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  • 1. Ackesjö, Helena
    et al.
    Persson, Sven
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Barns erfarenheter av sociala gemenskaper i övergångarna till och från förskoleklass2014In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 5-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Summary Helena Ackesjö & Sven Persson: Children’s experiences of social communities in the transitions to and from preschool class. The focus of this study is children's transitions to and from preschool class, which in Sweden is a voluntary first year in school. The exit from preschool and entry to school may in many ways be regarded as a critical event in the child's life, and international research shows that nearly half of the children are concerned about this transition. Research has also suggested that a good socio-emotional foundation provides better conditions for learning in the primary school years. The aim of this study is therefore to gain knowledge about how children reason about the transitions to and from preschool class, and how transitions affect children's peer relationships and belonging in social communities. Wenger's theory of communities of practice is used to understand the impact of transitions from children’s perspective. Communities of practices are based on common actions and are, according to Wenger's definition, focused around maintaining a mutual engagement in common activities. Wenger theory has also been used to understand and analyze various forms of communities. We use the general term social community to describe the affiliation (belonging according to Wenger's terminology) that children describe that they experience with other children in an institutional context. In Wenger's theory, the border concept is central. Social communities are constructed and given meaning in different ways depending on how the borders are marked, and depending on who is included or excluded. Based on this theory, the transitions to and from preschool class become transitions between different social communities. The empirical data have been constructed during a longitudinal ethnographic field work that spanned over 18 months - over two transitions between three different school forms (preschool, preschool class and school). The study has an ambition to place the child's own contributions and experiences of transitions in the foreground, and we use the concept of children's perspectives as their opinions and experiences are described. The empirical data consists of interviews, individual conversations and group discussions about peer relationships in the transitions, conducted with the children in the three different school forms. In addition, observations of certain critical events have been analyzed. The results show the important role that peer relationships have for the children in transitions between different school forms. Children's groups are scattered in each transition to a new school form, indicating that the children are moving in different directions. The results therefore indicate that transitions are not always to be characterized as collective processes. The transitions involve processes of continuity and discontinuity, since the conditions for children's participation and position in social communities are changing. Continuity and discontinuity in transitions are perceived differently by different children, and are given different meanings depending on how the children consider and understand themselves. The transitions require children to re-orient themselves in new social communities and physical rooms. The discontinuities in transitions therefore requires a form of increased reflexivity i.e. children are forced, for better or worse, to reflect on themselves as individuals. Physical discontinuity is often positive experienced and associated with anticipation and excitement by children. This can be related to the knowledge of "starting something new". In the transition to preschool class, the preschool environment is replaced with school environment, and several of the children expressed that this means new opportunities and challenges for them. However, the social discontinuity seems to place other demands on children. Each transition and entry into a new context, and into a new group of children, involves a re-orientation and a re-definition of both themselves and of their affiliations. For most children this is no problem, but some children describe that they have lost their reference points in the transitions. The separation from the old community can be difficult to handle. These children have been separated from a perceived affiliation and social community in preschool, and describe how difficult it can be to enter into new communities in new school forms. Several of the children describe that almost every spring semester in preschool (as well as in preschool class) have resulted in separations and breakups. Thus, the beginning of the autumn terms has been characterized by new entries and adjustments to new children and new teachers - breakups have become a part of children's institutional lives. In their search for strategies to manage the social discontinuity, the children uses past experiences. Some children have conquered what we call transition competences based on past experiences, which they use when seeking new social communities in new school forms. Previous research has shown that children who start school with peers can get a head start in learning, because peers adds a sense of belonging and continuity when many other things are changing. Based on the results of this study, it may be appropriate to further consider how it is possible to prevent or eliminate involuntary interruptions in children's important relationships during transitions. This study has shown that children care about their relationships and they express a need for social continuity. To "belong" is from a child's perspective important in transitions.

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  • 2. Ackesjö, Helena
    et al.
    Persson, Sven
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    The Educational Positioning of the Preschool-Class at the Border between Social Education and Academic Demands: An Issue of Continuity in Swedish Early Education?2016In: Journal of Education and Human Development, ISSN 2334-296X, E-ISSN 2334-2978, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 182-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study’s overarching aim is to produce knowledge about the educational position of the preschool-class in a changing educational landscape. This position is analyzed through teacher’s own descriptions in the weekly reports they send home to the parents each week. The results illustrate how teachers in their weekly reports construct an educational position for the pre-school class that is influenced both by the social pedagogical position with an existence-oriented education and the academic school readiness position by preparing children for further schooling. This causes a variation in the preschool-class education and raises questions about continuity and equivalence in early education.

