Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 495–519 | Cite as

School leaders’ and teachers’ work with national test results: Lost in translation?

Article

Abstract

Studies have shown that school leaders are important in work with large-scale policy reforms in schools. However, the issue of how school leaders and teachers discuss and enact policy is under-studied. This article explores the discursive processes in school leaders’ and teachers’ policy enactment as they construct responses to policy. The data consists of video recordings and observation of leadership meetings and teacher-team meetings. A critical discourse analytical approach combined with perspectives of policy enactment as a process of interpretation serve as analytical concepts. The findings indicate the school leaders act more as narrators and enthusiasts, while the deputy managers and teacher-team leaders are more messengers and enforcers. The teachers mostly keep the discursive role as critics and preventers of ‘overburdening.’ A main argument is that the policy expectation of using national test results as a tool to develop school quality and student learning seems to be lost in translation.

Keywords

Data use Discursive roles National testing Policy actors Policy enactment School leadership 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank colleagues in the research group Curriculum Studies, Leadership and Educational Governance (CLEG) in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo, who have commented on my drafts and stimulated my thinking in working through the process of this article. Particular thanks are given to Professor Jorunn Møller (University of Oslo) and Adjunct Associate Professor Tina Trujillo (University of Oslo and University of California, Berkeley) for their helpful comments and conversations which assisted me greatly in shaping my argument in the final section. Thanks are also extended to the anonymous Journal of Educational Administration reviewers for their comments on the current version.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

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