Explosion positions given to parents and claims of agency in student’s stories about grades
2016 (English)In: Book of Abstracts, 2016, 140-140 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
This paper draws on data collected in a wider study of national testing and grading policies for school year six that were introduced in Sweden 2012. The research project focuses specifically on elementar y students’ experiences of receiving grades and taking the national tests. In this paper we direct the interest towards the positions given to parents in the student’s stories about talking about grades with their parents. The purpose of the paper is to ex plore how ‘territories of agency’ take shape in student’s stories in relation to discursive narratives of performative pressure within global and national education systems. The now stronger focus on grades in Sweden is considered a part of the delivery chain -stressing learning outcomes as the main issue for everyone involved in education – reaching from global actors such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to the individual students (Ball, et al. 2012). The performativ e pressure on schools, teachers, and students aiming to improve results and schools’ ranking positions affects the local actor’s actions and identities. As subjects to policy their agency is limited but in their stories student’s make claims of having some degree of freedom to act. These ‘claims of territories of agency’ are understood as expressed through narrative performances of individual and collective identities in student’s stories about experiences of talking about grades with parents. This narrativ e approach lets us focus on the links between how students position themselves relation to their parents and vis - a - vis discourses of performativity (Ball, 1997) in their stories and through their storytelling (Bamberg, 1997). Students from eleven differen t schools in five different municipalities were interviewed with the purpose of obtaining a great variety of student experiences. In total we have conducted 80 interviews with 195 students and some of them have been interviewed twice. Students were intervi ewed in groups (n= 2 - 5). The analysis in this paper is based on what students told us about their experiences of talking to parents about grades. In a thematic analysis we found three different themes regarding how the students described their parent’s att itudes towards grades and the student’s efforts related to grades. The first theme is about parents that do not talk about grades with their children. The second is about parents that put pressure on their children to get good grades often without engagin g -or knowing how to engage -in how this is done. The third theme is about parents that focus on their children’s wellbeing by putting the grades in different perspectives – e.g. by downplay the importance of grades or emphasize the importance of having one’s own agenda. In this paper we further investigate how the positions are given to parents in the “story - world” (Bamberg, 1997) and how the students position themselves as students when telling the stories. Preliminary results suggest that students ‘cla im territories of agency’ for themselves by positioning their parents in different ways in the story - worlds.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 140-140 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126170OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-126170DiVA: diva2:912638
NERA/NFPF 2016, Helsinki, Finland, 9-11 March 2016