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  • 3. Alasuutari, Maarit
    et al.
    Markström, Ann-Marie
    Vallberg Roth, Ann-Christine
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS). Malmö högskola, Centre for Profession Studies (CPS).
    Assessment and documentation in early childhood education2014Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The chapters of this book study documentation and assessment from three perspectives: considering them as issues of curricula and pedagogy and as tasks of an educator; studying them as negotiations on and about the child; and examining them as actions on and of parents. The book is divided into different sections according to these perspectives. The first section ‘A view on curricula, didaktik and teachers’ includes three chapters. Chapter 2, ‘Assessment and documentation in the ECE curriculum - focus on the Nordic tradition’ discusses the basis of documentation and assessment in early education, the curriculum. Since it focuses on the Nordic curricula, it also illuminates the broader frame that the examinations of the following chapters are embedded in. The Nordic tradition of curriculum design emphasizes children’s performance and defines goals to strive for without specifying the objects of achievement. The other tradition to curricula design presented in the chapter, the Anglo-Saxon tradition, is characterized by the focus on the individual and by detailed formulations of goals to achieve for different age categories. The chapter discusses the contradictory tendencies of de- and re-centralization in the Nordic curricula, evident for example in the regulations and directions concerning documentation and assessment. It also argues that we can recognize a movement towards the Anglo-Saxon tradition of curriculum design in the Nordic countries. Chapter 3 ‘Different Forms of Documentation and Assessment in ECE’ familiarizes the reader with the documentation practices of Nordic early education at the grass root level. Drawing on a case study of three Swedish preschools, it illuminates the types of documentation tools that are applied in ECE. It proposes that the documentation practices can best be characterized by the term multi-documentation. The examination of the multi-documentation shows how the documentation tools comprise different forms of assessment, ranging from developmental-psychological, narrative and activity oriented assessments to self- and personality assessments. Finally, the chapter raises questions about in what sense the documentation and assessment practices are about empowering, supporting, and strengthening children, parents and professionals and in what sense they can weaken, mislead, and constrain the different actors. The fourth chapter, which ends the first part of the book, ‘Teachers in intensified assessment and documentation practices - a didaktik approach’ builds on the previous chapter and considers documentation and assessment practices and teachers’ role in them from the view of the reflective, Continental approach of didaktik. It approaches documents as co-actors in educational processes on focuses on the following questions regarding it: why (the function), who (subjects/actors), what (the content) and how (the form). The chapter introduces the concept of transformative assessment as a boundary object between different forms and functions of assessment and between micro-, meso- and macro-level actors of assessment and documentation practices. The preschool teachers’ role can be described as trans-actors in the transformative multi-documentation and assessment. The second part of the book, ‘Auditing the child’ with its two chapters will move the focus to the social study of childhood and consider the notions of the child in documentation and assessment from two different starting points. Chapter 5, ‘Documentation and listening to the children’, begins its discussion from a common understanding of child documentation as a means to give children a ‘voice’. By drawing on empirical data from parent-teacher discussions considering children’s responses to specific questions, the chapter problematizes this notion. It argues that despite of its benevolent aims, listening to children through documentation is constrained by and deeply embedded in, institutional and generational practices and assumptions about professionalism in ECE. Consequently, the child’s view can be ‘lost in translation’. Chapter 6, ‘The normal child’, continues the discussion about the notions of the child by inviting the reader to consider how documentation and assessment practices produce normative ideas about the child and how these ideas are intertwined with the social order of the ECE institution. This order both controls and empowers the institutional actors in different ways. The chapter illustrates how the ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ child is produced in written documentation and in the intertwinement of text and talk. It also illuminates how the assessments and the normative function of documentation are predominantly implicit and actualized, especially, when the child shows ‘resistance’ of the system of ECE or otherwise departs from its expectations. The third part of the book positions ‘Parenthood on focus’ and consists of two chapters. Chapter 7, ‘The governance and pedagogicalization of parents’, highlights the demands on parents in the documentalized practices used to establish collaboration between home and ECE. It considers practices and tools that are used to involve parents in the assessment and documentation of their child and the family. Through them, the parents are expected to embrace the ideas and discourses of the ECE institution. Furthermore, the documentalized practices yield unspoken expectations about how the parents should support their child in lifelong learning and how they can meet the institutional norms of good parenting. Chapter 8, ‘Parenthood between offline and online – about assessment and documentation’ draws on a ‘netnographic’ research on what parents write about assessment and documentation of children on Internet sites. In the discussions parents are free from the institutional constraints that are evident, for example, in parent-teacher meetings. The chapter considers whose interests seem to be involved in the discussions and who is assessing whom. Moreover, it considers in what ways the discussions can be seen both as empowering and constraining parenthood. The final chapter, ‘Conclusion: Dilemmas of documentation’, ties together the key points of the preceding chapters by discussing the ‘junction’ of discourses and contradictory tendencies that are embedded in the assessment and documentation practices of Nordic ECE, regarding children, parents, and professionals. The chapter illuminates the different fields of the contradictory discourses by a multi-dimensional model of the steering of assessment and documentation and proposes the concept of ‘documentalized childhood’ as capturing the function of the steering in the transnational context of contemporary ECE.  

  • 4. Askander, Mikael
    et al.
    Lundin, Johan A.Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).Söderman, JohanMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Coda: andra antologin om Musik och samhälle2014Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Musik och Samhälle är ett kunskapsfält med intresse för musikens roll i samhället och i människors vardagsliv ur såväl ett samtida som historiskt perspektiv. Kunskapen som genomkorsar detta fält är både praktisk och teoretisk. Det handlar således både om erfarenheter och know-how och om hur man med olika teoretiska verktyg kan förstå det som händer. För att samla alla med intresse för frågor av det här slaget har ABF och forskare vid Malmö högskola sedan 2009 årligen arrangerat konferensen Musik och Samhälle. Här träffas forskare, folkbildare, föreningsaktiva, folk från branschen och dess organisationer, folk som arbetar med massmedia samt kommunala, regionala och statliga aktörer för att utbyta erfarenheter, diskutera och inte minst knyta kontakter.

  • 5. Aspán, Margareta
    et al.
    Balldin, Jutta
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    FörUndran: barns rätt och estetiska uttryck i utbildning2017In: Estetiska uttryck och barnets rättigheter i utbildning / [ed] Margareta Aspán, Jutta Balldin, Charlotte Engel, Anna Röing Hellberg, Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2017, p. 17-40Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 6. Aspán, Margareta
    et al.
    Balldin, JuttaMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).Engel, CharlotteRöing Hellberg, Anna
    Estetiska uttryck och barnets rättigheter i utbildning2017Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Axelsson, Thom
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Assimilering eller mångkulturell inkorporering?: nyanlända elever i den svenska och kanadensiska skolan2015In: Barn, ISSN 0800-1669, no 2, p. 9-25Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Axelsson, Thom
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Att konstruera begåvning - debatten om IQ2012In: Educare, ISSN 1653-1868, E-ISSN 2004-5190, no 1, p. 7-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Throughout the 20th century, the nature of intelligence has been a hot topic and an intensely debated issue. It is the measuring and testing of intelligence, in particular, that has aroused the strongest reactions from defenders and protesters alike. The discussion on intelligence tests have frequently revolved around questions such as whether these tests will lead to an increased social mobility and liberation or, on the contrary, to exclusion and discrimination of certain groups. The focus of the present article, however, is not the consequences of intelligence testing but rather the debate concerning the testing within the research community. This debate is approached from three different perspectives: a historical perspective, a psychological perspective, and a perspective allowed for by discourse analysis. Having done this, I discuss one other tentative way of dealing with intelligence testing that does not necessarily have to involve narratives of liberation or of oppression. This is done with the help of Michel Foucault’s concept ‘governmentality’.

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  • 9.
    Axelsson, Thom
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Barns och ungas utbildning i ett segregerat samhälle: mångfald och migration i valfrihetens skola2014Report (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Axelsson, Thom
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Intelligence testing, ethnicity, and construction of the deviant child: Foucault and special education in Sweden2016In: Nordic Journal of Social Research, E-ISSN 1892-2783, Vol. 7, no special issueArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, I discuss how Foucault may help us to reach a different understanding of special education. This article primarily draws on two analytical tools from Foucault’s ‘toolbox’: genealogy and governmentality. These tools are used to analyse three different cases of intelligence testing from the debate concerning the Swedish school organization in the early twentieth century. It is possible to see intelligence-quotient (IQ) testing as an overarching tool for controlling social behaviour. Intelligence-quotient testing was an important tool of power, with the aim of establishing certain regimes of truth on a societal as well as on an individual level. This article shows through a Foucauldian analysis that we should be careful in interpreting this entirely as an expression of state power from above or as different experts’ intentions. Rather, by using a genealogical approach, we can attempt to (re)write the history of interpretations, or problematizations, and then we can utilize a perspective of governmentality that focuses on the techniques and their effects.

