Exploring Norwegian private schooling: policy legitimation and interpretations of school practices
I am educated as a primary school teacher and worked as a teacher in different geographic contexts (Spain, Italy and Norway) and educational contexts (public school system, bilingual institute and organizations). The studying and teaching period was characterized by budget cuts in the public school system in order to decrease public spending, following the economic crisis in Europe. Since I wanted to know more about these macro pressures and actors, I did a master’s degree in Multicultural and International Education (OsloMet). Through this master I focused my attention on the issues of equity and equality of education. The case of Cuba, which I wrote the thesis on, was particularly interesting since the country was able to maintain a focus on equality and equity while resisting the global education policy trends such as privatization. However, the study also focused on the social, cultural and political changes that have had an impact on education and how teachers and principals at the school level coped and interpreted these changes. Thus, my professional and personal experience drove the PhD study interests on macro processes of change such as privatization of education and the microanalysis of school level interpretation of teachers and school leaders. Studying the phenomenon of privatization and private school practices becomes particularly interesting in contexts such as Norway, where private schools receive generous subsidies in order to avoid issues of inequality and to increase diversity in education. It is expected from a political perspective that private schools function as a laboratory for the development of new educational practices that will also benefit the public school. However, there is little research on teacher practices in private schools and therefore it is important to research this.
Through NAFOL we get good support and feedback on our PhD progression, in addition to seminars where we get relevant lectures that are useful for working with the PhD thesis and the articles.