To Govern in Silence? An essay on the political in national evaluations of the public schools in Sweden

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Segerholm, Christina (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy (issn: 2002-0317)

In this paper the political in evaluation is discussed. The political in evaluation is about issues such as values in society, the regulation of human relations, meaning-making and conceptions of the surrounding world. The 2003-year national evaluation carried out under the responsibility of the National Agency of Education in Sweden (NAE) will serve this purpose. By providing a description of previous national evaluation activities, the NAE-evaluation is situated in a context of national governance. Thereafter the evaluation is described and analysed in more detail; the NAE-evaluation in the school-subject art in particular. It is concluded that this evaluation not only directs teachers’ and pupils’ attention to what kind of knowledge should be learnt, but also in what ways. The paper ends by questioning if such evaluation strategies support professional autonomy and pupil influence, and if evaluators really want to be the kind of governing instruments such national evaluations imply.
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