Bildung und Schule im Spannungsfeld pandemiebedingter Herausforderungen: Eine thematische Analyse von Akteur-Struktur-Dynamiken

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The German educational system addressed the implications for schools and education of the Corona pandemic in a variety of diverse and partly short-lived measures. In particular, three groups of actors tried to exert influence on this issue: schools, families and politicians. Theoretically informed by Schimank’s (2010) approach of actor-structure dynamics, this article investigates the research questions of how schools, families and politicians position themselves in the press, and are positioned respectively. Based on the media representation of reality we thus exemplify how each group views itself, and how each group is perceived by the other two groups. Investigating German press coverage during two three-month-periods within the year 2020, we created two data sets (n = 178), which contained a variety of diverse national and regional sources listed in the LexisNexis database. Applying thematic analysis, data set 1 was coded inductively and data set 2 was coded deductively. We crafted six themes from the data which, from an indirect perspective, offer in-depth insights in the self-perception and the other actors’ perception of each actor group while capturing dynamics over time. The analysis reveals that the actors from schools show an increasing willingness to engage with digitization in teaching and learning. Following from the perception that political actions are insufficient, they take an active role in shaping digitization for long-term use. There is a growing solidarity between actors from schools and from families. Both groups show mutual understanding of the situation and of the actions of the other. At the same time, schools and families become increasingly critical of the political actors and view their actions as lacking future-orientation and coherence while increasing social disparities. In order to allow for a better understanding and to partially explain the actions and intentions, we draw on Schimank’s four models of actors. Based on the analysis, we discuss the dynamics in the development of actor constellations.
Translated title of the contributionPandemic-related challenges for education and schools: a thematic analysis of actor-structure dynamics
Original languageGerman
JournalZeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1409 - 1430
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 12.2022