Expanding Knowledge Gaps: The Function of Fictions in Teaching Materials after the 2011 Swedish High School Reform

  •  Caroline Graeske    


The aim in the study is to analyze how work with fiction is organized in six textbooks for senior high school in Sweden after the school reform 2011. Research into Swedish teaching materials has been neglected in recent years and there is a knowledge gap about how the work with fictions is affected by the reform in 2011. In the study quantitative and qualitative methods are used and Bernstein’s theories relating to horizontal and vertical discourse are applied to the empirical material. The analysis shows that work with fiction in textbooks is marginalized, particularly work with fictions created by women. The study also shows that students attending vocational programs have access to a different knowledge than students attending university preparatory programs. This is remarkable, since the learning objectives in Svenska 1, curriculum for vocational and university preparatory programs, are the same. This means that central values of equal education are eliminated after the reform, and the knowledge gap between different groups of students likely is to increase.

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