Ethnography and education
Education and the Commodity Problem:
Ethnographic Investigations of Creativity and Performativity in Swedish Schools

Dennis Beach and Marianne Dovemark

This book relates to research conducted through a series of related ethnographic investigations of how educational institutions have dealt with knowledge production, processing, acquisition, critique, and dissemination at times of social, economic and political change with regard to the steering principles of education and the discoursing of education policy. It is about how education districts, regions, schools, school classes and study groups import, construct and evaluate knowledge, talk about education elements and form the spaces in which the values, discourses and practices of education production form links to cultural and social reproduction, as well as how these links are experienced, challenged, resisted, reviewed and renewed by teachers and students in their daily work and understanding.
The research has employed extensive ethnographic methods over a long time frame using different time modalities. It has suggested that educational institutions as well as education discourses and practices are places where knowledge and learning appear in both ‘use-value’ and commoditised forms as the accumulation of educational capital within the flows and transformations of educational ideas in education practices.  The book concerns a changed root-metaphor of schooling, which is often described as having been shifted from a transmission metaphor to a metaphor of construction where control over the curriculum has changed from the State to the individual in a situation where students are to, with help and guidance from teachers, look for their own knowledge and develop a lust for life-long learning. The book shows that these aims are not straightforwardly lived out in practice and that what can be assessed as basically equivalent forms of social reproduction take place in the new curriculum context as compared to the old.
Read the introduction

Labs and the quality of learning
School as a market
Creativity as a cultural commodity
Pupil responsibility
Re-structuring adult education
Myths of change in adult education
Creativity and performativity in adult education
Accommodations of creativity discourses
Teachers and new education aims
New schools and new pedagogy?
A short chapter on methods
Dennis Beach and Marianne Dovemark, University College of Borås
ISBN 1872767729
Click here to read the Introduction (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader)
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