeidler, Herman, & Sadler, 2019), and characterised by both descriptive facts and normative values. The values often deal with solutions to the problems, what kind of actions can be taken on an individual or societal level and even what kind of society is preferred. This makes the issues both scientific and political. Yet little is known about how politics enters the science classroom. In this study, we aim to understand how environmental politics enters the classroom, and how science teachers address different approaches to political participation with their students.

In order to develop democratic environmental governance, there is a need for representation of different groups of people, opportunities for participation and for spaces for deliberation (Lidskog & Elander, 2007), i.e. for politics. Schools are potential sites for participation and deliberation and for learning democracy (Biesta & Lawy, 2006). Politics can be defined in different ways, from a narrow focus on electoral processes to broader conceptualisations which include different ways of making decisions and shaping power relations. In this study, we are concerned with power and social change (Dahl & Stinebrickner, 2003) i.e. “the capacity for agency and deliberation in situations of genuine collective or social choice” (Hay, 2007, p. 77) through science education. This definition of politics goes beyond electoral and party politics and includes activities outside formal political institutions. This is in accordance with Heywood (1999)’s characterisation of politics as an a social activity that arises out of interaction between or among people, which develops out of diversity (the existence of different interests, wants, needs and goals), and which relates to collective decisions which are regarded as binding upon a group of people. Carter (2018) identifies the environment as a policy problem for several reasons, including that the environment can be considered a public good, with complex and interdependent relationships between people and ecosystems acting across national borders with consequences felt into the future.

This characterisation of politics is relevant to the study context as education is a social activity which brings together people with different views, interests and goals in relation to the environment, and it is a context in which collective decisions can be made, for example, about how the school function, what is taught (and how), and what actions or outcomes are desirable as a result of education. Not all of these actions and outcomes can be considered political and we see politics as related to societal engagement and political participation more broadly. Ekman and Amnå (2012) have developed a typology of different forms of participation in society. They distinguish between (a) non-participation (disengagement); (b) civic participation (latent political), whether social involvement or civic engagement; and (c) political participation (manifest political), which can be formal political participation or activism. Each of these three types of participation are further classified in terms of individual and collective forms. In this study, we use Ekman and Amnå’s (2012) typology to understand the ways in which teachers address the political dimensions of the environment in school science. The research question we set out to explore in the study is: how do science teachers address political participation in science education?

Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources UsedAn exploratory qualitative approach was used to understand science teachers’ perceptions and approaches to environmental politics. We focused on science teachers with responsibility for teaching students aged 11-16 in England because we were interested in what students experience during their compulsory secondary science education, where the curriculum demands that they learn about ecosystems and the environment. 

A deductive approach to instrument design was used, drawing on Ekman and Amnå’s (2012) typology of latent and manifest political participation and non-participation (see Table 1 above) in the design of the interview guide and in the analysis of data to understand the ways in which politics enters the science classroom. Given the potentially sensitive nature of some of the questions, we used one-to-one interviews, conducted online to increase the geographical reach, and minimise the need for travel.  The interview guide contained open-ended questions on science teachers’ perspectives on and experiences of teaching environmental politics in science education.  We deliberately did not ask about educational policy; only about teachers’ own experiences, practices, personal perspectives and barriers they encountered.  

Participants were provided with an infographic using examples from Ekman and Amnå’s (2012) typology and asked to mark ways of participating in society which they had:planned and taught (green); mentioned in passing or in response to a question from a student (orange); and, never addressed (red).  The interview focused on reasons for these decisions.  Interviews were conducted by three members of the research team and took place in January - June 2022. Each lasted approximately 1 hour. 

Interviews with 11 teachers were recorded and transcribed and interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) (Smith, 2004) used to analyse the data.  This approach aims not at generalisation but rather to understand how individuals make sense of their own experiences (Guihen, 2019), namely, how politics enters the science classroom.  IPA is typically used to generate meaningful insights from a small dataset, often in psychology and health sciences.  It is appropriate here because it provides a way to understand how participants make sense of their social world, it allows for diversity of perceptions rather than looking for a single objective truth and it allows researchers to interpret these experiences and understand the perspective of an insider and then interpret what it means for them to have this perspective (Reid, Flowers, & Larkin, 2005). An iterative approach to data analysis was used, with reflexive discussions between each stage of analysis.   Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or FindingsTeachers participating in this study saw a place for politics in science education.  However, it  was described as almost absent in lessons. Teachers were more likely to discuss individual, legal, forms of participation, focusing on civil (latent political) actions rather than collective, manifest forms of participating. Even when politics enters the classroom, it tends to be students rather than teachers who introduce the topic, unless there are links to the curriculum or other legal and political frameworks. Policy (national and school) and colleague and student perceptions prevented teachers from planning to discuss manifest forms of political participation with students.  