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  • 11.
    Axelsson, Thom
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Tattare, hjälpklasser och intelligensundersökningar i den svenska folkskolan under tidigt 1900-tal2012In: I særklasse: inklusion og eksklusion i grundskolen, Selskabet for Skole- og Uddannelsehistorie , 2012, p. 95-117Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Axelsson, Thom
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Balldin, JuttaMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).Qvarsebo, JonasMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Styrningskonst på utbildningsarenan: upphöjda begrepp i svensk utbildningdiskurs2014Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Axelsson, Thom
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Brantefors, Lotta
    Elenius, Lars
    Utbildning och minoriteter2015In: Utbildningshistoria: en introduktion / [ed] Esbjörn Larsson, Johannes Westerberg, Studentlitteratur AB, 2015, p. 377-400Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Axelsson, Thom
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Qvarsebo, Jonas
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Barndomens historiska framväxt2017In: Utbildningsvetenskap för förskolan [Andra utgåvan] / [ed] Bim Riddersporre, Sven Persson, Natur & Kultur , 2017, p. 43-63Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Axelsson, Thom
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Qvarsebo, Jonas
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Maktens skepnader och effekter: Maktanalys i Foucaults anda2017Book (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Axelsson, Thom
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Qvarsebo, Jonas
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Värdegrund och livskunskap som styrningsteknologier2014In: Styrningskonst på utbildningsarenan: upphöjda begrepp i svensk utbildningsdiskurs / [ed] Thom Axelsson, Jutta Balldin, Jonas Qvarsebo, Studentlitteratur AB, 2014Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Balldin, Jutta
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Mamma i tid2013In: Föräldrar, förskola och skola: om mångfald, makt och möjligheter / [ed] Anne Harju, Ingegerd Tallberg Broman, Studentlitteratur AB, 2013, p. 175-191Chapter in book (Other academic)
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  • 18.
    Balldin, Jutta
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Harju, Anne
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Lilja, Peter
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Introduktion2014In: Om förskolan och de yngre barnen: historiska och nutida nedslag / [ed] Jutta Balldin, Johan Dahlbeck, Anne Harju, Peter Lilja, Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 11-16Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Balldin, Jutta
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Dahlbeck, JohanMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).Harju, AnneMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).Lilja, PeterMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Om förskolan och de yngre barnen: historiska och nutida nedslag2014Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Balldin, Jutta
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Ljungberg, Caroline
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    En hälsosam barndom?2014In: Styrningskonst på utbildningsarenan: upphöjda begrepp i svensk utbildningsdiskurs / [ed] Thom Axelsson, Jutta Balldin, Jonas Qvarsebo, Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 59-78Chapter in book (Other academic)
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  • 21.
    Balldin, Jutta
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Ljungberg, Caroline
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Omsorg vid bordet2016In: Omsorg i en förskola på vetenskaplig grund; / [ed] Bim Riddersporre, Barbro Bruce, Natur & Kultur , 2016, p. 163-178Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 22.
    Bergman, Lotta
    et al.
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Culture, Languages and Media (KSM).
    Ericsson, IngegerdMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Sport Sciences (IDV).Hartsmar, NannyMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).Lang, LenaMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of School Development and Leadership (SOL).Ljungberg, CarolineMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).Småberg, ThomasMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Individual and Society (IS).Söderman, JohanMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Educare 2014:2: Childhood, Learning and Didactics2014Collection (editor) (Other academic)
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  • 23.
    Berkhuizen, Carina
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    De yngsta barnens möjligheter till samspel på förskolegården2014Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
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  • 24.
    Björklund, Camilla
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg.
    Alkhede, Maria
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS). University of Gothenburg.
    Sharpening the focus on numbers and counting: Preschool educators differentiating aspects of mathematical knowledge for teaching2017In: Mathematics Teacher Education and Development, ISSN 1442-3901, Vol. 19, no 3, p. 117-134Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports a study of educators differentiating aspects of mathematical knowledge for teaching in preschool as part of a further-education programme. Eight Swedish preschool educators participated in focus group discussions about documentations from their own practice during a school year, to enhance their awareness of their mathematics education practice. The object of learning for the participants is more specifically how numbers and counting are made content for learning in preschool practice. The educators' authentic documentations are reflected upon in focus group meetings and further analysed by the researchers to find out what aspects the educators differentiate during the programme. Results show that educators' learning about content for children's learning in preschool is a complex process. This process involves several aspects necessary to discern for a professional development to occur, but the collaborative approach seems prosperous in that new aspects are brought to the fore, influencing their reflective practice.

  • 25. Brändström, Sture
    et al.
    Söderman, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Thorgersen, Ketil
    The double feature of musical folkbildning: three Swedish examples2012In: British Journal of Music Education, ISSN 0265-0517, E-ISSN 1469-2104, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 65-74Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to analyse three case study examples of musical folkbildning in Sweden. The first case study is from the establishment of the state-funded Framnäs Folk High Music School in the middle of the last century. The second case study, Hagström's music education, is from the same time but describes a music school run by a private company. The third case study concerns a contemporary expression of folkbildning, namely hip-hop. The theoretical framework that inspired this article stems from the work of Pierre Bourdieu. The double feature of folkbildning appears in terms of: elitist and democratic tendencies, high and low taste agendas, control and freedom.

  • 26. Burnard, Pamela
    et al.
    Hofvander Trulsson, YlvaSöderman, JohanMalmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Bourdieu and the Sociology of Music Education2015Collection (editor) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Pierre Bourdieu has been an extraordinarily influential figure in the sociology of music. For over four decades, his concepts have helped to generate both empirical and theoretical interventions in the field of musical study. His impact on the sociology of music taste, in particular, has been profound, his ideas directly informing our understandings of how musical preferences reflect and reproduce inequalities between social classes, ethnic groups, and men and women. Bourdieu and the Sociology of Music Education draws together a group of international researchers, academics and artist-practitioners who offer a critical introduction and exploration of Pierre Bourdieu’s rich generative conceptual tools for advancing sociological views of music education. By employing perspectives from Bourdieu’s work on distinction and judgement and his conceptualisation of fields, habitus and capitals in relation to music education, contributing authors explore the ways in which Bourdieu’s work can be applied to music education as a means of linking school (institutional habitus) and learning, and curriculum and family (class habitus). The volume includes research perspectives and studies of how Bourdieu’s tools have been applied in industry and educational contexts, including the primary, secondary and higher music education sectors. The volume begins with an introduction to Bourdieu’s contribution to theory and methodology and then goes on to deal in detail with illustrative substantive studies. The concluding chapter is an extended essay that reflects on, and critiques, the application of Bourdieu’s work and examines the ways in which the studies contained in the volume advance understanding. The book contributes new perspectives to our understanding of Bourdieu’s tools across diverse settings and practices of music education.

  • 27.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    A Spinozistic Model of Moral Education2017In: Studies in Philosophy and Education, ISSN 0039-3746, E-ISSN 1573-191X, Vol. 36, no 5, p. 533-550Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Spinoza’s claim that self-preservation is the foundation of virtue makes for the point of departure of this philosophical investigation into what a Spinozistic model of moral education might look like. It is argued that Spinoza’s metaphysics places constraints on moral education insofar as an educational account would be affected by Spinoza’s denial of the objectivity of moral knowledge, his denial of the existence of free will, and of moral responsibility. This article discusses these challenges in some detail, seeking to construe a credible account of moral education based on the insight that self-preservation is not at odds with benevolence, but that the self-preservation of the teacher is instead conditioned by the intellectual deliberation of the students. However, it is also concluded that while benevolence retains an important place in Spinoza’s ethics, his causal determinism poses a severe threat to a convincing account of moral education insofar as moral education is commonly understood to involve an effort to influence the actions of students relative to some desirable goal.

