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Browsing by Subject "jämförande utbildningspolitik"

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  • Ekman, Veronika (2019)
    The study explores the educational debate in Sweden by analysing how Finnish education and the Finnish school is discussed in the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. The aim is to investigate how education is discussed in Dagens Nyheter and in what way Finland is highlighted in the debate and what is said. The purpose is to clarify what Finland's function in the debate is. Is Sweden compared to Finland and if so, in what way? Is Finland seen as a role model or as something antiquated or something completely different? The dissertation is based on a general theory, Niklas Luhmann's systems theory and on the research theories, externalization, reference society and the role of the media in education policy by opening the contemporary diagnostic phenomenon, the Finnish school in Swedish media commentary. Previous studies have shown that it is common in today's globalized world to look at other countries in education policy and that large-scale international comparisons of education systems such as PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) have led to other countries' results becoming reference points and legitimizing arguments in global education policy. For the empirical study, data was collected from Dagens Nyheter's digital service and archive. The material consisted of a total of 38 articles published between 2010-2018 and the news source's own search engine was utilized by using the keywords "education", "school" and "Finland". During this period, two PISA results were published in 2012 and 2015, which also significantly "heated up" the debate. After the material collection, a thematic content analysis was performed of the identified articles. The articles that highlighted Finland and Finnish education could be categorized according to three different main themes that were recurring and central to the Dagens Nyheter debate. The articles covered in Theme 1: Swedish school policy and reform debate, Theme 2: Teachers, teacher training and teacher salaries and Theme 3: PISA, learning outcomes and assessment. In addition, the function of Finland in the debate could be categorized by subcategories in which Finland's function was seen as either 1) a role model, 2) something antiquated or 3) a reference but not an influence. The study's results suggest that when Finland is seen a role model, Finland's function is a positive reference in which various good aspects of the Finnish educational system are presented and projected against the Swedish system. In addition the results show that when Finland is seen as something antiquated, it is not about Finland's function being a negative reference but more about how Sweden makes excuses to Finland's PISA success in legitimizing its own decisions. Finally, the results show that Finland's function can also be seen as a reference but not an influence when observing Finland and comparing but neither in a positive or negative sense or that Finland is seen as one among other reference countries. One can also distinguish that the education debate was "heated up" especially when new PISA results have been published and that the debate in Dagens Nyheter has been most lively during the years 2011-2012. In summary, the study results indicate that Finland is raised in the debate and has a function as a reference but that the degree of intensity varies and that it is always linked to the ever-changing dynamic between countries and who is the one referred to at that particular moment.