The school owner department at Fredrikstad municipality. Regulatory supervision and control on one had, contribution to quality development on the other. A public school owner needs to be able to navigate a field in constant tension.
One of the most interesting results of my work experience so far, is a growing knowledge on how different education as a concept looks from different angles.
What has been an interesting result of my working experience so far, is that the field of education has been illuminated to me from different angels and perspectives. From the viewpoint of a teacher, education as such present it self in specific ways, with its focus on the one-to-one activity that lays the ground for individual learning. From the perspective of a researcher it seems to be other things at play, for instance views on how this one-to-one interaction promotes learning in a more systematic way, and analyzing the practices in a theoretically consistent way. From a position in the regional educational government still other aspects come in focus. Here, the legal aspects of schooling is salient, and compliance from the side of the school owner is essential to pursue. As a representative of a public school owner again new questions comes into view, where both economic, organizational and public interests must tied together. This change of focus, of course, is due to different roles and different tasks that has to be handled on the different levels and in different parts of the educational sector, but still it must be regarded as a central point that the field of education work together towards the aim of making our children and adolescents as prepared as possible for a future world. This cooperation between the different levels and different roles does not – in my experience – come by it self, there is some translations that has to be done in order for the informasjon and views to be “taken up” outside the context where it has been produced. From an elevated view, it seems clear that much of what is conducted and taken care of explicitly in different parts of the sector is tightly connected. From a ground view this does not seem clear at all. Different levels bring different world views. Both the organizational, the pedagogical and the legal aspects has to be taken into consideration when more profound educational questions is being discussed, and my experience has taught me what some of the everyday questions look like in the different part of the educational system.
The Norwegian researcher Jan Merok Paulsen refers to Karl Weick and describes the educational system as loosely coupled. I have found this to be a relevant description. To be blunt: There is a fair amount of authority on every level and in every part of the system, and to some extent that is how it must be. Every level and every part must be given a sufficient degree of freedom to determine how the assigned tasks should be carried out. And still, every part of the system must contribute and move in the overall same direction. However, it seems that loosely coupled educational systems has challenges to overcome, in order to pursue the common problems and challenges collectively. Lately, the concept of knowledge brokering has emerged as interesting in this respect. Although knowledge brokering has focused mainly on the relationship between research and practice and first and foremost in the field of medicine, I believe this concept has the power also to illuminate the relationship between different types of professional practices in the educational sector. Both on the national , regional and local level, both “horizontally” and “vertically”, I think we need to gain more common ground for knowledge sharing. Chances are that the educational system has to be loosely coupled, but if so, we need to relate to that system I ways different from how we relate to a mechanical-industrial system. When it comes to compliance, to knowledge development and to autonomy there are specific social rules applying to the educational field. Without knowledge of how these social rules apply on the different levels in the system, our hands are tied.