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Henriette Holmsgaard

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The thesis will deal with teaching in the Danish Folkeskole (Primary and Lower secondary school for 7-16-year-olds). Its aim is to examine the current practice of teaching as a result of symbolic struggles in education policy, and of the historical changes that the Folkeskole has undergone from the 1960’s until today. I will look deeper into the institutional conditions of the teaching role, and consider the link between this and the alarming fact that the Folkeskole is currently facing a shortage of 2000 educated teachers. Biefly: my analysis shows that the ideology of Danish schools has become elitist due to an increasing focus on formal knowledge. With the school system’s increasing emphasis on stricter political control, teaching has become more dependent on formal scholarly standards as well as economical demands. As a direct result of this the teachers are obliged to spend time on administration and documentation. Simultaneously the number of pupils with difficulties in the regular classes has risen, while funding necessary to address these challenges has not. Formally the Folkeskole is supposed to be more inclusive of pupils with special needs than earlier, but in practice the social and pedagogical considerations are given low priority. For instance, the formal demands on teaching legitimise teachers focussing more on successful students and less on pupils with special needs. My conclusions have been drawn in part from an empirical study involving interviews with three teachers and a principal in order to gain an insight into the (logic of) practice in the Folkeskole. The focus of these interviews is on the social effects of their practice, and their stories are used to identify the underlying structures in the field of teaching and the different positions that dominate it. Inspired by the ideas of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and his concepts of field, habitus and capital, I construct the field of teaching analytically and identify the contending positions and their influence on practice in the Folkeskole. My aim is partly to explain why certain pedagogic practices are considered right and meaningful under the specific conditions of teaching today.

UddannelserSocialvidenskab, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato11 aug. 2008
VejledereAnders Mathiesen


  • Folkeskole
  • Feltanalyse