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Education Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 869852, 10 pages
Research Article

Teachers' Experiences with School Choice: Clashing Logics in the Swedish Education System

1Department of Applied Educational Science, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden
2Department of Economy, Technology and Society, Luleå University of Technology, 97 187 Luleå, Sweden

Received 18 October 2010; Revised 31 January 2011; Accepted 11 February 2011

Academic Editor: Vincent Dupriez

Copyright © 2011 Ulf Lundström and Karolina Parding. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper explores the school choice reform in Sweden, a country where a drastic shift in education policy has taken place that includes fast expansion of market solutions and strong state support for competition. Although there are studies examining the school choice reform, few focus on the effects of this reform from a teacher perspective, especially so in the context of Sweden. To this end, this paper examines how Swedish upper secondary teachers in independent (private) and public schools experience their work in relation to school choice reform. This study uses qualitative interviews of 58 teachers from five municipal and three independent upper secondary schools. Its theoretical framework relies on Freidson's distinction between the logic of the profession, the bureaucracy, and the market. The findings indicate that the traditional position of teachers—a position that must negotiate the tension between the logic of the profession and the logic of the bureaucracy—is now in fact challenged by the logic of the market. This study argues that values linked to the logic of the market are imposed on the teachers, and these market values clash with the teachers' values, values based on the logic of the profession.