23 SES 04 C, Europeanization and Policymaking in Education 1
Since 1990's Finland and Sweden have taken significant changes towards market-oriented neo-liberal education policy (e.g. Björklund et al 2005; Rinne et al 2002). Despite the shared legacy of the social democratic welfare state regime (Esping-Andersen 1990) with relatively similar educational systems, the ‘new’ comprehensive school policy has had some remarkable similarities and differences. The decentralisation and the deregulation of the former centralised and norm-regulated policy has opened up a path for wider variation of the local school policy, growth of individualised emphasised teaching and school choice in both countries. However, in Sweden the amount of private schools has increased rapidly and the school performance tables are very popular in the media. In Finland schools are still virtually arranged by the public sector and the public ranking-lists are heavily rejected.
This presentation focuses on the logics and the structure of political argumentation. The analysis is based on leading policymakers’ interviews (politicians, central government officials), who are seen as the most essential agents outlining the national education policy. The intention is to compare the Finnish and Swedish argumentation on three specific comprehensive school policies: 1) school choice, 2) emphasized teaching and 3) public ranking-lists.
Björklund, A., Clark, M., Edin, P.-A., Fredriksson, P. & Krueger, A. (2005): The Market Comes to Education in Sweden. An Evaluation on Sweden's Surprising School Reforms. New York: Russell SAGE Foundation. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990): The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press. Rinne, R., Kivirauma, J. & Simola, H. (2002): Shoots of revisionist education policy or just slow readjustment? The Finnish case of educational reconstruction. Journal of Educational Policy, 17 (6), 643–658. Toulmin, S. (1958): The Uses of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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