Docent Wieland Wermke, Specialpedagogiska institutionen, och kollegan Tine Proitz, fick forskningsanslaget från norska forskningsrådet och University of South East Norway. Tilldelningen har en längd på fem år. 

CLASS står får Comparisons of Leadership Autonomy in School districts and Schools. Projektbeskrivningen lyder:  

CLASS is a comparative mixed methods study that focuses on the professional autonomy of educational leaders in schools and districts in Norway, Sweden and Germany. The primary objective of CLASS is to empirically investigate the autonomy of education leaders and identify what frames their autonomy as mid level management within new ways of governance universally characterized by high expectations of management skills and relational capacity under varied degrees of decentralization (Norway), centralization (Germany), and recentralization (Sweden). The aspects of leadership autonomy will be studied by zooming in on assessment, inclusion and pandemic crisis as three high stakes implementation requirements of governments in education. Considered the contemporary world situation the scope and timing of CLASS gives a unique and excellent opportunity to study autonomy and governance under varied circumstances, and dimensions of time such as, long term (inclusion), cyclic (assessment) and acute (pandemic crisis).

The project builds on the elements of, comparison, complexity and continuity. By comparison of different solutions for similar issues, the study investigates how contextual factors impact the emergence of professional autonomy and organizational structures. Education of today is characterized by a high degree of management complexity in terms of being a “mass education project” involving high numbers of students, parents, teachers and stakeholder groups. Leaders are required to cope with a huge amount of interrelatedness and various layers of governing and influences. This complexity is approached by investigating the complementary professional and organizational structures that often places high expectations and responsibilities on education leaders. Moreover, CLASS continues research on school governance in tension between districts, school leaders´ and teachers’ practice and autonomy in education.