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  • 28.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Against ressentiment: response to Mackenzie2016In: Educational Philosophy and Theory, ISSN 0013-1857, E-ISSN 1469-5812, Vol. 48, no 9, p. 943-945Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    First off I would like to thank the editors of this journal for allowing me this space to respond to Jim Mackenzie’s ‘Dahlbeck and pure ontology’ (written in reply to my ‘Towards a pure ontology’). I would also like to thank Mackenzie for taking the time to read and to respond at length to my article. I’m pleased Mackenzie engaged with my article so intensely. In response, I will not quibble—word by word—with Mackenzie’s vigorous attack upon my work. I think curious readers should read it for themselves. Here, I would like to focus upon the larger issues and assumptions at play in our debate.

  • 29.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Character Education and Ethical Egoism: Spinoza on Self-preservation as the Foundation of Virtue2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, character education and virtue ethics have undergone a form of renaissance in the philosophy of education (Sanderse, 2015). Virtue and character are Aristotelian notions that amount to key components of an ethical life. The Aristotelian conception of the highest good to strive toward (in life as well as in education) is expressed through the notion of eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is commonly taken to denote a form of happiness in the sense of a life well lived or a flourishing life. This form of happiness is construed as an end in itself and it is therefore also reasonable to posit eudaimonia as the end-goal of character education. Consequently, character education may be said to aim at ‘the formation of somebody’s character, which accommodates a whole range of virtues and in which cognition and emotion ideally form a unity’ (p. 383). Early modern rationalist Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1670) is a largely neglected philosopher in the context of the philosophy of education. In part, this can be explained by the fact that Spinoza never wrote any texts addressing education explicitly. This neglect is regrettable, however, since Spinoza offers a profound ethical theory – firmly grounded in his metaphysical system – raising important questions relevant for contemporary moral education. In his posthumously published magnum opus, the Ethics (first published in 1677), Spinoza writes that ‘[t]he striving to preserve oneself is the first and only foundation of virtue’ (4p22c). This conception of virtue has led Spinoza scholars to conclude that Spinoza is best read as an ethical and psychological egoist (e.g. Nadler, 2013). As Genevieve Lloyd points out, this means that for Spinoza ‘[s]elf-seeking – traditionally opposed to rational virtue – now becomes its foundation’ (1996, p. 9). At the same time, Spinoza’s ethical theory is often described in terms of a form of eudaimonistic ethics, highlighting the importance of developing a virtuous character for reaching a state of happiness or human flourishing (Kisner, 2011). This paper proposes an outline of a form of character education based on Spinoza’s ethical egoism, arguing that the self-preservation of the teacher is the main motivation for the Spinozistic teacher. Since the self-preservation of the teacher is conditioned by the moral development of the students – by virtue of Spinoza’s doctrine of the imitation of the affects – this, however, requires a reciprocal set-up, where the student is emulating the teacher (as role model) so that the teacher, in turn, may emulate his or her students. The paper closes by considering how a Spinozistic character education can facilitate the escape from bondage – for teacher and students alike. Method This paper makes for a philosophical discussion engaging with relevant parts of Spinoza's moral theory. It also draws from recent contributions discussing the pros and cons of Aristotelian character education so as to be able to investigate how a Spinozistically conceived model of character education could serve to address some perceived shortcomings of an Aristotelian model. Expected Outcomes A Spinozistic model of character education is centered on furthering the self-preservation of the teacher and students alike. Since the self-preservation of one is conditioned by the self-preservation of the other, this egoistic striving is greatly benefited by benevolence and friendship. Successful self-preservation is the foundation of virtue and the means to this end are construed as anything that empowers us. What empowers us most, however, is an adequate understanding of ourselves and our marginal place in the world which is why this kind of knowledge is the object of a Spinozistic character education. To gain this kind of knowledge requires practical experimentation, as we need to find out individually how different things affect us so as to get more information about our affective capabilities. It is greatly benefited, however, by being guided by general dictates of reason making sure that we strive for things that really do empower us rather than things that are only seemingly good for us. Moreover, a Spinozistic character education is guided by a strong sense of community insofar as the things that benefit our striving to persevere the most are available to all and can be enjoyed by all equally. This means that there is no reason to compete over the good, but instead, all the more reason to help others strive for it since the striving of others like me will benefit me in my own striving (4p18s). This amounts to a model of character education that is unhampered by the problematic notion of a free will and that can combine a strong sense of eudaimonism with a constructivist understanding of moral values.

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  • 30.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Educar para la inmortalidad: espinosa y la pedagogía de la existencia gradual2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper it is argued that, from a Spinozan perspective, to live is not an either/or kind of business. Rather, it is something that inevitably comes in degrees. The idea is that through good education and proper training a person can learn to increase his or her degree of existence by acquiring more adequate (as opposed to confused) ideas about his or her body. This gradual qualitative enhancement of existence is an operationalization of Spinoza’s quest for immortality of the mind. While Spinoza’s idea of immortality differs from the traditional Christian account of the immortality of the soul in some key respects it nevertheless concerns a form of immortality of the mind albeit grasped from a strictly naturalistic standpoint. And as such it is clear that we are faced with not only a philosophical and metaphysical problem of some magnitude but that we have come up against an educational problem that is rarely being addressed. The educational problem, emanating from this, concerns the tension between Spinoza’s necessitarianism and the overall goal of education. Why educate people at all if their lives are already predetermined? In addressing these problems, this essay marks an attempt to present a pedagogization of the degrees of existence in Spinoza. To this end, it is argued that (1) the imitation of affects is key for understanding Spinoza in an educational setting and; (2) that teaching, in a Spinozistic context, hinges on the act of offering the right amount of resistance.

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  • 31.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Educating for immortality: Spinoza and the pedagogy of gradual existence2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article begins with the question: What is it to live? It is argued that, from a Spinozistic perspective, to live is not an either/or kind of matter. The educational problem, emanating from this, concerns the tension between Spinoza's necessitarianism and the overall goal of education. In addressing these problems, this paper marks an attempt to present a pedagogization of the degrees of existence in Spinoza.

