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 public educational system in Norway can be characterised by equal right for every child to have an education of equal quality in a common school for all pupils without organisational differences based on social background, abilities, gender or ethnic background. This system has played a long and important role in development of Norway from a relatively poor country at the start of the 20th century to one of the world’s richest at the end of the century. However, growing international influence on education policy, neoliberalism and growth of individualistic attitudes in public thought around the millennium have altered the conditions for this laboriously constructed education system, causing widespread concern that the fundamental values of the 20th century school system were counteracted. This article presents a brief history of how this school system has been developed since the 18th century, and how the new transnational policies were introduced in Norway after the millennium. The questions to be discussed are if we can identify specific new management systems which may combat the traditional ideal of “a school for all”, and what empirical research says about the current status of “a school for all” in Norway. Is it under threat?
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