Politics (especially collective aspects) are experienced as off-limits to teachers in the study. This post-political logic distances people (here, young people but also teachers) from involvement in decision-making and reduces their capacity to be involved in environmental decision-making now and in the future.  These absences, we argue, contribute to a broader societal trend which closes off spaces to discuss and celebrate disagreement (Blühdorn & Deflorian, 2021), and which diminish the potential for young people to learn democracy. In order to develop democratic governance of environmental issues, there is a need for representation, opportunities for participation and for spaces for deliberation (Liskog & Elander, 2007).  Schools are in many ways ideal sites to encourage political participation as they are shared spaces of learning - both about forms of participation but also how to participate and to deliberate across disagreement, or as one of the teachers in this study put it ‘we need to teach them how to use their voice properly and how to be heard’. This requires those who are in positions where they can act to listen to these voices and engage in deliberation and bring politics - as the capacity to deliberate and make collective decisions - into the science classroom.

Keywords
Environment, politics, teachers, science education, responsibility
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-51613 (URN)
Conference
European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2023), Glasgow, UK, 22-25 August 2023
Funder
Halmstad University
Available from: 2023-09-11 Created: 2023-09-11 Last updated: 2023-11-17Bibliographically approved
Skoog, L. & Svensson, P. (2022). Hidden policy conflicts? Administrative strategies to manage depoliticisation. Acta Politica, 58(4), 819-836
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hidden policy conflicts? Administrative strategies to manage depoliticisation
2022 (English)In: Acta Politica, ISSN 0001-6810, E-ISSN 1741-1416, Vol. 58, no 4, p. 819-836Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As a way to manage political disagreements over public policies, political representatives might be tempted to avoid open discussions by depoliticising political issues—hoping that the confict may eventually disappear. When decision-makers employ such strategies, it is up to the administration to make political priorities and manage unresolved policy conficts. Earlier studies indicate that there are at least two strategies that administrators can employ to manage such ambiguities: (re)framing and technical depoliticisation. This article reveals that public administrators also employ a third framing strategy: repoliticisation, where administrators seek to endow their policy areas with political power by connecting politicians to the work and implementation of policies. The study is based on 38 interviews from 11 municipalities in Sweden. © The Author(s) 2022

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022
Keywords
Depoliticisation, Policy confict, Administrative strategies, Sweden
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Smart Cities and Communities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-48536 (URN)10.1057/s41269-022-00266-3 (DOI)000868959500001 ()2-s2.0-85140042972 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-02169
Available from: 2022-10-26 Created: 2022-10-26 Last updated: 2023-11-28Bibliographically approved
Svensson, P. (2022). Perspektivintegrering i sektorsprofessioner (1ed.). In: Åsa Hedberg Rundgren; Charlotte Klinga; Mikael Löfström; Linda Mossberg (Ed.), Perspektiv på samverkan: om utmaningar och möjligheter i välfärdens praktik (pp. 151-168). Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perspektivintegrering i sektorsprofessioner
2022 (Swedish)In: Perspektiv på samverkan: om utmaningar och möjligheter i välfärdens praktik / [ed] Åsa Hedberg Rundgren; Charlotte Klinga; Mikael Löfström; Linda Mossberg, Studentlitteratur AB, 2022, 1, p. 151-168Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Studentlitteratur AB, 2022 Edition: 1
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-46207 (URN)9789144143804 (ISBN)
Available from: 2022-01-17 Created: 2022-01-17 Last updated: 2022-01-19Bibliographically approved
Svensson, P. (2021). Andrew MASSEY (Ed.), A Research Agenda for Public Administration [Review]. International Review of Public Policy, 3(1), 137-139
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Andrew MASSEY (Ed.), A Research Agenda for Public Administration
2021 (English)In: International Review of Public Policy, E-ISSN 2706-6274, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 137-139Article, book review (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Marseille: Openedition Press, 2021
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-44879 (URN)10.4000/irpp.1741 (DOI)
Available from: 2021-06-21 Created: 2021-06-21 Last updated: 2021-06-24Bibliographically approved
Algotson, A. & Svensson, P. (2021). Conceptualizing local development practitioners: creators, coordinators or inside lobbyists?. Urban Governance, 1(1), 30-37
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptualizing local development practitioners: creators, coordinators or inside lobbyists?
2021 (English)In: Urban Governance, E-ISSN 2664-3286, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 30-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Local development practitioners in local government administration play a significant role in the governance of local development. This category of public officials – development officers, managers, strategists, secretaries, etc. – have received some attention in the local development literature. However, the directions in the literature are just as varied as the descriptions of the different aspects of local development governance they are taking part in. That means that the overarching understanding of what local development practitioners actually do is blurred, and is left to detailed case studies with very little or no conceptual ambition. Against this backdrop, the ambition of this article is to grasp what the local development practitioner role consists of at a conceptual level.