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  • 32.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Educating for immortality: Spinoza and the pedagogy of gradual existence2015In: Journal of Philosophy of Education, ISSN 0309-8249, E-ISSN 1467-9752, Vol. 49, no 3, p. 347-365Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article begins with the question: What is it to live? It is argued that, from a Spinozistic perspective, to live is not an either/or kind of matter. Rather, it is something that inevitably comes in degrees. The idea is that through good education and proper training a person can learn to increase his or her degree of existence by acquiring more adequate (as opposed to confused) ideas. This gradual qualitative enhancement of existence is an operationalisation of Spinoza’s quest for immortality of the mind. While Spinoza’s idea of immortality differs from the traditional Christian account of the immortality of the soul in some key respects, it nevertheless concerns a form of immortality of the mind albeit grasped from a strictly naturalistic standpoint. And as such it is clear that we are faced with not only a philosophical and metaphysical problem of some magnitude but that we have come up against an educational problem that is rarely addressed. The educational problem, emanating from this, concerns the tension between Spinoza’s necessitarianism and the overall goal of education. Why educate people at all if their lives are already predetermined? In addressing these problems, this article marks an attempt to present a pedagogization of the degrees of existence in Spinoza. To this end, it is argued that (1) the imitation of affects is key to understanding Spinoza in an educational setting and; (2) that teaching, in a Spinozistic context, involves the act of offering the right amount of resistance.

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  • 33.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Education and the Free Will Problem: A Spinozist Contribution2017In: Journal of Philosophy of Education, ISSN 0309-8249, E-ISSN 1467-9752, Vol. 51, no 4, p. 725-743Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this Spinozist defence of the educational promotion of students’ autonomy I argue for a deterministic position where freedom of will is deemed unrealistic in the metaphysical sense, but important in the sense that it is an undeniable psychological fact. The paper is structured in three parts. The first part investigates the concept of autonomy from different philosophical points of view, looking especially at how education and autonomy intersect. The second part focuses on explicating the philosophical position of causal determinism and it seeks to open up a way to conceive of education for autonomy without relying on the notion of free will in a metaphysical sense. The concluding part attempts to outline a Spinozistic understanding of education for autonomy where autonomy is grounded in the student's acceptance and understanding of the necessary constraints of natural causation rather than processes of self-causation.

  • 34.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Education for sustainable development and the humanization of nature2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper I argue that there are some telling examples from the discourse of education for sustainable development (ESD) that hint at a reliance on a reversed sense of causality, manifesting itself in a teleological and anthropomorphic understanding of nature. In order to substantiate this claim, I will consider some of Spinoza’s arguments concerning the limitations of human imagination -- and the prejudices that tend to arise from this -- and I will also link this with some of Freud’s claims with regards to the human tendency to deify the forces of nature as a kind of psychological response to the inherent remoteness of said forces. The relation between Spinoza and Freud has been discussed in terms of a mostly implicit affinity grounded in a common metaphysical starting-point that may be labeled a philosophy of immanence. This affinity is most evident, however, with regards to both Spinoza's and Freud’s reliance on a rationalist framework and on their insistence that the human psychological constitution is geared so that when humans are governed by their imagination, and are being confronted with the unexplained, they tend to automatically protect themselves by seeking comfort in the already known, regardless of the unlikeliness of the arrived at explanation. Hence, this paper aims to employ some of Spinoza’s and Freud’s arguments in order to formulate a critique of the anthropomorphic motifs displayed in contemporary educational materials produced within the discourse of ESD.

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  • 35.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Hope and fear in education for sustainable development2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The focus of this paper is on enquiring after the functions and the effects of hope and fear in teaching materials produced for and used within the discourse of education for sustainable development in Sweden. Drawing on the ethical writings of Seneca, Spinoza and Nietzsche, I aim to investigate hope and fear as tools for governing the behavior of students in a contemporary setting. Understanding hope and fear, not as opposites, but as mutually constitutive and as interdependent emotions directed at past and future events, I look into some of the philosophical problems with attempting to gain control over external things rather than striving to control the evaluations and responses to these. I focus especially on understanding education for sustainable development as conditioned by possible rewards and punishments, making it genealogically linked to organised, sectarian religion in that the hopes and fears of people are being manipulated for the purpose of governing the way they live their everyday lives. The Swedish examples looked at in this paper are part of a global trend of strengthening the work with sustainable development in schools and preschools, making them of interest not only locally but on an international level as well. Method: Looking at a selection of discursive statements such as teaching materials, national and international documents referred to within these teaching materials and related projects such as peace education and cosmopolitan education, this paper is based on a form of discourse analysis looking to identify some notable genealogical continuities and discontinuities. I approach these statements in terms of what Agamben labels 'paradigmatic examples' as they serve to reveal some of the conditions of the discourse, indicating the rules and conceptual boundaries of the discourse of education for sustainable development. It also presents a brief review of some of the key texts of Seneca, Spinoza and Nietzsche with regards to the functions and effects of hope and fear as passive affects and tools for governing people's lives. Expected Outcomes: As the notion of sustainable development is directed at anticipating and predicting future events I conclude that the functions of hope and fear in the examples looked at can be somewhat paradoxically understood to be hindering action on the part of the student as focus is placed on controlling external events that may be claimed to be beyond the control of the individual. This risks leading to the construction of a docile rather than an active student, which is contrary to the aspirations expressed within the discourse of education for sustainable development. References: Dahlbeck, J. & De Lucia Dahlbeck, M. (2012). "'Needle and Stick' Save the World: Sustainable Development and the Universal Child", Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 33(2), pp. 267-281. De Lucia Dahlbeck, M. & Dahlbeck, J. (2011). "Evaluating Life: Working With Ethical Dilemmas in Education for Sustainable Development", Law, Culture and the Humanities, Available as early-view online. Nietzsche, F. (1996). Human, All Too Human. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Seneca (1969). Letters from a Stoic. London: Penguin Classics. Spinoza, B. (1996). Ethics. London: Penguin Classics. Spinoza, B. (2007). Theological–Political Treatise. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • 36.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Hope and fear in education for sustainable development2014In: Critical Studies in Education, ISSN 1750-8487, E-ISSN 1750-8495, Vol. 55, no 2, p. 154-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Education for sustainable development represents a politically prioritized area of knowledge in contemporary Swedish education and as such it has acquired a prominent position among the governing values of educational policy. Insofar as education for sustainable development is directed at securing the future of human well-being, this article suggests that it concerns a moral discourse where notions about what may or may not happen in the future plays an important role in the governance of practices and behaviors in the present. Since the future is shrouded in uncertainty, it is suggested that the emotions of hope and fear may be understood in terms of tools for governing the everyday lives of children, invoking alluring and deterrent images that influence their decision-making. Besides seeking to gain a better understanding of some of the preconditions of education for sustainable development, the aim of this article concerns an investigation into some of the effects that education for sustainable development may have on the lives of children. To this end, it looks at how hope and fear are being put into play within the discourse as strategies for governing individuals in relation to the uncertainty of the future.

