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First language paradigms in conflict: Hidden dialogue in Swedish curricula 1962–2011
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 44, no 3, 381-402 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seven successive curricula for Swedish in the Swedish primary school are investigated using a linguistic method that traces its origin to the Russian literary theorist, Michail Bakhtin. The amount of dialogicity, viewed as the room given to different paradigms to argue against each other, is shown to decrease from the earlier curricula to the later ones. The few dialogues in the later curricula are also shown to be vague in character, making it difficult to attribute the voices to different paradigms. It is argued that this vagueness is in keeping with the tradition of corporatism in Sweden, where consensus is reached at the cost of less clarity and concretion. It is rather the clarity of the earlier curricula that demands explanation and some explanations are tested. In the most recent development, politicians have lost their interest in the wordings of the curriculum and concentrate on formulating goals for different grades. By doing so, they steer the subject of Swedish in the direction of the Swedish as Skills paradigm, with the suppression of Swedish as Personal Growth or Swedish as Critical Literacy, very much imitating the corresponding New Labour programme in England.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 44, no 3, 381-402 p.
Keyword [en]
curriculum, voice, dialogism, Swedish, corporatism
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-72180DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2011.637183ISI: 000305298500004OAI: diva2:489951
Available from: 2012-02-03 Created: 2012-02-03 Last updated: 2012-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Hellberg, Staffan
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