This article offers a better understanding of what local development practitioner roles in particular consist of and how these roles relate to existing theories of governance and public administration. In order to do so, we first clarify and refine what the literature has stressed about local development practitioners’ roles and functions, and cluster the findings into three theoretically separated roles: the coordinator, the creator and the inside lobbyist. Second, we bridge these roles with recent trends in public administration research. Finally, we discuss how this conceptualization informs us about governance modes of local development, as well as ‘new and modern’ public official roles in local government administration. 

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2021
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-46206 (URN)10.1016/j.ugj.2021.10.002 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-01-17 Created: 2022-01-17 Last updated: 2022-01-17Bibliographically approved
Carlsson, J. & Svensson, P. (2021). Digitaliserat ekonomiskt bistånd – Konstruktioner av ”nya” relationer inom socialtjänsten. Borås
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Digitaliserat ekonomiskt bistånd – Konstruktioner av ”nya” relationer inom socialtjänsten
2021 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Denna rapport syftar till att belysa om, och i så fall hur, klienters tillgång till välfärdsservice förändras vid användningen av digitala verktyg inom socialtjänsten. Forskningsfrågan som guidar studien är: hur påverkas relationen mellan socialsekreterare och klient av införandet av digitala verktyg inom ekonomiskt bistånd?

I studien undersöks socialsekreterares uppfattningar om sin relation till klienter i tre olika kommuner. Genom ett urval av tre kommuner som kommit olika långt i sitt digitaliseringsarbete öppnar studien upp för en jämförelse mellan socialsekreterarnas beskrivningar. I jämförelsen uppmärksammas skillnader mellan beskrivningar av relationen mellan socialsekreterare och klient. Genom att studera skillnader synliggörs om, och i så fall hur, digitala verktyg har en inverkan på relationen mellan socialsekreterare och klient.

Valet att ställa relationen i fokus i studien grundar sig på att tidigare forskning pekar på att relationen mellan ”det offentliga” och invånare är central för invånares tillgång till välfärdsservice och förutsättning för offentligt stöd. I förlängningen blir därigenom studien en grund för att diskutera om och hur klienters tillgång till ekonomiskt bistånd förändras vid introduktionen av digitala verktyg och huruvida det finns en risk för ett digitalt utanförskap.

Resultatet från studien visar att den arbetsdelning som följer av en digitalisering kan påverka till en ökad distans mellan socialsekreterare och klientklienter och att det med digitalisering följer en retorik som handlar om att mer ansvar bör läggas på enskilda medborgare. Det kan för den enskilda klienten leda till ett ökat ansvar över att driva det egna ärendet i relation till myndigheten och därigenom försämra klienters tillgång till välfärdsservice för klienter. Dock behöver inte så vara fallet. Studiens resultat visar samtidigt att socialsekreterare och ekonomisekreterare till stor del betraktar de digitala verktygen som ett komplement, som breddar tillgängligheten och att medvetenheten om risker för ett digitalt utanförskap ger en lyhördhet inför om klienter har behov av stöd. Med andra ord visar studien hur socialsekreterare och/eller ekonomisekreterare arbetar för att kompensera för teknikens brister.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Borås: , 2021. p. 55
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-46318 (URN)
Note

