The Nordic countries have had a reputation for pursuing fair and equal education, but they have a long way to go to reach a state where all students can equally reach their full potential. Young people of working class, ethnic minority or special education background still find themselves channelled to culturally less-valued educational routes more often than others, and schools still reinforce heteronormative, ableist and colonialist understandings of the world.
This book analyses, challenges, and troubles contemporary educational cultures in Nordic countries and the complex and distinctive meanings given to them.
The authors of this book have focused on cultural processes connected to these issues by examining blind spots in education systems that are considered the most equal in the world. They describe and analyse how young people who do not fulfil cultural expectations are still relatively easily pushed into the margins and highlight how pedagogical practices put in place to promote equality often instead establish the privileged position of the hegemonic majority, or even create new forms of marginalisation. In doing this the contributors have also pointed out the potential for resistance that exists for young people and educators within these systems.
The book is a contribution from the Nordforsk funded Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE): Justice through education in the Nordic Countries (JustEd). The Centre was founded to seek answers to the question of how do education systems, cultures and actors enable and constrain justice in the context of the globalizing Nordic welfare States?
Troubling educational cultures in the Nordic Countries: Introduction
Touko Vaahtera, Anna-Maija Niemi, Sirpa Lappalainen and Dennis Beach
The learning and creativity of male youth from multi-cultural suburbs
The ideal school-yard child: Subjectivity in teachers’ representations of educational outdoor space
Getting along social skills required to be normal in the Finnish school
Ina Juva and Touko Vaahtera
Troubling an embodied pedagogy in science education
Kathrin Otrel-Cass and Liv Kondrup Kristensen
Disconcerting processes of marginalisation and boys’ opportunities for performing identity work in a Swedish special education need unit
Troubling normativities? Constructing sexual and gender diversity in the educational work of Finnish LGBTI human rights association Seta
Teaching about the Pink Holocaust in an Icelandic upper secondary school classroom: Queer counterpublics?
Jón Ingvar Kjaran and Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson
The little things that matter: Research experiences of challenging heteronormativity in Finnish schools
Using postcolonial discourse analysis in social science education: Troubling hierarchical human relations