Profitable practices : Private tutors in public education

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Profitable practices : Private tutors in public education

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Publication Conference Meeting abstract
Title Profitable practices : Private tutors in public education
Author Jobér, Anna
Date 2018
English abstract
Research topic/aim: One observed change in the Swedish educational landscape is the increased use of private tutoring companies that provide assistance outside education institutions for a monetary fee. In 2007, private tuition became subject to tax deductions and the possibility to make use of private tuition services increased. Some years later there were discussions on whether to abolish tax deduction and representatives from the industry discussed the issues in newspapers articles. However, the possibility to deduct tax was taken away. Yet, several companies overcame the obstacles and are now well established. This article will analyse how this business became taken for granted asking how assemblage of actors come into being and how negotiations happened in this process. Theoretical framework: This project is informed by actor-network theory (ANT), where the main idea is that facts, thoughts and practices are effects of assemblages of relations between human and/or non-human actors (Latour, 2005). Two notions in the framework are of particular interest: problematisation (Callon, 1986) and obligatory point of passage (OPP) (Gorur, 2015; Hamilton, 2011). The problematisation is interpreted as a moment when actors articulate a problem where actors locate themselves as problem solvers. OPP is seen as a node, an infrastructural point (Hamilton, 2011) where actors align for a certain discourse or practice to happen. The infrastructure creates a node – an OPP – where the flows of initiatives and actions come together which will admit and open up for activities (e.g. private tuition enterprises). Methodological design: The issues were researched through newspaper articles, interviews and websites. In the articles and on the websites, actors such as policy makers and company owners were heard. The tutors were heard through interviews. The data were analysed with the notions problematisation and OPP. Expected conclusions/findings: The analysis show that actors create an infrastructural node with an OPP. Following actors are particular interesting: (1) possibilities for tax deduction, (2) possibilities to profit on public funds, (3) school reforms, and (4) machinations of globalised testing. The actors create a node where, for example, a school in crisis, a discourse cheered by e.g. large-scale assessments, make reforms desirable. The companies are in turn nurtured by benefits such as tax deduction. In this node discourses could be exchanged, an OPP is created, a point through which actors become obligatory to each other. When tax deduction was about to be taken away, several companies put forward a number of problem, problems they stated they could solve. I.e. private tuition companies and their allies inscribe certain problems into education and society, and claim they can solve these problems. Relevance to Nordic educational research: Educational changes concerns not only schooling but also society (Labaree, 2008). This paper shows how the shaping of society also happens outside formal education and with private-market incitement often lacking possibility for accountability. This study confirms that Swedish education becomes a marketplace where governing (Ball, 2009) of education becomes distributed. This article therefore gives insights into the dynamics of the Swedish educational landscape and its consequences.
Conference
NERA 2018- 46th Congress (8-10 March, 2018 : Oslo, Norway)
Link https://www.nera2018.uio.no/programme/abstracts-book-completed.pdf .Icon
Host/Issue NERA abstract book;
Language eng (iso)
Subject Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/26318 Permalink to this page
Link www.nera2018.uio.no... (external link to related web page)
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA (n/a for student publ.)
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