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Cooperation between schools and elite sports: How are schools affected from engaging in athletic talent development?

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municipal primary and lower secondary schools (folkeskoler)
and elite sports clubs to establish SportsClasses enables
schools to set parameters that align student-athletes’ attitudes and behavior towards school and academic performance. Using neo-institutional theory, we show how two
separate institutional domains – education and sport –
come to agree on common purposes and practices for an endeavor that takes place on the ‘home field’ of education. We apply the theoretical concepts of ‘contractualisation’ and ‘accountability’ to understand what these learning agreements or implicit social contracts involve, how they are made, and how they are enforced. These concepts capture the empirical governance mechanisms that produce the integration of athletes into school norms and practices as well as how these norms and practises are re-configured as an effect of the cooperation. The article is based on an ethnographic study of the admissions process for SportsClasses. We discuss the benefits and risks for the publicly funded school system in entering into such social learning contracts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Studies in Sociology of Education
Pages (from-to)325-346
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

    Research areas

  • Talent development, lower secondary school, elite sports, neo-institutional theory, accountability, contractualisation, Grundskole, Talent

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