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
Political and public sectors develop with different speed and in diverse directions. Often the aims of economic policies are different from the aims of education policies, and the tendency is that policies on economics outpace those of education. ’A school for all’ has been a dominant vision in Denmark for about a century. But the education policies did not reflect the economic policies: Education policies aimed at education for a welfare state, while economic policies aimed at forming a competitive state. The values, underpinning the two kinds of societies are different: Equality and participatory democracy for the welfare state and competition and preparedness to labour market for the competitive state. The contradiction can be illustrated by the shift in dominant discourses on schooling: Until recently majority politicians have argued, with support from the Salamanca Declaration that it is unfair to deprive children from being included in communities of peers because of learning difficulties. But increasingly it is getting more common to hear politicians argue that we need to take more care of the talented, excellent, and gifted section of students by supporting special schools or special offers in the Folkeschool.
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