DEN DIGITALA FOLKHÖGSKOLAN? - En kvalitativ studie av rektorers tolkning av digitalisering i relation till folkhögskolans uppdrag
Sammanfattning: The focus of this Master’s thesis is on how principals at folk high schools view digitizing processes. The purpose of the study is based on an increasing demand for research within popular education (Swe folkbildning).Five principals from folk high schools have taken part in qualitative interviewing. Based on a theoretical background and related research on folk high schools and digitization in teaching, the principals’ reasoning is analyzed employing a hermeneutical method of analysis. The research questions deal with the principal’s role, the role of digitization in the folk high school, digitization in relation to the traditional, pedagogical ideals of the folk high school, and finally, with collective digitization strategies in relation to the autonomy of folk high schools.The findings demonstrate that each folk high school governs its own digitization process, resulting in a great deal of variance between schools; this is deemed as positive as the mission of the school reform is to reflect diversity. The principals interpret their roles in the process as that of either leader or coordinator based on the principal’s interest and competence. There is an inherent complexity in the commission due to the occasional discrepancy in expectations from both staff and the responsible authority. Furthermore, the findings demonstrate that there is a close connection between digitization and the folk high schools’ democracy mission. The principals illustrate aspects such as inclusion, accessibility, and the possibility to abandon digital tools and media. Even the culture promoting purpose of popular education (Swe folkbildning) is linked to democracy in such a manner that digitally consumed, produced and distributed culture can curtail an elitist stance within the domain. This in turn is connected to the folk high school’s contribution to reduce the education gap in society.
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