Are schools able to bring sense into pupils' lives? - an experiment to use Antonovsky's concept sense of coherence from a school perspective.

Paper presented at the ENIRDEM conference in Kilkenny, Ireland 26th-29th September, 2002

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Publication year: 2003
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 4 Quality education
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Young people now spend a longer and longer period of their lives at school then ever before. Not always because that they want to, but because society has nothing else to offer. The situation in many schools may also, in different aspects, be seen as highly problematic. Andersson (2001) has, for example, found in a large longitudinal study - The Life Project – that schools seem to be adapted to the needs of only a minority of the students - around 30%. On the other hand school is badly adjusted to the requirements of another 30 %. This group of students often find school meaningless, uninteresting and boring. For these students school is mostly a waste of time. In such circumstances, it seems natural that society has a responsibility to offer young people a meaningful time at school, both here and now and to prepare them for a future live as adults, not only as a part of the work force. As a part of departure I briefly describe the model that Antonovsky has developed and try to use it in a school context instead. I have here, of course, no possibility to make a deeper analysis of a complex problem such as this. In Antonovsky’s spirit, using a salutogenic perspective, instead of asking ourselves why do pupils fail or perhaps also not like being at school we have to ask, instead: What it is that makes pupils successful? From this background the purpose of this paper is to discuss some aspects of how pupils may use different strategies to handle their school situation in a proper way.


Mats Lundgren

Högskolan Dalarna; Pedagogiskt arbete
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