Kvalitetsperspektiver og meningsskabelse i undervisningssektoren

Jens Bjerre‐Christensen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


This thesis is focused towards a paradox in the quality perception of the core task identified in an adult education centre. More specifically Københavns Voksenuddannelsescenter (KVUC) in Denmark. In autumn 2015 the result of an employee satisfaction study was published. The result of the study indicated that the teachers experienced the poorest quality of their core task in the country. It is a paradox as the institution fulfils all external quality targets and have some of the most satisfied students in the country. Further the management believes that the teaching is of a very high quality. The primary purpose of the thesis is to get greater clarity of the teachers’ and the management’s quality perceptions in order to make recommendations for how the management can create coherence between the different views. Peter Dahler‐Larsen’s book “Kvalitetens Beskaffenhed” (Dahler‐Larsen 2009) has been used to categorize the management's and the employees’ perceptions of quality and to create a common platform for communication. Karl Weick’s “Seven Properties of Sensemaking” (Weick 1995) has been used to identify the teachers’ understanding of the quality concept and to make suggestions, which can be used by the management to create an understanding context. Dahler‐Larsen uses five perspectives to describe the different approaches to quality ‐ all with the logic that the performance of predefined criteria results in good quality. In addition, he defines a last perspective without criteria´s. Weick describes the creation of opinion as a process, which is: Grounded in identity construction, retrospective, enactive of sensible environments, social, ongoing, focused on and by extracted cues, and driven by plausibility rather than accuracy. By using Dahler‐Larsen’s perspectives of quality a questionnaire was created and sent to all teachers: The questionnaire provided data about the teachers’ experience of quality and was subsequently used to prepare an interview guide for the interview with the Vice Principal of the institution in order to uncover the quality perspective of the management. The questionnaire was together with Weicks properties used to create an interview guide for two focus group interviews with in total seven teachers. The qualitative data from all interviews were analyzed with Dahler‐Larsen’s six perspectives and the quality perceptions of the employees’ and the management were described. Weicks “Seven Properties” was used to analyze the two focus groups and it was concluded, what had the greatest impact on the teachers’ sensemaking in relation to the quality of the teaching. The two analyzes made it possible to make recommendations to the actions, which the management must initiate at an upcoming staff meeting. The main conclusion is:  The management and the teachers agree on the perspective: “To consider the wishes of the students”  There is a difference in the teachers’ and the management’s perception of the perspective and its operationalization and normative argument. The management’s perception of the student perspective is that results from student satisfaction surveys (Top‐Down) will initiate centrally controlled teaching methods  The teachers´ perception of the student perspective is the accommodation of the needs of every single student. The source of information is either the student himself or a teacher assessment (Bottom‐Up). When this is happens it leads to the perception of quality. Weick’s theory opened for the possibility of identifying characteristics of the teachers such as the teacher’s strong individual identity as professionals and the limited possibility of influencing through social interaction. These characteristics result in unequal treatment of students, which the management wants to change by a large scale change management project based on Karl Weicks change management theory. The change project has the perspective: “To consider the wishes of the students” and is rooted in the newly acquired knowledge of the teachers’ sensemaking.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages52