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Serder, Margareta, Universitetslektor i utbildningsvetenskapORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5689-8281
Publications (10 of 45) Show all publications
Serder, M. (2024). Knowledge for sale: The construction of desired knowledge and identities in edu-marketing. European Educational Research Journal, 23(1), 72-86
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge for sale: The construction of desired knowledge and identities in edu-marketing
2024 (English)In: European Educational Research Journal, E-ISSN 1474-9041, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 72-86Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to examine how a particular object for consumption, professional development for teachers and principals, is marketed to schools, and what propositions and understandings are embedded in such offers. Adopting a conceptualization of marketing as a “perpetual questioning machine,” the study deploys and develops a theoretical approach from marketing studies to a new context: edu-marketing. The study is guided by the assumption that marketing functions as projection screen for the products and services offered to schools, but, also as a social and cultural space where dreams and desires are performed and governed. As such, marketing to school is not exclusively about selling things; but about what to be or who to become. Besides the theoretical contribution, the study contributes with empirical knowledge about (1) what concerns and desires this marketing “questioning machine” mobilizes and circulates and (2) how objects for consumption are de/stabilized in the education market. Thereby, it demonstrates some of the intricate relations between the growing education market and the values that those who work in schools are invited to strive for. It is argued that consumption at the education market-place is a question of identity, and therefore of branding and possible success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2024
Keywords
marketing, objects for consumption, professional development, education advertising, education market
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-58834 (URN)10.1177/14749041221148232 (DOI)000917756600001 ()2-s2.0-85147311254 (Scopus ID)
Funder
The Crafoord Foundation, r 20180742Swedish Research Council, 2017-01657
Available from: 2023-03-27 Created: 2023-03-27 Last updated: 2024-02-27Bibliographically approved
Ideland, M. & Serder, M. (2023). Edu-business within the Triple Helix. Value production through assetization of educational research. Education Inquiry, 14(3), 336-351
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Edu-business within the Triple Helix. Value production through assetization of educational research
2023 (English)In: Education Inquiry, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 336-351Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Growing demands on evidence-based teaching, combined with increasing business involve-ment, constitute a transformation of education in which research and research collaborations have become commodities and selling points for companies. This article, building on interviews with 30 Swedish edupreneurs, explores how the discursive trope of the Triple Helix organises collaborations between the business sector, research, and school. In what ways do people in edu-business use research and research collaborations and what kinds of values do they expect to produce through different practices? The study identifies five approaches to research - philanthropists, influencers, ambassadors, brokers, and engineers - and describe the edupreneurs' manifold ways of using, relating to, and translating research into sellable products. Using the theoretical lens of assetization, we show how different values are produced: (1) economic - strengthening the company's brand; (2) pedagogical - changing teaching practices; (3) political - lobbying for policy change and changing public conversations; (4) academic - defining useful research and funding research, and (5) social - building networks. We conclude that the striving for Triple Helix collaborations preserves the entrepreneurial right to define useful research and providing legitimacy through the power of research, an important asset on the edu-market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023
Keywords
Edu-business, Triple Helix, research use, power of research, commercialisation, assetization
National Category
Pedagogy Ethnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-49191 (URN)10.1080/20004508.2021.2019375 (DOI)000737607800001 ()2-s2.0-85122260549 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Utbildning AB
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-01657The Crafoord Foundation, 20180742
Available from: 2022-01-10 Created: 2022-01-10 Last updated: 2023-10-18Bibliographically approved
Lundahl, C. & Serder, M. (2023). Figures fighting figures: unpacking state authority's mis/trust in PISA statistics. Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 44(6), 829-843
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Figures fighting figures: unpacking state authority's mis/trust in PISA statistics
2023 (English)In: Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, ISSN 0159-6306, E-ISSN 1469-3739, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 829-843Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How can we understand the uncertainties in high-stake measuressuch as PISA in relation to the claims that different authoritiesmake from them? In this paper, we use a rather remarkable casefrom Sweden involving conflicting interpretations of the PISA2018 results at a national political level and afight over statisticsbetween two national agencies: National Agency for Educationand the National Audit Office. The aim of this paper is to unpackprocesses of interpretations and claims that are often black-boxed in PISA debates: How can we understand the process thatled up to thefight and what followed? Our data consist of mediaarticles, broadcasts from the national television and radio (2018–2021), reports and memos from the two-state authorities involvedin this debate, and email conversations between the two. Ourresults stress the need for further transparency in how PISA dataare collected and calculated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023
Keywords
PISA, statistics, state authoritites, science and technology studies (STS), controversies, black-boxing
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-58836 (URN)10.1080/01596306.2023.2186374 (DOI)000949501800001 ()2-s2.0-85150636959 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-03-27 Created: 2023-03-27 Last updated: 2024-01-04Bibliographically approved
Muhonen, T., Serder, M., Erlandsson, M. & Edvik, A. (2023). From National Policy to Local Practices: Systematic Quality Work in Education from the Perspective of Local Authorities. In: : . Paper presented at ECER, European Conference on Educational Research, 22 - 25 August 2023, Glasgow, Scotland, UK..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From National Policy to Local Practices: Systematic Quality Work in Education from the Perspective of Local Authorities
2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last 20 years systematic quality work has become the main tool for developing Swedish schools (Håkansson & Adolfson, 2022). According to the Education Act (2010:800), quality work – at the local educational authority level as well as in the schools themselves – should be conducted in a systematic and continuous way, with respect to planning, follow-up, analyses, and actions taken to develop education. By continuous assessments and evaluations, the goal of the systematic quality work is to identify and address issues that need improvement for students to achieve the educational goals (Swedish National Agency for Education, 2012a). A review of the literature reveals the problematic aspects of evaluation practices and quality management, such as the risk to focus on what is measurable rather than what is desirable as well as the diverse definitions of quality (Lundström, 2015). However, what the local quality systems consist of, how they have been designed, and what practices and perceptions of quality they entail is less understood.

