Rektorers arbete med demokrati

Alltid angeläget, sparsamt aktualiserat, ständigt utmanat


  • Niclas Rönnström



democratic education, democratic schools, democratic leadership, school leadership, social imagination


Principals’ work with democracy. Always important, sparsely accomplished, constantly challenged. This paper examines principals’ work with democracy in schools, the challenges they face when carrying out such work and what role they themselves consider playing in the democratic work. The paper is based on an interview study with principals. The first interviews were conducted in 2003 and the later in 2023, which allows comparison between principals who exercise school leadership in different time and space. The study shows that the principals describe democratic work as always important but sparsely accomplished. The democratic work of principals is described as multidimensional including the realization of the tasks of schools, schedule-breaking activities, democratic school organization, the promotion of democratic attitudes, and environmental or external monitoring. The study also shows that principals engage in innovative democratization although there are tensions between economic and democratic imaginaries pervading their work likely to crowd out the always important, sparsely accomplished and constantly challenged democratic work.