  • 37.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Hopp och rädsla i utbildning för hållbar utveckling2014In: Styrningskonst på utbildningsarenan: upphöjda begrepp i svensk utbildningsdiskurs / [ed] Thom Axelsson, Jutta Balldin, Jonas Qvarsebo, Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 79-101Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 38.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Lisa Sainsbury: Ethics in British children's literature, unexamined life2014In: Barnboken, ISSN 0347-772X, E-ISSN 2000-4389, Vol. 37Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Redan i den kittlande undertiteln Unexamined life antyds den un-derliggande spänning mellan barndomen och det etiska livet som Lisa Sainsbury både tar avstamp i och undersöker i sin bok om etik i brittisk barnlitteratur från efterkrigstiden och framåt. Begreppet ”unexamined life” anspelar naturligtvis på Sokrates berömda fras ur Platons Sokrates försvarstal som säger att ”the unexamined life is not worth living”. Barndomen är ju till sin natur mer eller mindre ”unex-amined”, så till vida att filosofisk självreflektion i regel betraktas som ett livslångt projekt. Snarast tänker vi kanske att det är i barndomen som vi bör få de förutsättningar vi behöver, för att så småningom be-driva den typen av kritisk självreflektion som vi först som rationella vuxna (i bästa fall) behärskar.

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  • 39.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Naturens ansikten2016In: Studier i Pædagogisk Filosofi, E-ISSN 2244-9140, Vol. 5, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the moral underpinnings of education for sustainable development by studying the humanization of nature in contemporary teaching materials. To this end, Spinoza’s and Freud’s naturalistic psychological accounts – suggesting, among other things, that the human psychological constitution tends to further a reversed sense of causality – are invoked as resources for explaining the image of nature as portrayed in education for sustainable development. It is argued that the examples looked at rely on two problematic assumptions: (1) that there exists a metaphysical gulf between humanity and nature, and (2) that natural forces, like humans, act intentionally and therefore appear to be motivated by an underlying, albeit seemingly unexplainable, sense of teleology. To conclude, the humanization of nature in education for sustainable development is taken to make for a potential democratic problem insofar as the image of nature may be conceived as a powerful instrument for governing the everyday lives of people. That is, being able to influence the humanized image of nature also implies having a degree of influence over the ways that people live.

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  • 40.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Naturens ansikten: Spinoza, kausalitet och utbildning för hållbar utveckling2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Med utgångspunkt i några aktuella exempel från undervisningsmaterial framställt för användning inom utbildning för hållbar utveckling syftar föreliggande presentation till att diskutera och problematisera bilden av naturen i relation till rationalisten och upplysningsfilosofen Spinozas tankar om den mänskliga fantasins tendens att upprätta en omvänd kausalitet. Presentationen argumenterar för att centrala element av Spinozas bibelkritik kan tjäna som modell vid analysen av materialet eftersom naturen i materialet delar gemensamma drag med den antropomorfiska gudsbild som Spinoza identifierar i profeternas texter. Mot bakgrund av detta framträder bilden av en natur iklädd synbart mänskliga drag, med igenkännbart känsloregister och tydligt teleologiskt driven motivation. En tentativ slutsats är att utbildningsmaterialet i fråga är mindre intressant att studera som källa till kunskap om naturen och människans relation till naturen och mer intressant att studera som källa till kunskap om mänsklig psykologi.

  • 41.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    On childhood and the good will: thoughts on ethics and early childhood education2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to critically examine how ethical principles are conceptualized and applied in educational contexts, focusing on the intersection of early childhood education and education for sustainable development. Its contribution to educational research in general, and to philosophy of education in particular, is to; first, discuss the presumed relation between ethical principles and individual actions and events, and to illustrate how this connection frames the understanding and application of ethics in educational situations. Second, it is to problematize the conditions for how the ethical framework is understood and applied by examining disturbances in the relation between ethical principles and its individualizations using a philosophy of immanent ethics as a conceptual framework. Education for sustainable development is targeted specifically as it offers some interesting examples of educational situations where children are working with ethical decision making and where ethical principles – manifested in the form of universal human rights – are commonly invoked. These examples are analyzed in terms of paradigmatic examples as they are taken to say something about the conditions for conceptualizing ethics in contemporary education. Looking at texts produced or commonly referred to within the discourse of education for sustainable development, the four articles of this thesis are looking to make visible some basic assumptions necessary for understanding and making sense of the examples looked at. The paradigmatic examples range from official documents on children’s rights to various forms of teaching materials produced within the discourse of education for sustainable development. The Kantian concept of the good will is identified as a useful way of describing the imagined link between principles and actions, facilitating the general understanding of the process whereby children are anticipated to make good ethical decisions in educational situations. The concept of the good will is, in turn, dependent on some form of transcendent ethics where ethical principles are presumed to exist independent of historical and social changes. Through the concept of immanent ethics, the presumed stability of the relation between principles and actions is scrutinized and destabilized. This is so as it introduces intrinsic dimensions of change and particularity into the overarching ethical scheme. Without the seemingly stable guarantors of universally valid ethical principles, the educational aspects of ethics appear to take on new characteristics, demanding the construction of new problems and the formulation of new questions regarding the relation between ethics and education.

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  • 42.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    On Childhood and the Logic of Difference: Some Empirical Examples2012In: Children & society, ISSN 0951-0605, E-ISSN 1099-0860, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 4-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article argues that universal documents on children's rights can provide illustrative examples as to how childhood is identified as a unity using difference as an instrument. Using Gille Deleuze's theorising on difference and sameness as a framework, the article seeks to relate the children's rights project with a critique of representation. It seeks to illustrate how the children's rights project seems to be promoting an image of childhood that is sharply contrasted by adulthood in a dichotomised sense, as well as how, in these documents, the fate of the child is being intertwined with the fate of the state.

  • 43.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    On Following Commands: A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Governing Values of Swedish Early Childhood Education2014In: Studies in Philosophy and Education, ISSN 0039-3746, E-ISSN 1573-191X, Vol. 33, no 5, p. 527-544Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article I will investigate a perceived tension in Swedish early childhood education (ECE) policy between reevaluating certain foundational claims on the one hand and following universal moral commands on the other. I ask the question; how is it that certain commonly held assumptions are being debunked and others left undisturbed in this particular context? To this end, I look at some of the preconditions of framing the edu- cational practice by universal moral commands so as to make visible some of its under- lying ontological assumptions. Correspondingly, I look at some necessary epistemological and ontological prerequisites for understanding knowledge formation as essentially rela- tional, such as it is construed in the policy documents concerned. I connect this with a broader trend in educational philosophy and theory, one where the destabilizing of a Cartesian notion of subjectivity has opened up for more relational conceptions of sub- jectivity. Next, I will take a closer look at some key passages from the policy documents where the appeal to moral universalism runs parallel with an appeal to a relational ontology. Having done so, I point to some epistemological problems with combining these two conflicting approaches on a policy level. To conclude, I formulate some final thoughts regarding how one might begin to resolve this tension within the discourse of Swedish ECE by coming to terms with what kind of ontological and epistemological foundation to rely upon. I do this by trying out the notion of a pedagogy of dosage.

