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  • Public defence: 2018-08-31 13:00 Sal 108, Stockholm
    de Verdier, Kim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Special Education.
    Children with blindness: Developmental aspects, comorbidity and implications for education and support2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this research is to deepen the knowledge about developmental aspects, comorbidity and implications for education and support provision, regarding children with blindness. Special focus is directed towards children with blindness and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    The research comprises three different projects, reported in five papers. The studies adopt different designs; one is record-based and explores clinical characteristics and etiologies of Swedish children with blindness, one has a longitudinal design with collection of qualitative as well as quantitative data, and explores the school outcome for braille reading students in inclusive education; and one has a mainly qualitative design and explores diagnostic challenges and support to children with blindness and ASD and their families. Both children’s, parents’ and teachers’ perspectives are included in the research.

    The results show that children with blindness are very rare; in average seven blind children per year are born in Sweden. Moreover, isolated blindness is unusual in children, and the rate of multidisability is high. The comorbidity with ASD and intellectual disability (ID) is high, especially in certain etiological groups. Competence about children with blindness is necessary in assessment and diagnostic procedures, to differentiate between effects of blindness and possible additional disabilities. The results also highlight the fact that the support provided to children with blindness, with and without additional disabilities, is perceived as insufficient and does not correspond to the complex needs of the population. Teachers need more competence in braille and teaching methods, especially regarding blindness and additional disabilities such as ASD. Parents ask for a more coordinated support with a life-long scope, provided by professionals with expertise in children with blindness.

    The opinions about inclusive education differ in the studies; both students, parents and teachers point to advantages as well as challenges. However, for the schools to be able provide equal educational opportunities for children with blindness in the inclusive setting, the support must be further developed and the national responsibility for unusual disability groups must be extended.


  • Public defence: 2018-08-31 13:00 William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Toth, Jeanette
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
    English-medium instruction for young learners in Sweden: A longitudinal case study of a primary school class in a bilingual English-Swedish school2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis aims to highlight the policies, perspectives, and practices of language use in a bilingual English-Swedish primary class during Grades 4–6, where English was the medium of instruction in several subjects. A rapidly increasing number of Swedish compulsory schools offer these programs, which are often associated with high status and academic achievement (Skolverket, 2010). Although several studies have investigated content and language integrated learning (CLIL) and English-medium instruction (EMI) at upper secondary schools in Sweden, there is little research on such programs for young learners in the Swedish context. As students may start learning English in Swedish schools as late as Grade 3, young learners who begin attending English-medium programs in Grade 4 may have limited knowledge of English, which can have implications for their content learning. 

    In this thesis, which is situated within an ecology of language framework (van Lier, 2004), questions about language ideologies, teacher and learner beliefs regarding teaching and learning in an additional language, and translanguaging practices have been explored in the three studies included here. Data has been collected over three school years within the larger longitudinal case study, including policy texts, informational brochures, schedules, statistics, instructional materials, student texts, audiorecorded interviews with 13 members of staff and 22 students, audiorecorded lesson observations, fieldnotes, and photos of the school and classroom landscape as well as of instructional materials and student texts. 

    Study I, which focused on stated and practiced language policies concerning languages of instruction in an EMI program in a Swedish compulsory school, revealed a linguistic hierarchy privileging English and a native speaker ideal. While Swedish was also valued as the other language of instruction, minoritized languages such as multilingual students' mother tongues were marginalized. Likewise, in Study II, which explored stakeholder beliefs about the EMI program, it was found that while English was highly valued among the participants and Swedish was considered to be a source of support for students in the English-medium classroom, other languages were mostly invisibilized in the mainstream classroom. However, despite a prevailing belief that students learned English naturally through language immersion by being "forced" to use it to communicate with the native English-speaking teachers, there were also concerns about implications for students' development of subject-specific Swedish. Finally, in Study III, analysis of language choices in English-medium Science and Mathematics lessons revealed how the use of English and Swedish could function as resources for teaching and learning

    Although the findings from this case study may not necessarily apply to other English-medium programs, they nonetheless have implications for policymakers at the national and local levels, as well as for teachers and students involved in such programs. Ideological assumptions about languages and language learning have been shown to shape both policy and practice within educational contexts such as the school in this study. It is therefore imperative that stakeholders are made aware of the challenges involved with teaching and learning in an additional language, so that these programs can be organized in a way that promotes content learning as well as learners' multilingual development.

  • Public defence: 2018-09-03 14:00 De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Stockholm
    Kessel, Dany
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
    School Choice, School Performance and School Segregation: Institutions and Design2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of four self-contained chapters. 

    The first chapter, Are Parents Uninformed? – The Impact of School Performance Information on School Choice Behavior and Student Assignment, is co-authored by Elsisabet Olme. We investigate the effects of school performance information on school choice behavior and student assignment. A randomly selected group of students, about to choose middle school, were provided with information about the performance of the available schools. Households that received the information became more prone to choose a top-performing school. This effect is driven by native and high-skilled households. We simulate how this change in choice behavior translates into changes in school assignment. We find that enrollment in the top-performing schools increases but the effect is muted by limited capacity. We also find that the treatment increases the gap in school performance between advantaged and disadvantaged households, decreases segregation in terms of migration background and increases segregation in terms of parental skill-level. 

    The second chapter, School Choice Priority Structures and School Segregation, is also co-authored by Elsisabet Olme. We evaluate how school segregation is affected by altering the priority structures in a school choice program. We evaluate three priority structures, one proximity-based, one lottery-based and one based on soft quotas. Using actual choice data and simulations we find that that priority structures do affect school segregation. When reserving seats for different groups, schools are less segregated compared to when using systems where priorities are based on proximity or a lottery. We find that the average costs in terms of welfare are limited but that the different priority structures benefit different subgroups. 

