Legal Standards and Professional Judgment in School Leadership

Prosjektperiode: 01/11/2011 - 31/07/2016

Institusjon: Institutt for lærerutdanning og skoleutvikling, Universitetet i Oslo

Prosjektleder: Jorunn Møller

Program: Norsk utd.forskn.2009-2018


School leaders at all levels are expected to know the law and regulations to be able to attend to their role as civil servants. The project deals with the question of how legal issues in education are transformed into daily practices. The key question is: How do school leaders make professional decisions related to legal standards and students' rights to adapted education, special needs education, and a good psychosocial environment? In the study we will identify the tools and mechanisms that mediate inte rpretations of the legal standards in the Education Act and investigate how leaders at different levels in the educational system understand the legal requirements, how they build their arguments, and how the rights of students are adhered to. The study r elies mainly on qualitative data, but with the added value of quantitative data and quantitative approaches. The analysis of tools will provide a starting point for constructing a questionnaire that will collect information on the translation of legal sta ndards into meaning and action at local authorities and school levels. The analysis will also serve as a stepping stone to multi-site case studies in three municipalities at six compulsory schools and in two counties at four upper secondary schools. In ad dition, we will compare how inspection teams at state level in Norway and Sweden exercise their judgments. The close cooperation between the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Educational Sciences constitutes a unique interdisciplinary approach to educatio nal issues.