Teachers' Experiences with School Choice: Clashing Logics in the Swedish Education System
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AbstractThis paper explores the school choice reform in Sweden, a country where a drastic shift in education policy has taken place that includes fast expansion of market solutions and strong state support for competition. Although there are studies examining the school choice reform, few focus on the effects of this reform from a teacher perspective, especially so in the context of Sweden. To this end, this paper examines how Swedish upper secondary teachers in independent (private) and public schools experience their work in relation to school choice reform. This study uses qualitative interviews of 58 teachers from five municipal and three independent upper secondary schools. Its theoretical framework relies on Freidson's distinction between the logic of the profession, the bureaucracy, and the market. The findings indicate that the traditional position of teachers—a position that must negotiate the tension between the logic of the profession and the logic of the bureaucracy—is now in fact challenged by the logic of the market. This study argues that values linked to the logic of the market are imposed on the teachers, and these market values clash with the teachers' values, values based on the logic of the profession.