New guidelines for policy makers based on years of joint Nordic academic research: How to promote equality and equity in Nordic education

Discrimination, marginalization and segregation are surprisingly common in the Nordic schools of today. Based on several years of research at 14 universities in 8 countries, a group of academic researchers recently came together with one mutual goal – to help policy makers create a more equal and equitable educational system in the Nordic countries. The result is three clear guidelines.

More than 100 researchers representing universities in 8 countries, have spent years examining social justice in education from a range of angles. Based on a synthesis of their research, this group of researchers is now appealing to policymakers in all the Nordic countries to adjust educational policies and curricula in a more equal and equitable direction.

“Through our research we have seen that marginalization, discrimination and exclusion are surprisingly common in Nordic schools. To make a change we need to address the issues both on a political and practical level. Exclusion and marginalization of students are often based on differences related to social class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, locality, and language. Additionally, market-based and privatization reforms in the Nordic countries have detrimental consequences for educational justice”, says Professor Gunilla Holm at the University of Helsinki, leader of the Justice through Education in the Nordic Countries research center.

The following 3 guidelines will provide policymakers with ideas on how to encounter these challenges on a political and pragmatic level through policymaking and practical tools. Read more about policy implications

  1. CREATE EQUAL ACCESS TO SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION
    Prevent and counteract market-based and privatization policy reforms that contradict fair and equal education
  2. COUNTERACT DISCRIMINATION AND MARGINALIZATION
    In curricula and teacher education, explicitly address discrimination and marginalization based on social class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, locality and language
  3. BALANCE CONTENT COVERAGE, STUDENT INITIATIVE AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION
    Balance student autonomy and active participation with cognitively demanding learning environments and use of digital technologies in the classrooms

More information:
Gunilla Holm
Professor, Director NCoE JustEd
gunilla.holm@helsinki.fi
+358 50 3275907