    In the third chapter, Debiasing the Gender Differences in Willingness to Compete – The Effects of General Information on the Gender Gap and Efficiency, I explore if informing people about the gender differences in the willingness to compete and the accompanying inefficiencies can reduce said differences and inefficiencies. In an experiment where the participants got to choose whether to compete or not, a random sample of participants were informed about the gender differences in willingness to compete and the related inefficiencies. Among those not informed, men were much more likely to compete than women. There were also significant inefficiencies from low-performing men choosing to compete and high-performing women choosing not to. The treatment reversed the gender gap and significantly reduced inefficiency. 

    The fourth chapter, The Housing Wealth Effect: Quasi-Experimental Evidence is co-authored by Roine Vestman and Björn Tyrefors Hinnerich. We exploit a quasi-experiment that occurred in Stockholm in 2007 when the contract of Stockholm's city airport was unexpectedly renewed. We estimate an immediate shock of approximately 16 percent to house prices close to the airport. This source of price variation is ideal to identify housing wealth effects since it is local and unrelated to variation in macroeconomic conditions. Using a household data set with granular geographic information on primary residence, we find an MPC on cars of less than 0.2 cents per dollar.

  • Public defence: 2018-09-07 14:00 Salle D 323, Maison de la Recherche, Paris
    Balkir, Elif
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics. Sorbonne Université.
    Étude comparative des approches créatrices et technologiques au Groupe de Recherches Musicales à Paris et à l’Elektronmusikstudion à Stockholm 1965-1980: Deux directions artistiques différentes à partir d’une idée commune2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The current research is a comparative study investigating the development of creative and technological approaches at GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales) and EMS (Elektronmusikstudion) from 1965 to 1980. The thesis examines the main interactions between two pioneers of electroacoustic music in France and in Sweden, namely, Pierre Schaeffer and Knut Wiggen and the evolution of artistic directions within their institutions. The comparative method borrows two main perspectives from linguistics, such as diachronic and synchronic. To this direction, the first part of the thesis evaluates a sort of historical synthesis of musical genres, which lead the artistic directions of those two studios, including their institutional organization, musical creation, technological research as well as Schaeffer’s and Wiggen’s musical concepts. The second part of the thesis focuses on pioneer works analysis in order to explore closely compositional ideas and the problem of acousmatic music analysis. The analysis method is based on Jean Molino’s tripartite theory developed by J.J. Nattiez (poietic/neutral/esthesic level of an art work) and Stéphane Roy, which contributes to analyze the compositional structure, organization and the composer’s style related to technological equipment of the studios. The first step of music analysis reconstructs a sort of transcription within the neutral level analysis by means of Lasse Thoresen’s graphical symbols inspired by Schaeffers’s typo-morphology. The second step seeks to confront the neutral level results with external poietic information in order to explore and to compare some hypothetical significations of analyzed musical pieces. In conclusion, the end goal is to determine a methodology inspired by the tripartite theory for an in-depth understanding of acousmatic music analysis and to establish a historical documentation on French and Swedish electroacoustic music within the development of technology.

  • Public defence: 2018-10-05 13:00 Nordenskiöldsalen, Stockholm
    Letzter, Eva-Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.
    Med öga för publiken: Moralisk fostran genom heliga Birgittas och de svenska predikanternas exempelberättelser, cirka 1340-15002018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation is a comparative and deconstructive study of the use of narrative exempla in the Revelations of Saint Birgitta (also known as Saint Bridget of Sweden) and in Swedish sermon collections from the Late Middle Ages. The purpose is to show how Birgitta during the 14th century and Swedish preachers during the 15th century morally educated their audiences through the inclusion of exemplary stories in their works. Furthermore, this dissertation discusses and analyses the ways in which these authors adapted their stories to suite their respective audience. It distinguishes between how Birgitta addressed the worldly and religious leaders of Europe and how the Swedish preachers addressed a socially stratified Swedish congregation by applying Jonathan Cohen’s theory of identification with media characters. This dissertation hereby contributes not only to research concerning the didactics of Christian exemplary literature, but also to the methodology in which audience adaptation in this literature can be evaluated.

    Among the results of this study one finds that the exemplary stories in the Revelations and Swedish sermon collections are often used to rhetorically reinforce doctrinal lessons concerning man’s reciprocal relationship with God. Many of the lessons deal with Christ’s justice, the devil’s evil nature and man’s proper faith and hope in God. However, Birgitta tends to use her stories as analytical explanations for theses lessons, while the Swedish preachers use theirs as simple arguments for them. In view of narrative structure and content, Birgitta tends to focus on describing protagonists’ thoughts and inner disposition in her stories, whereas the Swedish preachers focus on protagonists’ physical course of action in their stories. Moreover, both authors depict international characters, settings and complication motives. Still, Birgitta highlights those associated with the higher estates, while the Swedish preachers emphasize those associated with general church life and the lower laity.

    These results correlate well with strategies suggested in media research for enticing audience identification with characters. In particular, I find that the virtuous or sinful way of life, led by the protagonists in the exemplary stories, mimics that of Birgitta’s and the Swedish preachers’ different target groups. Yet even more strikingly, numerous protagonists are also found to possess attractive heroic ideals. They embody heroic role models, which the authors’ respective audience can be expected to have wished to emulate themselves, and which Birgitta and the Swedish preachers likewise wanted their audience to follow, though to different extents and in different manners. While Birgitta and the Swedish preachers both used exemplary stories to morally educate their recipients in accordance with the Christian exemplary tradition, I thus conclude that their teaching differed in several significant ways, supporting the premise that the authors knew what they wanted to convey, and that they had a good eye for their respective audience.