  • 44.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    On following commands and rewriting the rules: the tension between moral universalism and relational pedagogy in Swedish early childhood education2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Research aims: In this study I investigate a perceived tension between reevaluating certain foundational claims on the one hand and following universal moral commands on the other. I ask the question, how is it that certain commonly held assumptions (about the nature of knowledge and knowledge formation) are being debunked and others (about ethics and the good life) left undisturbed in the context of contemporary Swedish early childhood education? Relationship to previous research works: this is original research unrelated to previous studies. Theoretical and conceptual framework: I study the conceptual preconditions necessary for making sense of the studied policy documents. Paradigm, methodology and methods: content analysis of Swedish ECE policy documents. Ethical considerations: none applicable. Main finding or discussion: the main findings include a detected incommensurability in the ontological and epistemological conditions of the studied policy documents. Implications, practice or policy: I suggest further discussions concerning the theoretical basis of Swedish ECE policy so as reconcile this perceived incommensurability. Keywords: relational pedagogy; moral universalism; Swedish ECE policy; foundational values; epistemology.

  • 45.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Review of Semetsky, Inna & Masny, Diane, ed., Deleuze and Education2013In: H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences, ISSN 1538-0661Article, book review (Other academic)
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  • 46.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Spinoza and Education: Freedom, Understanding and Empowerment2016Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Spinoza and Education offers a comprehensive investigation into the educational implications of Spinoza’s moral theory. Taking Spinoza’s naturalism as its point of departure, it constructs a considered account of education, taking special care to investigate the educational implications of Spinoza’s psychological egoism. What emerges is a counterintuitive form of education grounded in the egoistic striving of the teacher to persevere and to flourish in existence while still catering to the ethical demands of the students and the greater community. In providing an educational reading of Spinoza’s moral theory, this book sets up a critical dialogue between educational theory and recent studies which highlight the centrality of ethics in Spinoza’s overall philosophy. By placing his work in a contemporary educational context, chapters explore a counterintuitive conception of education as an ethical project, aimed at overcoming the desire to seek short-term satisfaction and troubling the influential concept of the student as consumer. This book also considers how education, from a Spinozistic point of view, may be approached in terms of a kind of cognitive therapy serving to further a more scientifically adequate understanding of the world and aimed at combating prejudices and superstition. Spinoza and Education demonstrates that Spinoza’s moral theory can further an educational ideal, where notions of freedom and self-preservation provide the conceptual core of a coherent philosophy of education. As such, it will appeal to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of philosophy of education, theory of education, critical thinking, philosophy, ethics, and Spinoza studies.

  • 47.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Spinoza's anti-humanism and ethics of education2015In: ECER 2015: Online Programme, EERA , 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Given the growing interest (across disciplinary boundaries) in Spinoza’s work in recent years, there is surprisingly little written on the subject of Spinoza and education. There are a handful of journal articles, such as Aloni’s “Spinoza as educator” (2008), Derry’s “The unity of intellect and will” (2006), Puolimatka’s “Spinoza’s theory of teaching and indoctrination” (2001) and Dahlbeck’s “Educating for immortality” (2014), and a few notable anthology chapters, such as Genevieve Lloyd’s “Spinoza and the education of the imagination” (1998), but overall the literature on Spinoza and education is quite limited. This paper seeks to add to this work, focusing on initiating a discussion on some of the normative consequences of formulating a philosophy of education based on Spinoza’s ethics of self-preservation. In doing so, it connects with a recent trend in Spinoza scholarship focusing on the ethical core of his philosophy, such as LeBuffe’s From Bondage to Freedom (2010), Kisner’s Spinoza on Human Freedom (2011) and Kisner and Youpa’s Essays on Spinoza’s Ethical Theory (2014).

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  • 48.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Spinoza’s Doctrine of the Imitation of Affects and Teaching as the Art of Offering the Right Amount of Resistance2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Proposal Information (e.g. topic, research question, objective, conceptual or theoretical framework …): In this paper it is argued that although Spinoza, unlike other great philosophers of the Enlightenment era (such as Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau), never actually wrote a philosophy of education as such, he did – in his Ethics – write a philosophy of self-improvement that is deeply educational at heart. When looked at against the background of his overall metaphysical system, the educational account that emerges is one that is highly curious and may even, to some extent at least, come across as counter-intuitive in a contemporary setting. This is so because it grounds the greater social and political endeavors of humanity in the individual’s striving for an ever-increasing power of acting. Hence, education, for Spinoza, is a decidedly individualistic affair, but then again, so is the making of society. Since, for Spinoza, every instance of knowledge bears the unique mark of the individual body that expresses it, one might conclude that at the foundation of every social structure is an encounter between concrete bodies; each expressing a particular perspective from where to grasp the world. I would argue, based on this, that one of Spinoza’s main contributions to educational theory is his grounding of larger social endeavors in the striving of the individual. Hinged on the striving to be more rational, as dictated by the doctrine of the conatus, education appears to offer a way of grounding the structure of the human social world in the same (egoistic) principles as those guiding the individual. Spinoza’s doctrine of the imitation of affects thereby offers a way of linking the egoistic striving for power on behalf of the individual with the educational goal of building a sustainable society. It does so as it conditions self-improvement by the human characteristic to imitate what others desire. By being surrounded with people who desire to be more rational, one can utilize this desire for the good and become strengthened in one’s own striving for increasing one’s degree of existence. Consequently, the teaching situation is geared for guiding students towards a more rational life, at the same time as it is geared for the self-improvement of the teacher. This aspect of self-improvement is, ultimately, what will motivate the teacher in striving to enhance the lives of his or her students in the first place. Being unable to self-improve in isolation, the doctrine of the imitation of affects dictates that the rational person will be moved toward a life of generosity, not primarily for altruistic reasons, but out of a desire to become more rational and thus to gain in his or her own power of acting. The question that follows from this, of course, is how does one go about when inculcating a desire to be more rational in one’s students? Education, from a Spinozistic point of view, is ultimately about the cultivation of the potential that lies dormant in each individual, so that a person may live a happier life as a result of understanding, more adequately, their place in the natural world. The challenge, then, becomes one of overcoming the many obstacles that prevent a person from developing their potential. Pedagogy, from this point of view, may be understood in terms of the art of offering the right amount of resistance. This notion is based on the assumption that if a student encounters no resistance – or too much resistance – his or her potential remains just that – a potential. In order to develop this potential the student needs to overcome certain barriers. With regards to this, the role of the teacher may be conceived in terms of the one balancing the amount of resistance so that the student is properly challenged but at the same time not overwhelmed. Methodology or Methods/ Research Instruments or Sources Used: The paper makes for an attempt to outline a Spinozistic philosophy of education based on readings of Spinoza’s texts – primarily the Ethics – and some of the relevant secondary literature such as Della Rocca’s (2008; 2012) influential reading of Spinoza. As such it is a philosophical inquiry seeking to interconnect some key aspects of Spinoza’s philosophy with some of the major issues of education. Methodologically, this paper argues, in line with Melamed (2013), that rather than turning to the history of philosophy in order to identify ‘precursors to [our] own views’ (p. xiv), so as to validate what we already believe we know, it is more fruitful to turn to past philosophers in order to ‘challenge (rather than confirm) our most basic beliefs and intuitions by studying texts that are both well-argued and strongly opposed to our commonsense’ (p. xiv). Accordingly, turning to Spinoza marks an attempt to revisit and reconceptualize some key aspects of educational thought (concerning the role of reason vis-à-vis the imagination and of freedom versus necessity etc.). Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings: A conclusion of this paper is that a Spinozistic philosophy of education would need to focus on resolving the tension between Spinoza’s egoism and education as a social project. To this end it identifies Spinoza’s doctrine of the imitation of affects as a possible link between the individual’s striving for power and the collective agenda of improving human well-being at large. It is also suggested that, in aspiring to inculcate a desire to be more rational in his or her students, the challenge for the Spinozistic teacher is to prompt the students to aspire to reach beyond the temporary satisfactions of the passions so as to acquire a more enduring sense of satisfaction and so that their well-being is more fully under their own command rather than under the command of various external influences (such as socially constituted desires and wills). This, in turn, is connected with the notion of resistance in the sense that in experiencing the volatility of fortune – and thereby understanding the instability of relying on one’s passions – a person would appear to be more inclined to strive for a more enduring sense of happiness, even if this would mean giving up on some of the temporary pleasures that one has grown accustomed to. The resistance, then, may be conceived in terms of the overcoming of temporary pleasures that stand in the way of the developing of one’s potential. In this scenario the role of the teacher may be understood in terms of someone offering a well-balanced amount of resistance. This means that to accommodate one’s students – in the sense that one approaches them in terms of prospective customers, aspiring to satisfy their demands – is inimical to education insofar as the wants and desires of students are, generally speaking, caused by passive affects (determining their course of action) rather than their rational wills. References: Aloni, N. (2008). Spinoza as Educator: From Eudaimonistic Ethics to an Empowering and Liberating Pedagogy. Educational Philosophy and Theory 40(4), pp. 531–544. Della Rocca, M. (2008). Spinoza. New York: Routledge. Della Rocca, M. (2012). Rationalism, Idealism, Monism, and Beyond. In: E. Förster & Y. Y. Melamed (eds.) Spinoza and German Idealism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 7–26. Derry, J. (2006). The Unity of Intellect and Will: Vygotsky and Spinoza. Educational Review, 56(2), pp. 113–120. Lloyd, G. (1998). Spinoza and Educating the Imagination. In: A. O. Rorty (ed.) Philosophers on Education: Historical Perspectives. London: Routledge, pp. 157–172. Melamed, Y. Y. (2013). Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance and Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nadler, S. (2002). Eternity and Immortality in Spinoza’s Ethics. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 26(1), pp. 224–244. Poulimatka, T. (2001). Spinoza’s Theory of Teaching and Indoctrination. Educational Philosophy and Theory 33(3 & 4), pp. 397–410. Spinoza, B. (1994). The Ethics. In: E. Curley (ed) A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works. Princeton: Princeton Unive

