• Mie Skovrider Aaskoven
  • Laura Christensen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
In 2022, the Danish government formulated a wish for a more limited access for the Danish upper secondary education (gymnasium). The aim is to heighten the quality in the education and assumingly also an aspiration for more students in vocational educations. Therefore, this master’s thesis investigates entry requirements by examining articulations within the discourse concerning access for the upper secondary education. Furthermore, we discuss how the poli-tical wish for a more limited access affects the understanding of upper secondary education today.
Our empirical framework consists of eight government policies from 2001-2022 and interviews with three chairpersons from the upper secondary education sector. The discourse analysis is built on a theoretical framework inspired by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (2001; 2002) and is divided into three parts: 1) identification and examination of four nodal points; the purpose of upper secondary education, choice of education, entry requirements, and student composition, 2) investigation of the ‘subject positions’ found in our empirical framework and 3) exploration of ‘antagonisms’ found within the four nodal points.
The analysis shows that within the nodal points, different ‘moments’ contribute to articulating the discourse surrounding the political wish for a more limited access. Moreover, the arti-culations of the nodal points are co-related and provides a snapshot of the present political discourse. The ‘subject positions’ are important contributors in order to understand these arti-culations, and one could question whether the chairpersons actually represent their members’ wishes and whether the policies represent society. Furthermore, ‘antagonisms’ seem to rearti-culate the discourse due to ambiguous meanings.
In our discussion we question whether the choice of education should be based on prerequisites or social communities and thus, whether upper secondary education should be for the many or for the few. Moreover, we question whether the wish for a more limited access can be seen as an inclusion of the pupils’ interests or as exclusion of a specific group.
Conclusively, we find that access requirements cannot be changed without consequently changing the entire educational system because of the co-relation between access, choice of education, student composition, and not least the understanding of upper secondary education and its purpose. The discourse concerning access for upper secondary education is still up for debate and thus, it can be rearticulated since the government has not yet presented any new access requirements.
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages78
ID: 531641018