Evidence-Based Practice and Power Struggles Over Pedagogic Practices in “High-” and “Low-Stakes Accountability” Contexts
The Norwegian Knowledge Promotion Reform has followed international trends by combining centralised control over results with increasing autonomy in the curriculum and choice of methods. Local and professional autonomy is challenged through the combination of result-based and evidence-based accountability. However, whether the stakes related to results are “high” or “low” could impact the role of “evidence-based practices” in schools. This paper investigates how evidence-based practices have formed part of the power struggles in the forming of pedagogic practice in a high- versus low-stakes accountability context in Norway. In the two municipalities, evidence-based practices have been used to legitimise and exercise authority, increase external control and create hierarchies between different stakeholders. The influence of teachers and parents has been limited, as has been the possibility to adapt the teaching to students’ diverse needs. However, local gatekeepers have been important for relieving external pressure, and for ensuring local and professional autonomy.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Cecilie Haugen
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