Why research school development?
The above places demands on school development as an area of knowledge in continuous development. But school development also has a legal basis in Sweden, based on the school law’s descriptions of the purpose of the school system, the compensatory mission of required forms of school, and the requirements for basing education on scientific evidence and proven experience.
School development also has a strong connection to school professionals, as development work has increasingly become an essential element of the school and teacher professions.
Research on school development also has political relevance given that the development of schools is a priority policy area – our schools are a significant resource in responding to society’s diverse challenges.
In addition, in recent years school development has emerged as a global industry in light of all the nations that devote resources to raise so-called “low-performing” schools closer to the measures of success brought forth by international comparisons have brought forth.
Previous research on school development has provided lessons about the conditions for favorable school development, but at the same time a pair of recurring problems can be seen that motivate continuing knowledge development about the dynamics and actors of school development.
First, a significant number of the approaches used seem to assume that school development is a relatively simple and linear process, when in fact it is complex and dynamic.
Second, a troubling blindness to difference can hinder school development as a result of the assumption that schools are equal, leading to a failure to pay attention to differences between but also within different schools. Such a blindness to inequality can also include approaches to student knowledge, experiences and needs. The Stockholm University research network for school development therefore mobilizes the multidisciplinary power necessary to explore school development as a social phenomenon, as an educational didactic practice and as an area of knowledge that cannot escape continuous change and demands for renewal.
The Stockholm University Research Network for School Development therefore mobilizes the multi-disciplinary power necessary to explore, with breadth and depth, school development as a social phenomenon, as an educational didactic practice, and as an area of knowledge that cannot escape continuous change and demands for renewal.