Previous research has primarily focused on individual schools’ quality work (Håkansson, 2013; Jarl, et al., 2017) , while less attention has been paid to the way the local educational authorities conduct systematic quality work. Thus, the aim of this study is to fill this knowledge gap by investigating how the ideas of systematic quality work in the Swedish Education Act's requirements are interpreted, translated, and materialized at the local education authority level.

The following research questions will guide our study:

1. How do local educational authorities interpret and translate the systematic quality work regulations and requirements in the Education Act?

2. How do these interpretations och translations materialize in the local quality work practices?

Theoretically we approach the phenomena of systematic quality management within the Swedish school sector from an organizing (Czarniawska, 2014) and practice-oriented perspective (Gherardi, 2019; Nicolini, 2009; 2012). These theoretical perspectives provide us a framework to analyse how the institutionalized ideas (as mental images that are well spread within the society) of systematic quality management - through authorities, policies, regulations, and quality models - are translated and materialized (Czarniawska & Joerges, 1996) into the local quality work organization and practices. The latter refers to the practices of doing and saying something related to the ideas of systematic quality management in different social contexts and time (Gherardi, 2019; Nicolini, 2009; 2012). Although the national guidelines involve the entire school system, these are interpreted, translated, and materialized by actors operating in a local context, which means that quality is understood in different ways and that the systematic quality work is conducted in different ways. An organizational perspective also includes aspects related to the tensions that arise when different interests and logics collide (for example between political, administrative, and professional interests and logics; see Czarniawska, 2014).

Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources UsedIn this project five Swedish municipalities have participated in a study of what systematic quality work means at a local education authority level and what practices materialize from the national regulations. At the heart of the study is the recognition that quality systems are locally designed to meet the national requirements, thereby allowing diverse interpretations and translations to occur.

The local education authorities can be understood as mediators, partly between state and municipal control, partly between needs and agendas at different levels in the chain of command. This understanding also characterizes the design of the study. The empirical data has been collected through three complementary methods: document studies, observations, and interviews. The document studies consist of analysing different central documents, e.g., quality reports, provided by the local education authorities covering the past two years. We have also observed meetings related to the systematic quality work (so called “quality-dialogues”). Besides the local education authorities, the key actors in these meetings were the principals, assistant principals, and teacher representatives of the school being followed up. 

