Studenter som kunder och konsten att vara lärare – från frustration till självreflektion
Students as consumers and the art of being a teacher from frustration to self-reflection The first generation of students who started school after the large Swedish edu- cational reforms of decentralization and marketization in the 1990s is now enter- ing the university. They have grown up in an individualized society, with a public sector permeated by new public management ideals. The purpose of this article is to discuss students’ attitudes and approaches to studies, in the light of these socio-political changes, and to reflect on challenges and possibilities for teaching in higher education. With an empirical material consisting of correspondence with students and comments in course evaluations, we give examples of attitudes and behaviours that can be understood as expressions of a rather demanding individu- alistic customer approach to education. We conclude by arguing that our teach- ing practice must take these partly new circumstances into account. If we want to become better teachers, we must understand our students.