Finansiering: FoU Sjuhärad Välfärd

Available from: 2022-02-10 Created: 2022-02-10 Last updated: 2022-04-01Bibliographically approved
Svensson, P. & Syssner, J. (2021). Fyra sätt att utveckla en destination. Kommunal ekonomi (5), 41-42
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fyra sätt att utveckla en destination
2021 (Swedish)In: Kommunal ekonomi, ISSN 0282-0099, no 5, p. 41-42Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Föreningen Sveriges kommunalekonomer, 2021
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-46208 (URN)
Available from: 2022-01-17 Created: 2022-01-17 Last updated: 2022-02-10Bibliographically approved
Svensson, P. (Ed.). (2020). Att styra på tvären. Tre studer om tvärsektoriell koordinering och dess aktörer i offentlig förvaltning. Göteborg: Förvaltningshögskolan Göteborgs universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att styra på tvären. Tre studer om tvärsektoriell koordinering och dess aktörer i offentlig förvaltning
2020 (Swedish)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Idag uppfattas alltfler frågor som komplexa och som i behov av strategisk samordning och tvärsektoriell koordinering. Detta har gett till upphov till nya roller och professioner i den offentliga förvaltningen. Dessa kallas ofta strateger och samordnare och återfinns på alla nivåer i den offentliga sektorn. Forskningen om dessa roller är mycket begränsad, dock finns ett stort behov av fördjupning av de utmaningar som aktörerna möter. I denna rapport presenteras tre fördjupande studier på detta tema. Anton Holmgren Jonsson undersöker hur kommunala politiker förhåller sig till sina jämställdhetsstrateger och huruvida strategerna fungerar som styrinstrument för den beslutade politiska inriktningen. Johanna Jansson utforskar hur folkhälsostrateger hanterar och formar sin professionella roll då förväntningarna på vad de ska göra inte alltid är tydliga och konsekventa. Josephine Massie studerar hur nationella samordnare fungerar som styrinstrument mellan olika administrativa nivåer. Dessa studier är skrivna som examensarbeten inom masterprogrammet i offentlig förvaltning under år 2016. Författarna är alla pol. master vid Förvaltningshögskolan, Göteborgs universitet och har idag (januari 2020) olika roller inom statlig, regional och kommunal offentlig förvaltning. Rapportens redaktör, Petra Svensson, är fil. dr i offentlig förvaltning med inriktning mot tvärsektoriell styrning och organisering och handledde arbetet med de tre studierna. ©2020 Författarna

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Förvaltningshögskolan Göteborgs universitet, 2020. p. 249
Series
Förvaltningshögskolans rapportserie, ISSN 1401-7199 ; 153
Keywords
offentlig förvaltning, strateger, tvärsektoriell, koordinering, styrning, tjänstepersoner, jämställdhetsstrateger, folkhälsostrateger, nationella samordnare
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-43084 (URN)
Available from: 2020-09-14 Created: 2020-09-14 Last updated: 2021-01-27Bibliographically approved
Svensson, P. (2020). Komplex helhetsstyrning - att integrera allt med allt. Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, 97(4), 679-690
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Komplex helhetsstyrning - att integrera allt med allt
2020 (Swedish)In: Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, ISSN 0037-833X, Vol. 97, no 4, p. 679-690Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Socialmedicinsk tidskrift, 2020
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-43409 (URN)
Available from: 2020-11-11 Created: 2020-11-11 Last updated: 2020-12-04Bibliographically approved
Svensson, P. (2020). Policy Entrepreneurs as Bureaucrats, Merging Formality and Informality. In: Ali Farazmand (Ed.), Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance: (pp. 1-7). Cham: Springer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Policy Entrepreneurs as Bureaucrats, Merging Formality and Informality
2020 (English)In: Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance / [ed] Ali Farazmand, Cham: Springer, 2020, p. 1-7Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2020
Keywords
Formality/informality, cross-sector governance, policy entreprenurship
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-43081 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_4026-1 (DOI)978-3-319-31816-5 (ISBN)
Note

Living reference work entry

Available from: 2020-09-14 Created: 2020-09-14 Last updated: 2023-07-04Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5246-1605

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