The interviews were conducted with key persons in five different local Swedish education authorities individually by the authors. The duration of the interviews was approximately one hour, and they were conducted either face-to-face, via Zoom, or telephone. The interviews were based on an interview guide including questions about the participants’ role, their experiences, and activities in relation to the systematic quality work, the expected and actual effects, as well as challenges and potential for improvement of systematic quality work. The interviews were recorded with informed consent and were later transcribed verbatim.

All the research material described above is now gathered and will be analysed during the Spring 2023. As a tool for data analyses, we will apply Bacchi´s (2012) method “What is the problem represented to be?”.

Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or FindingsEqual education for all is includes three fundamental aspects: equal access to education, equal quality of education and the compensatory nature of education (Swedish National Agency for Education, 2012b). All students should receive an equivalent education, regardless of the area they live in, the socio-economic conditions they come from, or their functional variations. But study after study shows that Swedish students' schooling is not equal, and that who you are and where you live play a decisive role in the quality of the education you receive. Many of the last decade's school policy reforms and targeted initiatives have had as their overarching goal to address this lack of equality, so far with few concrete results. In order to break this trend, there has been an increasing focus on the local educational authorities’ responsibility for the individual school's shortcomings, quality, and development. Furthermore, lack of equality is a problem within rather than between different local educational authorities. Although there is paucity of research, the limited results show that schools are often isolated with their problems and that there is a lack of supportive structures and a functional systematic quality work (Jarl, et al., 2017; Swedish Schools Inspectorate, 2021).

The paper will present results from the ongoing study, results that we believe will have relevance both in the Swedish, Nordic and in a wider European context. Through our investigation we will contribute knowledge regarding how the National Educational Act's requirements for systematic quality work are interpreted, translated, and materialized at the local level, and how this in turn shapes, promotes or hinders the quality work of individual schools.

National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Organisational studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-63856 (URN)
Conference
ECER, European Conference on Educational Research, 22 - 25 August 2023, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Available from: 2023-11-24 Created: 2023-11-24 Last updated: 2023-11-25Bibliographically approved
Ideland, M. & Serder, M. (2023). Joy, pride, and shame: on working in the affective economy of edu-business. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 44(5), 860-878
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Joy, pride, and shame: on working in the affective economy of edu-business
2023 (English)In: British Journal of Sociology of Education, ISSN 0142-5692, E-ISSN 1465-3346, Vol. 44, no 5, p. 860-878Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on what people working in edu-business want to achieve. The aim is to explore (1) how the edu-business sector is discursively constructed as a work-place and part of the education system, and (2) how this discourse is organized within an affective economy - that is how the valuation of emotions distinguish what are considered as 'good' or 'bad' subjectivities, practices, and institutions. The analysis draws on interviews with 22 people working in Sweden's edu-business sector. The results illuminate three discourses: a bureaucratic, an entrepreneurial, and a profit discourse. Emotions attached to the bureaucratic discourse are anxiety, guilt, and boredom. Connected to the entrepreneurial discourse are joy, creativity, and well-being. Shame and pride are attached to the profit discourse. The affective economy constructs the business sector as desirable and the public sector as its opposite. Studying 'the bright side' of neoliberalism helps us to understand its power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023
Keywords
Neoliberalization, edu-business, emotions, discourse analysis, affective economy
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59479 (URN)10.1080/01425692.2023.2203846 (DOI)000973504700001 ()2-s2.0-85153216935 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-05-15 Created: 2023-05-15 Last updated: 2023-07-04Bibliographically approved
Ideland, M. & Serder, M. (2022). Restless souls and the joy of edupreneurialism.. In: : . Paper presented at NERA annual conference, 1-3rd of June 2022. Reykjavik, Iceland. The Nordic Educational Research Association
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Restless souls and the joy of edupreneurialism.
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As many studies have illustrated, education systems all over the world have been subjected to neoliberal politics and commercial agendas. Not at least is this taking place in the Nordic countries. The present paper seeks to understand these transformations from the perspective of the people working in the Swedish edu-business sector; that is, in commercial companies selling products and services to educational institutions. What do they want to achieve – for themselves, for school and for their companies – and how is that related to how it feels to work in school versus in edu-business? The aim is to explore (1) how the edu-business sector is discursively constructed as a workplace and part of the education system and; (2) how this discourse is organized within an affective economy; that is, how the valuation of emotions distinguish what are considered as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ subjectivities, practices and institutions. 

