Maria Andrée

In Sweden, as well as world-wide, there is a large number of initiatives to improve science and technology education put forward by actors, such as government bodies, academia and industrial actors. This project focusses particularly on the involvement of industrial actors. The aim of the project is twofold: First, to shed light on how teachers use initiatives from industrial actors as part of their teaching, and how they negotiate potential tensions between public and private good. Second, to develop an understanding of how relations between science, technology, society and industry are established and negotiated by industrial actors, students and teachers when participating in industrial school science and technology projects.

According to the Swedish national curriculum, schools and teachers are required to cooperate with external actors. In addition, Swedish teachers have a high degree of freedom in how to design classroom practices, develop teaching materials, choose textbooks (there are no sanctioned or authorized textbooks), and assess student performance. Thus, there are many opportunities and ways for teachers in science and technology to engage with industrial actors. For example, by participating in theme days, making visits to industrial sites, and/or using any of the many teaching resources provided (e.g. lesson plans, games, text leaflets or brochures and so on related to specific areas of science and technology). In spite of this, research focusing industrial involvement in, or industrial initiatives in science and technology education is scarce. This project seeks to contribute to making explicit teachers’ didactical considerations in negotiating integration of industrial initiatives in science and technology education.

The project is a collaboration between Associate Professor Maria Andrée, Stockholm University and Associate Professor Lena Hansson, University of Kristianstad. The project runs over the period 2018-08-01 – 2021-07-31 (project number: 2017-03657).

Andrée and Hansson have previously published related studies on the involvement of external actors in STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics Education) education:

  • Andrée, M., Hansson, L., & Ideland, M. (2018). Political rationalities in science education: a case study of teaching materials provided by external actors. In A. Arvola-Orlander, K. Otrel-Cass, & M.K. Sillasen (Eds.,), Cultural, Social, and Political Perspectives in Science Education – A Nordic View. Springer, Dordrecht. 
  • Andrée, M. & Hansson, L. (2014). Recruitment Campaigns as Social Reproduction of Scientific Communities – A case Study on how Scientists Invite Young People to Science. International Journal of Science Education, 36(12), 1985-2008.
  • Andrée, M. & Hansson, L. (2013). Marketing the ‘Broad Line’: Invitations to STEM education in a Swedish recruitment campaign, International Journal of Science Education, 35(1), 147-166.