Research title. Att skapa ordning för det estetiska i skolan, Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet Konstnärliga fakulteten.
Research title in English: Bringing order to aesthetics in school.
Recent rhetoric on aesthetic activities of the school has gained an increasingly large
scope over the last few decades in Swedish texts on educational politics and educational
science. In relation to the questioning of the Government-controlled school,
the fi eld of school and aesthetics is studied from an interest in how ideals of knowledge
are created and preserved through specific control strategies.
The starting point of the study is that the field of aesthetics and school is created
in discursive practices through linguistic interaction by way of specific power
techniques. The aim is to identify and describe current discourses relating to the
aesthetic activities in compulsory school, and to problematise these with regard to
power and control.
Data-collection included individual and group interviews with 55 teachers and
head teachers from seven compulsory schools during the years 2002–2004. The
participants conducted the discussions concerning “the aesthetic activities of the
school” by themselves.
In the analysis, fi ve discourses concerning the construction of legitimacy surrounding
the aesthetic activities of the school were identified and subsequently five
discourses concerning the construction of legitimacy surrounding the aesthetic
competence of the teachers. The result shows that the discourses might be construed
as being based on more comprehensive discourses significant to our time; education
for freedom and exercising social control in the name of aesthetics.
The idea of the inherent power of aesthetic activities to alter a person’s character
and capability of leading a “good life” may be said to fit in well with a time of striving
for free and harmonious citizens in tune with an accepted social behaviour.
In conclusion, from this message the teachers are portrayed not as more or less
competent professionals but as free and exemplary persons.