 

The paper builds on 22 interviews performed in a larger ethnographic study, in which we followed the work of education companies in the Swedish education market. The companies operate within different business areas, such as the production and retailing of teaching materials, in-service teacher-training, consulting services, and digital education products. The analysis of interviews is approached from Ahmed’s notion of “affective economies”. This concept makes it possible to understand how feelings are culturally valued and capitalized on. Hence, the study contributes with knowledge on how neoliberal policies, subjectivities, and affects interplay.

 

From the interviews we conclude the that reasons for working in edu-business relate to career opportunities, but also to personal well-being and to aspirations to do good for school or for a company. Two main discourses – the entrepreneurial and the bureaucratic – organize how the interviewees make sense of working in the business sector. These discourses constitute each other as opposites, forming a crisis narrative of a bureaucratic school system stretched to its boundaries by administration, versus a flexible, joyful private sector. The bureaucratic discourse reflects the ‘dark side’ of neoliberalization – which is taking place in school and is attached to feelings such as boredom, anxiety, and guilt. The entrepreneurial discourse represents the “bright side”, opening possibilities for individuals to work in the private sector and is attached to emotions such as joy, creativity, and well-being. Also, a profit discourse organizes the talk, addressing the role of economic gains and how that is connected to feelings such as shame, but also pride. The affective economy constructs the business sector as desirable and the public sector as its opposite. 

 

We argue that studying the affective economy of neoliberalism helps us to understand why the business sector is a luring workplace. Studying not only the problems, but also the possibilities, of neoliberalism helps us to understand its power. Thus, we can engage deeper in the forces that are upholding the system. Some of the forces are political or economic, others are emotional. Most of them are both. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Nordic Educational Research Association, 2022
Keywords
neoliberalism, affective economy, edu-business
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56187 (URN)
Conference
NERA annual conference, 1-3rd of June 2022. Reykjavik, Iceland
Projects
Utbildning AB. En studie av villkor för, och konsekvenser av, edu-prenöriellt engagemang i svensk skola
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017–01657
Available from: 2022-11-22 Created: 2022-11-22 Last updated: 2022-11-24Bibliographically approved
Serder, M., Jobér, A., Ideland, M., Axelsson, T. & Erlandsson, M. (2022). Utbildning AB Villkor och konsekvenser för en marknadiserad skola: Rapport från ett forskningsprojekt. Malmö University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Utbildning AB Villkor och konsekvenser för en marknadiserad skola: Rapport från ett forskningsprojekt
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2022 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö University Press, 2022. p. 19
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-51229 (URN)10.24834/isbn.9789178772704 (DOI)978-91-7877-270-4 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-01657The Crafoord Foundation
Available from: 2022-05-02 Created: 2022-05-02 Last updated: 2023-11-29Bibliographically approved
Ideland, M. & Serder, M. (2021). Edu-business within the Triple Helix: Value production through assetization of educational research. In: : . Paper presented at NERA - Nordic Educational Research Association.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Edu-business within the Triple Helix: Value production through assetization of educational research
2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Growing demands on evidence-based teaching and an increasing business involvement together constitute a double-sided transformation of compulsory education in which educational research has become a commodity and a selling point for commercial companies. Thus, new intersections – or Triple Helix – between business sector, research and school are emerging as an asset within business contexts.  The aim of the paper is to explore in what different ways, and with what different motives, do people in edu-business use research, and what kinds of values do they expect to produce through the use of research? The paper builds on interviews with 30 Swedish edupreneurs, i.e. people working within edu-business such as ed-tech .

From an analysis the interviews, five different approaches are identified, describing the edupreneurs’ manifold ways of using, relating to, and translating research into sellable products. The different approaches are categorized as Philanthropists, Influencers, Ambassadors, Brokers, and Engineers. Using the theoretical lens of assetization, we show how different values are produced through these different approaches. The value could be (1) economic – strengthening the company’s credibility and brand; (2) pedagogical – changing teaching and learning practices; (3) political – lobbying for policy change; (4) academic – defining useful research and (5) social – building networks.  However, there are also similarities regarding the different approaches; they all emphasize that Triple Helix collaborations ought to be naturalized, however preserving the entrepreneurial right to define useful research and meanwhile providing legitimacy through the power of research – an important asset on the edu-market. A remaining question, then, is what ‘research use’ becomes in school, when its existence and dissemination is translated through commercial interests? What does it mean for an education system struggling to become ‘based on science’?  

