Real time movies versus frozen snapshots
Audits of everyday life in classrooms
This essay aims to analyse two different forms of contemporary stories: pupils’ and adults’ audits of what goes on in classroom life. This was done by making a distinction between unofficial and official inspections. In the essay, I show that unofficial inspections are carried out by pupils, most likely with the aim of providing those of us outside the classrooms with real time movies to inform us about what takes place during life in classrooms. I go on to show that pupils highlight aspects of the complex everyday life in classrooms in a different way than the official inspections, which are performed by adult officials from agencies such as the Swedish Schools Inspectorate and are more likely to be understood as frozen snapshots. In analysing this issue, the stories of everyday classroom life, this essay highlights sixteen differences between unofficial and official inspections. These differences relate to who is carrying out the inspection, how the inspection was conducted, what the inspection focused on, when the inspection took place, and why. The analysis also highlight eight similarities between unofficial and official inspections. These relate to what was being observed, the benefit of the inspections and the motives behind the observation. The essay concludes with arguments regarding observations by unofficial audits supplementing and adding other qualities than the official one, by indicating secondary and tertiary qualities of a different intentional depth.
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