The project 'Lost in Transition' has explored measures to enhance young pupils' completion of upper secondary education and examined how national education policy goals to reduce dropout, have been formulated and implemented at local level. There is little knowledge of what Norwegian county municipality authorities, which govern the public upper secondary schooling, do to enhance completion and how their ways of managing the schools affect policies in practice. The quality of the lower secondary schools can be important to pupils degree of educational "success". The project has also investigated the work of the municipalities and lower secondary schools to prepare pupils for upper secondary education. The project has been divided into four work packages (WPs). WP 1 maps an overview of measures, how they are organized and carried out at national and local level. The project has conducted an electronic survey of the extent and content of measures in 15 county municipalities and within the largest municipality in each of the counties. The survey study was particularly concerned with the extent the national initiative Ny GIV (New Possibilities) Transition Project (2011-2013) was continued locally. The survey shows that initiative measures have been adjusted and adapted to fit with the experienced local needs. WP 2 explores how the school owners implement national policies and adapt measures to local needs and local conditions. The project has examined relations between professionals at school level, authorities and stakeholders at different authority levels. The main attention has been 1) how the policy or measures are designed in a multilevel system and 2) the governing capacity of local school authorities to enhance pupils? completion of upper secondary education. Data has been collected in four strategically selected county municipalities and in the largest municipality within each of the four counties. The counties vary regarding the proportion of school completion. The study shows that different actors have different influence over the measures locally, and that the priority of different measures vary between counties. Regarding 1): a key distinction can be drawn between actors who emphasize measures to increase the student's well-being and mental health and actors focusing on increasing the academic performance of the students. Two of the counties differ significantly in that one county attaches great importance to psycho-social measures, while the other county focuses on teaching measures. Regarding 2), the governing capacity of local school authorities: All county municipalities included in the study have taken steps to strengthen school owners' role and thus run upper secondary schools more efficiently. The county municipalities vary in terms of the degree to which hierarchical administrative management focusing on output versus network governance, where different mutually dependent actors affect policy through organization, characterizes governance and plans (input). We find indications that strong hierarchical administrative management gives school owners increased capacity for implementing measures. On the other hand, network governance seems to safeguard more interests and promote greater variety in action. WP 3 examines different experiences with measures against dropout at school level. Employees, teachers and other professional groups, and the students' experiences are central informants to the study undertaken in WP 3. Data collection has been carried out at lower and upper secondary schools in all four counties that are included in WP 2. We have especially investigated teachers' role in enhancing the completion rates compared to other occupational groups in the school. The study indicates that several schools are organizing a pupil service unit for supporting pupils beyond teaching. However, the extent to which the student service "relieves" the class teacher for tasks and the extent to which the student service is integrated into the school organization and the school's activities, varies between schools in different counties. WP 4 extends the project research question to a comparative Scandinavian and European perspective, respectively. Two scientific journal special issues (SI's) are published, one about management and organization for enhancing the completion rate in upper secondary education in Norway and Sweden, and one SI, which includes articles on transitions in education related to measures to prevent dropout and promote further studies in a European context. The Lost in Transition project is expected to be particularly interesting for national education authorities, school owners (county municipalities and municipalities) and school leaders. In addition, the project could be interesting for the health sector and actors working with children and young people.
Nytteverdi for forskningsfeltet: økt oppmerksomhet om ulike sider og mulige konsekvenser ved utforming av offentlige tiltak for å redusere frafall. Prosjektet har dessuten gitt nye perspektiver og frambrakt verdifull forskningsbasert kunnskap om iverksetting av politikk. Det statsvitenskapelige søkelyset på styring, organisering og iverksetting av politikk har en særskilt verdi, ettersom eksisterende forskning på feltet er dominert av andre fag: helsefag, økonomi, sosiologi og pedagogikk.
Resultatene vil være verdifulle for aktører, nasjonalt og lokalt, i å hindre frafall og støtte elever i grunnopplæringen:
-gir innsikter i 1) hvordan skoleorganisasjoner fungerer, 2) relasjoner mellom de ulike nivåene i det norske utdanningssystemet, som er viktig for å utforme treffsikre tiltak og for å forstå hvordan tiltak endres og tilpasses lokalt, og 3) betydningen av å kjenne de kontekstuelle betingelsene tiltakene skal gjennomføres innenfor
Prosjektet har utviklet forskernes kompetanse
The project intends to catch the complexity of Norwegian and European dropout policy by approaching it from different angles through four work packages (WP).
WP 1 "Action taken: which, how and by whom?" will give a
systematic overview on how school gover nors and individual lower/upper secondary schools initiate/carry through measures in order to increase the completion rate by identifying the main policy design variables (measures, resources, actors involved).
WP 2 "Governing and organizing for transiti on. Changed accountability relations for dropout?" will explore the relation between different governing levels (inter-organizational implementation process variables) in implementing national, regional and local dropout policy programs by examining forms and processes of accountabilities connected to the implementation of drop out policy in selected local contexts.
WP 3: "Experiences with (policy) initiated measures at school level" will explore the intra organizational implementation process variables i n order to explain which and why different dropout programs is concidered successful or not by interviewing school leaders, teachers, pupils and other relevant actors at school level (both lower and upper secondary schools)
WP 4: "Comparing dropout polici es in Europe"
will be organized as a network cooperation between the project group and researchers from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece. The aim of this WP is to establish a network and an arena for developing a common scientific publication on dropout challenges in Europe and how these are met in the different national contexts. The network participants will be meeting at a workshop arranged by the project in Bergen autumn 2016.