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  • 49.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Spinoza's Ethics of Self-Preservation and Education2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The present paper marks an attempt to outline a coherent understanding of moral education from a Spinozistic point of view. One of the major challenges facing this task is the apparent tension between Spinoza’s normative moral theory—expressed in a language of traditional morality—and his denial of a free will and of the reality of good and evil. In order to resolve this tension, I will first have to take a closer look at some of the fundamentals of Spinoza’s moral theory. I will do this via some recent work on Spinoza’s ethics suggesting that his ethical account is at the very core of his metaphysical system. Having done so, I will then focus on drawing out some implications of his moral theory for a Spinozistic account of moral education. In doing so I will connect Spinoza’s ethics of self-preservation with the notion of teaching as the art of offering the right amount of resistance. I aim to do this by way of Michael LeBuffe’s model of the optimistic nutritionist.

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  • 50.
    Dahlbeck, Johan
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Children, Youth and Society (BUS).
    Svensk förskola mellan relationell ontologi och universell moral2014In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 19, no 2-3, p. 173-192Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article deals with a practical problem. The problem is practical insofar as it is actualized in a Swedish policy document aiming to aid preschool teachers and preschool managers in their continuous evaluation and development of preschool practices (Skolverket, 2012). This problem may be broadly described in terms of an appeal to very different notions of subjectivity. To be more precise, within this document there is a perceivable tension between two radically different ways of understanding how human subjectivity is believed to be conditioned and constituted. This tension is interesting to study as it seems to indicate a tension on a more general level, in the context of Swedish educational research as well as in Swedish educational policy at large. On the one hand, the Swedish education system is, by tradition, grounded in a notion of subjectivity as being more or less stable and immutable. Subjectivity, in this sense, is taken to be something always already existing – a kind of trans-historical ability that all humans have access to simply by virtue of being humans (Biesta, 1999). While this ability may be further refined and cultivated through education it is nevertheless treated as a stable instrument through which one may interpret, understand and evaluate the external world adequately. This understanding of subjectivity is firmly rooted in a humanist tradition of thought that makes for the ethical foundation of the Swedish preschool insofar as central humanist values such as the inviolability of human life and the freedom and integrity of the individual are appealed to as foundational values in the curriculum of the Swedish preschool (Skolverket, 2011). These values are intimately connected with the notion of universal human rights and a precondition for the functionality of such values appears to be that what is specifically human may be identified and distinguished from the rest of the world and that, what is more important, the human mind is being granted a unique ontological independence (Melamed, 2011). Parallel to this stable and trans-historical notion of subjectivity, another – competing – notion turns up in the policy document looked at. This competing notion may be described in terms of a relational understanding of subjectivity. Rather than assuming that subjectivity originates in the metaphysical core of the human mind, this relational notion construes subjectivity as the result of concrete encounters between different individuals and between individuals and things. Subjectivity, from this perspective, is taken to be an effect of actual events and it cannot be made sense of independent from these events, which is why this notion of subjectivity is understood to be changeable as well as inherently unstable. In order to understand the problematic implications of this tension between different conceptions of subjectivity, the present article looks into some of the philosophical conditions of the two traditions of thought. Since the first conception entails that subjectivity is stable and autonomous and that it therefore allows for stable ethical evaluations it appears reasonable to approach this by way of the concept of moral universalism. This is so since the values of universal human rights – values that make for the ethical foundation of Swedish education at large – may be understood in terms of a form of moral universalism conditioned by a specific understanding of what it is to be human and of how being human is related to the external world in general. I then ground the second – competing – notion of subjectivity in a relational ontology. This would be an ontology comparable to what Manuel De Landa (2005) labels a flat ontology insofar as it challenges the hierarchical order that moral universalism appears to need to function smoothly. I then turn to the tension between these two traditions of thought as it is manifested in the policy document studied. This leads me to formulate some possible problems with formulating policy based on very different theoretical assumptions about the nature of the world. To sum up I then discuss some practical consequences of this internal inconsistency as well as suggest a continued discussion about how to conceive of the theoretical foundation of Swedish preschool policy – one that does not shy away from the discursive struggle between competing epistemes.

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