Stockholm university

Anna-Lena Ljusberg

About me

Associated professor in child- and youth studies

Senior lecturer

Section for Child and Youth Studies


Research projects

Inventories of pupil's needs and interests as a basis for systematic quality development work at school-age educare.

A three-year action research project: 2018-08-01-2021-07-31.
Finance: The education departments research and development section in Stockholm council, Sweden.
Research leader: Fil. Dr. Eva Kane, the other researchers associated with the project are Fil. Dr. Anna-Lena Ljusberg and Fil. Dr. Ann Pihlgren.

Background and starting points:
School-age educare's governing documents call for an inventory of pupil's needs and interests before defining activities, approaches and working methods that allow the children to develop towards the goals in the curriculum. This is not always visible in planning at school-age educare. School-age educare has both a complementary and compensatory aim and this frames the study which focuses on what systematic quality development work based on the students' needs and interests can look like. Two primary schools in very different communities in the Stockholm area are included in the project.

Research questions:
Which formal and informal methods are used and can be developed, in the school-age educare practice, to continuously survey the needs, interests and experiences of the current pupil group?

How can systematic quality development work based on pupils' needs, interests and experiences be realised in day-to-day practice in school-age educare?
How can an inventory of pupil´s needs and interests in school-age educare also enrich the lesson content planned to achieve a subjects course plan objectives?


National evaluation of school-age educare in Norway

One-year project with duration in 2018.

Funder: Norwegian Directorate of Education.
Research leader: Professor Christian Wendelborg NTNU Social Research in Trondheim, Norway. Two Swedish researchers are associated with the project: Professor Nihad Bunar and Fil. Dr. Anna-Lena Ljusberg.

The evaluation will include an assessment of various goals of quality at SFO such as organization, competence, content and user satisfaction. The evaluation will highlight how the scope of the current Education Act is understood and utilized locally in terms of SFO. The evaluation includes SFO for pupils from 1-4. steps and SFO for students with special needs in 1-7 steps.

The national evaluation of the school-age educare has a website in Trondheim:

Kvalitetsutveckling av grundlärarprogrammet med inriktning mot arbete i fritidshem


Teaches and is responsible for courses in School-age Educare


Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Lärare, barn och lärande i kurslitteratur – ideologiska dilemman i talet om fritidshem

    2019. Anna-Lena Ljusberg, Linnéa Holmberg. Educare - Vetenskapliga skrifter (3), 17-33


    In recent years, the number of different course books focused on school-age educare available for undergraduates in teacher education programs for primary school has increased. Thus studying what particular version of school-age educare is legitimized in this discursive practice and how this is done rhetorically becomes pertinent. This article examines and illuminates how this course literature – used at several universities in Sweden – stages a certain way of speaking about school-age educare and thereby may ascribe teachers and children specific subject positions. The study shows how recurrent ideological dilemmas are used as linguistic resources to manage some constantly present contradictions: school-age educare is supposed to be both democratic and child centered, as well as professionally planned and lead. The findings illuminate a homogenous depiction of how school-age educare is distinguished from traditional and formal schooling and thereby promoted as a unique but also necessary form of education. As a consequence, an ideal teacher is someone who is specialized in being actively passive and passively active, and an expert on children’s learning while children are considered expertson themselves and in the activities as well. That is, teacher’s professionalism in educare is tied to the skill of not being formal and school-like, but still being educational in a way that promotes politically-approved learning and development.

    Read more about Lärare, barn och lärande i kurslitteratur – ideologiska dilemman i talet om fritidshem
  • Doing Masculinity in School-Age Child-Care

    2018. Anna-Lena Ljusberg. International Journal for Research on Extended Education 6 (1), 66-79


    This article is based on data from a two-year ethnographic study on children in school-age child-care in Sweden. It describes a boy’s way from positioning himself as a “boy who does not fight” to a “boy who fights”. In Sweden, independence is viewed as paramount. Fostering children to independence can be seen from different perspectives, and the teachers in this particular setting hand over the power to the children. The social climate in the setting was quite tough, and the children – especially the boys – formed a social hierarchy by using their fists. The material was studied with help from analytical tools dealing with gender, position and power.

    Read more about Doing Masculinity in School-Age Child-Care
  • Eliciting Concepts in the Field of Extended Education – A Swedish Provoke

    2018. Anna Klerfelt, Anna-Lena Ljusberg. International Journal for Research on Extended Education 6 (2), 122-131


    The aim of this article is to contribute to the discussion concerning the concepts used in the field of extended education by scrutinising different concepts that can contribute to research and guard the specific educational attitude of extended education as viewed from a Swedish perspective. The discussion will be based on a review of concepts used in both national and international research, as well as those formulated in Swedish policy documents and traditionally used in Swedish schoolage educare activity. Defining extended education as a social practice that aims at meaning making based on experiences from everyday life will be an important theoretical starting point to which the discussed concepts will be related. The significance of taking a point of departure in children’s perspectives is central in the article. Finally, some newly created concepts will be suggested as significant for the development of extended education.

