14 SES 09 B, Educational Research and Schooling in Rural Europe: An Engagement with Changing Patterns of Education, Space and Place (Part 2)
Symposium continued from 14 SES 08 B
In Finland, especially in the countryside, the ageing population adds pressure to welfare services (Local Finland, 2015) How do we balance the growing need of welfare services with the future needs of education? According to our research, the centralization of education is leading to bigger schools. Bigger schools are more favoured in cities. We ask, does the “one size fits all” policy of school network planning function everywhere? And what are the social implications for this in the longer term? We argue that based on our research, it is possible for the growing municipalities to operate otherwise and develop more versatile networks of schools. We argue that especially in rural municipalities, it would be justified to examine the whole welfare service network instead of just schools (see Statistics Finland 2015). School buildings are already the centre of many operations but what is the role of the municipality here? (Finnish Environment Institute, 2013). We argue that school building should be seen as family service centres or centres focused on the whole life course (see e.g. Village Action Association of Finland, 2015). In Finland, community services are looked separately from the field of school operation. We ask how could schools (buildings) be understood as a part of a whole service network? Furthermore, the current acute refugee situation in Europe, brings multiculturalism questions in many rural municipalities, some for the very first time. We consider the possibility that these new comers might slow down the change of the school network in some municipalities.
Finnish Environment Institute (2013). More accurate information available about urban and rural areas. http://www.syke.fi/en US/Research__Development/Sustainability_of_land_use_and_the_built_environment/More_accurate_information_available_abou(14636) Local Finland (2015) = The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities 2015. Population by Local Authorities. http://www.localfinland.fi/en/statistics/Population-by-local-authority/Pages/default.aspx Statistics Finland (2015). Statistical grouping of municipalities 2015. http://www.stat.fi/meta/luokitukset/kuntaryhmitys/001-2015/index_en.html Village Action Association of Finland (2015). http://www.kylatoiminta.fi/en/home.html
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