Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 161–182 | Cite as

“Governing by templates” through new modes of school inspection in Norway

Article

Abstract

To date, few observational studies have addressed Scandinavian school inspectors in the field, specifically how inspectors use templates to monitor the formative assessment routines of schools and local school authorities. This paper investigates how the current inspection handbook is being adopted and enacted on the municipal level and the school level in Norwegian compulsory schools. Specifically, this study illuminates through observation two empirical examples of how one of the 17 County Governors’ Offices, as part of a larger study, conducted regular, state school inspection. Conceptually, the paper focuses on how inspection guides and steers though use of fixed templates. Analysis shows that inspectors and schools under scrutiny are struggling in combining the traditional focus on legal compliance with a more performative emphasis on formative assessment of students. In addition, the examples given highlight how combining field observation and the concept of “governing by templates” contributes to school inspection studies, in a dynamic policy context undergoing substantial change.

Keywords

Educational policy Governing by templates Governing tools Policy enactment School inspection School self-evaluation 

References

  1. Apple, M. W. (2005). Education, markets, and an audit culture. Critical Quarterly, 47, 11–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ball, S. J. (1997). Policy Sociology and Critical Social Research: A personal review of recent education policy and policy research. British Educational Research Journal, 23(3), 257–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ball, S. J. (2015). Education, governance and the tyranny of numbers. Journal of Education Policy, 30(3), 299–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baxter, J. A. (2014). An independent inspectorate? Addressing the paradoxes of educational inspection in 2013. School Leadership & Management, 34(1), 21–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baxter, J., Grek, S., & Segerholm, C. (2015). Regulatory frameworks: Shifting frameworks, shifting criteria. In S. Grek & J. Lindgren (Eds.), Governing by inspection. Studies in European education studies (pp. 27–37). Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Behnke, K., & Steins, G. (2016). Principals’ reactions to feedback received by school inspection: A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Change. doi:10.1007/s10833-016-9275-7.Google Scholar
  7. Bentham, J. (1843). The works of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. IV, J. Bowring (Ed.). (Edinburgh: Simpkin, Marshall and Company) [Reprinted 1962. (New York: Russell and Russell).Google Scholar
  8. Bitan, K., Haep, A., & Steins, G. (2015). School inspections still in dispute: An exploratory study of school principals’ perceptions of school inspections. International Journal of Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice, 18(4), 419–439.Google Scholar
  9. Bowe, R., Ball, S. J., & Gold, A. (1992). Reforming Education and Changing Schools: Case studies in policy sociology. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Braun, A., Maguire, M., & Ball, S. J. (2010). Policy enactments in the UK secondary school: Examining policy, practice and school positioning. Journal of Education Policy, 25(4), 547–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bryman, A. (2011). Samhällsvetenskapliga metoder [Social research methods]. Malmö: Liber.Google Scholar
  12. Clarke, J. (2015). Inspections: Governing at a distance. In S. Grek & J. Lindgren (Eds.), Governing by inspection. Studies in European Education Series (pp. 11–26). Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Courtney, S. J. (2016). Post-panopticism and school inspection in England. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37(4), 623–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Czarniawska-Joerges, B. (2007). Shadowing: And other techniques for doing fieldwork in modern societies. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.Google Scholar
  15. de Wolf, I. F., & Janssens, F. J. (2007). Effects and side effects of inspections and accountability in education: An overview of empirical studies. Oxford Review of Education, 33(3), 379–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dedering, K., & Müller, S. (2011). School improvement through inspection? First empirical sightings from Germany. Journal of Educational Change, 12(3), 301–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ehren, M. C. M., & Visscher, A. J. (2006). Towards a theory on the impact of school inspections. British Journal of Educational Studies, 54(1), 51–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ehren, M. C. M., & Visscher, A. J. (2008). The relationships between school inspections, school characteristics and school improvement. British Journal of Educational Studies, 56(2), 205–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Elstad, E. (2009). Schools which are named, shamed and blamed by the media: School accountability in Norway. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(2), 173–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Foucault, M. (1987). Övervakning och straff [Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison]. Lund: Arkiv.Google Scholar
  21. Fourcade, M. (2010). The problem of embodiment in the sociology of knowledge: afterword to the special issue on knowledge in practice. Qualitative Sociology, 33(4), 569–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Government Act. (1992). Act relating to municipalities and county authorities (“The Local Government Act”). Retrieved from www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/krd/tx-23249-kommuneloven-eng.pdf.