The study is relevant in a Nordic perspective (and beyond) since Triple Helix collaborations, evidence-based education and a growing edu-business are cultural and political phenomena travelling across national borders. Considering that, we claim that there is an urgent need for a discussion on how they are played out in the context of Nordic welfare states. 

Keywords
commercialization of education, discourse analysis, science studies
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Child and youth studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-47170 (URN)
Conference
NERA - Nordic Educational Research Association
Projects
Utbildning AB.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-01657
Available from: 2022-01-10 Created: 2021-12-03 Last updated: 2022-04-26Bibliographically approved
Lundahl, C. & Serder, M. (2021). Internationella kunskapsbedömningar - hur används PISA? (1ed.). In: Åsa Hirsh och Christian Lundahl (Ed.), Hållbar bedömning: Bildning, välbefinnande och utveckling i skolans bedömningsarbete (pp. 357-382). Stockholm: Natur och kultur
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internationella kunskapsbedömningar - hur används PISA?
2021 (Swedish)In: Hållbar bedömning: Bildning, välbefinnande och utveckling i skolans bedömningsarbete / [ed] Åsa Hirsh och Christian Lundahl, Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 2021, 1, p. 357-382Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Internationella kunskapsjämförelser har sitt ursprung i det sena 1800-taletsvärldsutställningar där skolmaterial och skrivböcker, och ibland faktiskt till och med undervisning, visades upp. Världsutställningarna syftade till att jämföra konst och industriföremål men för att förstå vad som låg bakomdenna produktion kom kultur och utbildning snart att bli en naturlig del avdet som jämfördes. Fort blev det politiskt viktigt att vinna de så kallade pristävlingarna i de olika kategorierna och då bland annat i fråga om utbildningsväsendetskvaliteter. Mycket har hänt sedan dess. Sedan 1960-talet och fram till idag sker dessa jämförelser utifrån kunskapstester där inte minst det så kallade PISA-testet som lanserades första gången år 2000 röner stor uppmärksamhet. Intressant nog tycks jämförelserna inte handla så mycket om att lära av andra länder, som med världsutställningarna, utan snarare används resultaten i den inhemska politiska debatten som slagträ för både det en och det andra, vilket är vad detta kapitel handlar om.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 2021 Edition: 1
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-47089 (URN)978-91-27-82730-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-11-25 Created: 2021-11-25 Last updated: 2021-11-26Bibliographically approved
Lundahl, C. & Serder, M. (2021). Riksrevisionen och PISAs validitet. Skola och samhälle (2021-05-02)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Riksrevisionen och PISAs validitet
2021 (Swedish)In: Skola och samhälle, ISSN 2001-6727, no 2021-05-02Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [sv]

I förra veckan kom Riksrevisionens utredning om att de svenska PISA-resultaten från 2018 hade förskönats med hjälp av att exkludera vissa elevgrupper från provet. Rapporten har debatterats högljutt och det har blåst snålt om öronen på både Skolverket och utbildningsminister Anna Ekström, som ihärdigt hävdar att det går att lita på PISA. Christian Lundahl och Margareta Serder reder här ut vad rapporten handlar om och menar att resultaten i  PISA – i alla lägen – bör förstås och tolkas med försiktighet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Föreningen skola och samhälle, 2021
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-46456 (URN)
Note

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Available from: 2021-10-24 Created: 2021-10-24 Last updated: 2023-08-25Bibliographically approved
Projects
Education Inc. Exploring conditions, forms and consequences of edu-preneurial engagement in Swedish schools; Malmö University; Publications
Serder, M. (2024). Knowledge for sale: The construction of desired knowledge and identities in edu-marketing. European Educational Research Journal, 23(1), 72-86Jobér, A. (2024). Private actors in policy processes. entrepreneurs, edupreneurs and policyneurs. Journal of education policy, 39(1), 20-39
Organisations
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ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5689-8281

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