    Read more about Eliciting Concepts in the Field of Extended Education – A Swedish Provoke
  • Making Magic Soup - The facilitation of play in school-age childcare

    2013. Eva Kane, Anna-Lena Ljusberg, Håkan Larsson. International Journal of Play 2 (1), 7-21


    This paper explores socially shared knowledge of facilitating play in a learning institution such as a school-age childcare setting (services provided for children outside school hours, often while parents are at work). Previous research makes it clear that the area of play facilitation needs further exploration. It points to a tension between children's agency in play and the constraints of the setting. The pedagogical traditions of Froebel and Dewey have been used to explore the options for action in this field of tension. Staff from four school-age childcare settings – three Swedish and one English – took part in focus groups. The transcriptions of the spoken dialogue were categorised using dialogic analysis. The paper presents samples of conversations highlighting the above tensions and analyses them in the light of the theory. The findings show that staff negotiated these tensions daily and that the developed model can be used to reflect on the intentions and approaches of a service that only partly facilitates play. The conclusion is that the ability of staff to interpret children's play as children exploring their agency is crucial when facilitating play in a learning institution.

    Read more about Making Magic Soup - The facilitation of play in school-age childcare
  • Children’s views on attending a remedial class – because of concentration difficulties

    2011. Anna-Lena Ljusberg. Child Care Health and Development 37 (3), 440-445


    Background An increasing number of segregating solutions (e.g. remedial classes) can be seen in Swedish schools. The aim of this article is to stress how children describe why they attend a remedial class and what it means to be a pupil in that setting. Methods The data collection consists of semi-structured interviews with 10 pupils between 10 and 12 years old attending 10 different remedial classes because they had been attributed with having concentration difficulties or diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The content of the interviews was described and analysed in relation to the classroom context. The socio-cultural perspective is used as a screen to describe and understand the children’s comments about attending remedial class. Results and conclusions All interviews with the children indicate that they are carriers of their schools’ compensatory perspective. This means that they are fully aware of the fact that they are regarded as difficult, with annoying and problematic behaviour, deviating from pupils’ in general. The remedial class creates social difficulties for the children; they see themselves as deviant, they lose old friends and there are limited possibilities of establishing new friendship in remedial classes.

    Read more about Children’s views on attending a remedial class – because of concentration difficulties
  • The structured classroom

    2011. Anna-Lena Ljusberg. International Journal of Inclusive Education 15 (2), 195-210


    The aim of this article is to highlight the organisation of the remedial classroom. The data were collected from observations and semi-structured interviews with 10 teachers in remedial classes for children seen and treated as having concentration deficits. The teachers use primarily compensatory language that places the deficits in the pupils. Something appearing both in the interviews and in the organisation of the classroom is the structured classroom. In the remedial class it can be expresse by dividing the pupils’ working place areas with screens or turning the pupils’ desks toward a bare wall, and strongly structuring the teaching. By pointing out the problem as pupils’ social deficits, the schools reduce their agency. The goal of remedial classes is that the pupils will return to the ordinary class. This article suggests that what pupils in remedial classes learn primarily is to be a pupil in a remedial class.

    Read more about The structured classroom
  • IRIS Teacher Training

    2009. Jane Brodin, Anna-Lena Ljusberg.


    CD in English from the IRIS Teacher Training package. International cooperation between Austria, Belgium, Catalonia (Spain), England, Portugal and Sweden. Focus is on inclusive education and classroom climate.

    Read more about IRIS Teacher Training
  • Teaching children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in remedial classes

    2008. Jane Brodin, Ljusberg Anna-Lena. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research 31 (4), 351-355


    This article is based on data collected in the interdisciplinary project ‘basic skills, social interaction and training of the working memory’. The trend in today's schools is to work for inclusion of all children based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The focus of this study is teachers' and parents' views on the education of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and similar symptoms. The aim is to increase teachers' and parents' knowledge of the school context for this group of children. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to all teachers and parents involved in the project and data were compiled and reported in running text. Twenty-one teachers and school staff, and 41 parents (one dropped out) were involved. The results showed that problems in the classroom sometimes exceeded the genuine tasks of the school, and too much time was spent on reproving pupils' unacceptable behaviours.

    Read more about Teaching children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in remedial classes

Show all publications by Anna-Lena Ljusberg at Stockholm University