23 SES 08 A, The Nordic Vision of a School for All Meets the Neo-Liberal Education Policy. Part 1. Reports from Five Countries
Symposium, Part 1
The Nordic Model in Education (Telhaug, Mediås & Aasen, 2006) has been characterised as including all children, regardless of residence, social and cultural background, gender, ethnicity, and physical and mental ability. It rests on a moral idea of democracy, a school for all, which sees diversity as an asset in teaching, and in which everyone may participate on their own conditions, and where inclusion, equality and participations are important principles. In the first decade of the new millennium, ideas from new liberalism like free markets, competition between nations, decentralisation, and individual freedom of choice have gained international recognition. Consequently, the ideas of national control and equal opportunities for all children are in transition.
Based on experiences from the Nordic countries, this symposium will reflect on changes in compulsory education and school for all resulting from recent changes in governance systems influenced by international trends. In what ways are the values of the Nordic Model being translated into neo liberalist ways of directing schools, and are there new kinds of effects that may strengthen “a school for all” in a long term perspective? How are the traditional national regulations working side by side with the new liberalist ways of governing schools?
Methods used are review of historical research and empirical updates. Each Nordic country (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland) has compiled a country report where the historical emergence and empirical updates are the main focus.
The authors address issues about 1) structure, 2) steering and 3) motives:
Structure: Streaming, exclusion and inclusion, special education, state or private schools.
Steering: Centralisation versus decentralisation, steering by rules, steering by means and objectives, market-steering, process versus product, inspection, evaluation
Motives: nation building, growth and welfare, reduce social inequity, school as a cultural institution versus a market institution, representative democracy versus market democracy with a focus on the clients right.
Expected outcomes is supposed to problematize how the values of the Nordic Model are being transformed into neo liberalist ways of directing schools, and if there are new kinds of effects that may strengthen “a school for all” in a long term perspective and in that case which those effects are?
This symposium is part of the symposium “The Nordic Vision of a School for All meets the Neo-Liberal Educational Policy. Part 2 Themes and Trends”. It is a result of the Nordic network “NordNet” financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The intention is to have the contributions published in an anthology.
Telhaug, A. O., Mediås, O. A. and Aasen, P. (2006) The Nordic Model in Education: Education as part of the political system in the last 50 years. In Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, Vol 50, No 3, pp. 245-285.
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