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Browsing by Author "Luomala, Hanna"

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  • Luomala, Hanna (2015)
    Aims This study aims to give upper secondary school students a possibility to participate in current discussion on updating curriculum and developing Finnish upper secondary school education and in this way bring illustrative information of important things from students' point of view. The aim is to compare student's views, political goals and current theories and perceive what kind of citizenship different educational discourses that work in the field of upper secondary school education aim to produce. The study aims to examine how different students define essential general education in the future and what kind of position they take towards the hegemonic norm of active competitive citizenship that is the goal of the official educational policy. Methods The data of this study consists of four focus group interviews in four upper secondary schools in the metropolitan area of Finland. The method of critical discourse analysis was applied in the analysis. Different discourses were perceived and then compared with the hegemonic official educational political discourse. Results and Conclusions By analyzing different educational discourses the goal of this study is to consider how to develop upper secondary school education to promote well-being and equality of the students in a way that pays attention to students' different backgrounds and needs. Discourses that are found in students' conversations are summarized into two opposite discourses on future's citizenship: competitive discourse and well-being discourse. This study aims to indicate that discourses rise from a realistic ground. It can be said that successful students can easily reach official political efficiency goals whereas students that are not so well-off need support to reach the normative goals. This study indicates that students' different needs should be taken into account and actively offer guidance to students so that they didn't need to take the responsibility for their future all alone. Recognizing students' different goals and plans would be useful when considering what kind of general education is essential concerning upper secondary school education and how to support different students' ability to build their identities, find their own way and support their well-being. Students' accounts also indicate that the skills needed in democratic citizenship should not be overshadowed by competitive and efficiency goals.