  23. Government Act. (1998). Act relating to primary and secondary education (“Opplæringsloven”). http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/KD/Vedlegg/Grunnskole/Education_Act_Norway_30_September_2010.pdf.
  24. Grek, S. (2009). Governing by numbers: The PISA ‘effect’ in Europe. Journal of Education Policy, 24(1), 23–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grek, S., Lawn, M., Ozga, J., & Segerholm, C. (2013). Governing by inspection? European inspectorates and the creation of a European education policy space. Comparative Education, 49(4), 486–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grek, S., Lawn, M., Ozga, J., Shapira, M. & Weir, A. (2010). School self-evaluation in Scotland. (Scotland: National Report, 2010.2, 10).Google Scholar
  27. Grek, S., & Lindgren, J. (Eds.). (2015). Governing by inspection. Studies in European education series. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Grønmo, S. (2004). Samfunnsvitenskapelige metoder [Methods in social science]. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget.Google Scholar
  29. Hall, J. B. (2016). State School Inspection: The Norwegian Example. Doctoral dissertation. Department of Teacher Education and School Research, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo. ISSN 1501-8962/No. 259.Google Scholar
  30. Hall, J. B. (2017). Examining school inspectors and education directors within the organisation of school inspection policy: Perceptions and views. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 61(1), 112–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hall, J. B., & Sivesind, K. (2015). State school inspection policy in Norway and Sweden (2002–2012): A reconfiguration of governing modes? Journal of Education Policy, 30(3), 429–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hatch, T. (2013). Beneath the surface of accountability: Answerability, responsibility and capacity-building in recent education reforms in Norway. Journal of Educational Change, 14(2), 113–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Helgøy, I., & Homme, A. (2006). Policy tools and institutional change: Comparing education policies in Norway, Sweden and England. Journal of Public Policy, 26(02), 141–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hood, C. (1983). The tools of government. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hood, C. (2007). Intellectual obsolescence and intellectual makeovers: Reflections on the tools of government after two decades. Governance, 20(1), 127–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hopmann, S. T. (2008). No child, no school, no state left behind: Schooling in the age of accountability. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(4), 417–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hudson, C. (2011). Evaluation-The (not so) softly softly approach to governance and its consequences for compulsory education in the Nordic countries. Education Inquiry, 2(4), 671–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kooiman, J. (1993). Social-political governance: Introduction. In J. Kooiman (Ed.), Modern governance: New government—society interactions (pp. 1–8). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Latour, B. (1987). Science in action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Lawn, M., & Grek, S. (2012). Europeanizing education: Governing a new policy space. Oxford: Symposium.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Legal Standards and Professional Judgment in Educational Leadership: The LEX-EL project. (2016). (Oslo: The University of Oslo). http://www.uv.uio.no/ils/english/research/projects/legalstandardsedu/.
  42. Lindgren, J. (2015). The front and back stages of Swedish school inspection: Opening the black box of judgment. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 58–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maroy, C. (2012). Towards post-bureaucratic modes of governance: A European perspective. In G. Steiner-Khamsi & F. Waldow (Eds.), World yearbook of education 2012 (pp. 62–79). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Mausethagen, S. (2013). Accountable for what and to whom? Changing representations and new legitimation discourses among teachers under increased external control. Journal of Educational Change, 14(4), 423–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Neave, G. (1988). On the cultivation of quality, efficiency and enterprise: An overview of recent trends in higher education in Western Europe, 1986–1988. European Journal of Education, 23(1/2), 7–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nelson, R. & Ehren, M. (2014). Review and synthesis of evidence on the (mechanisms of) impact of school inspections. http://schoolinspections.eu/impact/review-on-the-impact-and-mechanisms-of-impact-of-school-inspections/.
  47. Ozga, J. (2009). Governing education through data in England: From regulation to self-evaluation. Journal of Education Policy, 24(2), 149–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ozga, J., Dahler-Larsen, P., Segerholm, C., & Simola, H. (Eds.). (2011). Fabricating quality in education: Data and governance in Europe. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Ozga, J., & Grek, S. (2008). Governing by numbers? Shaping education through data, CES Briefing No 44. Edinburgh: Centre for Educational Sociology.Google Scholar
