Written Paper

Policy development and reform principles of basic and secondary education in Finland since 1968

Sahlberg, Pasi Aho, Erkki Pitkanen, Kari Education Team (HDNED) [Corporate Author]

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This book examines the development of education policy and reform principles in Finland over that 40-year span. The 1960s and 1970s were times of drastic change as the country evolved from an agrarian society to a Scandinavian welfare state. To facilitate this transformation, the education system, which maintained the inequities of the class society for which it was designed, needed a total overhaul. Adopting a comprehensive school reform approach, Finnish educators and policymakers scrutinized everything from curriculum and textbooks to salaries and administration. At the same time, teacher training underwent substantial revision, with the goal of raising teacher education to the university level. Significant resources were also invested in adult education and higher education. Structural change not only led to a complete revamping of the education system; the reformed system also, in turn, created opportunities for Finland to move toward a post-industrial information society.