  50. Ozga, J., & Segerholm, C. (2015). Neo-liberal agenda(s) in education. In S. Grek & J. Lindgren (Eds.), Governing by inspection. Studies in European education studies (pp. 27–37). Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Perryman, J. (2006). Panoptic performativity and school inspection regimes: Disciplinary mechanisms and life under special measures. Journal of Education Policy, 21(2), 147–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Perryman, J. (2007). Inspection and emotion. Cambridge Journal of Education, 37(2), 173–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Power, M. (1997). The audit society: Rituals of verification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Ragin, C., & Amoroso, L. M. (2011). Constructing social research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Oaks Press/Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Regulation. (2006). Forskrift til opplæringsloven FOR-2006-06-23-724 [Regulation pertaining to the Education Act, 1998]. Oslo: The Ministry of Education and Research.Google Scholar
  56. Rönnberg, L. (2014). Justifying the need for control. Motives for Swedish national school inspection during two governments. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 58(4), 385–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Segerholm, C. (2009). “We are doing well on QAE”: The case of Sweden. Journal of Education Policy, 24(2), 195–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Silverman, D. (2011). Interpreting qualitative data. London/Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  59. Simons, M. (2014a). Governing education without reform: The power of the example. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(5), 712–773.Google Scholar
  60. Simons, M. (2014b). Governing through feedback: From national orientation towards global positioning. In T. Fenwick, E. Mangez, & J. Ozga (Eds.), World yearbook of education 2014: Governing knowledge: Comparison, knowledge-based technologies and expertise in the regulation of education (pp. 155–171). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Sivesind, K. H. (1999). Structured, qualitative comparison. Quality & Quantity, 33(4), 361–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sivesind, K. (2012). Law + pedagogy = truth? Regular, state inspection of schools: On new forms of governing and use of professional judgment. In H. Jakhelln & T. Welstad (Eds.), Utdanningsrettslige emner - artikler med utvalgte tema fra skole- og arbeidsrettens område (pp. 655–681). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademiske.Google Scholar
  63. Sivesind, K., Skedsmo, G. & Hall, J. B. (2016). Et felles nasjonalt tilsyn: reformbaner og scenarier. [Regular, state inspection: reform trajectories and scenarios through history]. In K. Andenæs & J. Møller (Eds.), Retten i skolenmellom pedagogikk, jus og politikk (pp. 99–122). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
  64. Skedsmo, G. (2009). School governing in transition. Perspectives, purposes and perceptions of evaluation policy. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Teacher Education and School Research, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
  65. Statistics Norway (SSB). (2016a). Key figures on municipal activities(KOSTRA). https://www.ssb.no/en/offentlig-sektor/kostra.
  66. Statistics Norway (SSB). (2016b). Official website. http://www.ssb.no/en/.
  67. The Knowledge Promotion. (2006). Oslo: The Ministry of Education. Retrieved from http://www.udir.no/Stottemeny/English/Curriculum-in-English/_english/Knowledge-promotion—Kunnskapsloftet/.
  68. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. (2013a). Methods for inspection: A handbook of inspection methods in compliance with the Pre-school Act and the Education Act. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training.Google Scholar
  69. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. (2013b). The education mirror (2013): Facts and analysis of kindergarten, primary and secondary education in Norway. (Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training). http://www.udir.no/globalassets/upload/rapporter/theeducationmirror_2013.pdf.
  70. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. (2015). Endringer i regelverket om vurdering [Amendments in regulations concerning assessment]. https://www.fylkesmannen.no/PageFiles/606861/Endringer-i-regelverket-om-vurdering.pdf.
  71. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. (2016a). Regelverk - Tilsyn i utdanningssektoren [Regulations: Inspection in the educational sector]. http://www.udir.no/Regelverk/regelverk/tilsyn/.
  72. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. (2016b). Felles nasjonalt tilsyn 2014–2017 [Regular state inspection 2014–2017]. http://www.udir.no/regelverk-og-tilsyn/tilsyn/felles-nasjonalt-tilsyn/felles-nasjonalt-tilsyn-2014-2017/.
  73. Trujillo, T. (2014). The modern cult of efficiency intermediary organizations and the new scientific management. Educational Policy, 28(2), 207–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Weick, K. E. (2009). Enacting an environment: Infrastructure of organizing. In K. E. Weick (Ed.), Making sense of the organization: The impermanent organization (Vol. II, pp. 184–197). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  75. Wiliam, D. (2013). Att följa lärande - formativ bedömning i praktiken [Embedded formative assessment]. Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  76. Wilkins, A. (2014). Professionalizing school governance: The disciplinary effects of school autonomy and inspection on the changing role of school governors. Journal of Education Policy, 30(2), 182–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education and School ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations