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School for all : Inclusion in education as a continuous process in multilevel network governance

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Title: School for all : Inclusion in education as a continuous process in multilevel network governance
Author(s): Parikka, Nooramaria
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Degree program: Master's Programme in European and Nordic Studies
Specialisation: Social Sciences
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2022
This thesis aims to examine the representation of the policy problem behind inclusion in education at the compulsory education level. The other purpose is to analyze how the inclusive education policies differ from the others at different levels: global, European, national, local and new philanthropy. The thesis examines policy papers by the actors at three highest-level actors: global-level the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European-level the European Union (EU), and national-level Finland. The perspective is to respect children’s rights and interests. The thesis theorizes inclusion in education historically, conceptually, and linguistically in Europe and in Finland. The thesis argues that inclusion in education is a value-based ideology and can be defined as a continuous process. Policies of inclusion in education are part of the broader global ideological objective of inclusive societies, which are against social exclusion. Along with globalization and Europeanisation, education policy as well has been globalized. As a result, the education policy can be seen as multilevel network governance where all actors cooperate. However, the OECD is at the of the network as an umbrella in global education policy and monitors the education policy of all actors. The thesis applies the post-structural What’s the problem represented? (WPR) approach by Carol Bacchi (2009) in order to examine the problem representation and conceptual logics behind social exclusion. Additionally, the WPR approach provided to problematize differences between the policies of the actors. According to Foucauldian post-structuralism, governed changes towards more inclusive education systems are slow because of different languages, cultures and welfare states. Inclusion in education as a value-based ideology is based on economic integration in order to provide quality competence-based education and lifelong learning in order to maintain employability which is a primary factor to involve all citizens in fast-growing diverse societies. Regarding the findings, inclusive education policies by all actors are against social exclusion, but the principles of subsidiarity define the effectiveness of the policies. In conclusion, the conceptual logics of the prevention of social exclusion are an accumulation of risks such as unemployment, lower socio- economic status and immigration. The main objective of the policies is to maintain employability. The most fundamental difference between the actors is linguistic or terminological. In conclusion, problematisation questions why Finland uses the term “equality”, whereas the other actors admit the current use of the term “equitable”, which provides diverse comprehension of non-binary individuals instead logics of binary gender. This problematisation, as a significant finding, emphasizes that there is a demand for broader research in gender studies in education policy. The thesis argues that underachieved “boys” in Finland might be something other than binary-defined boys who are at risk of social exclusion in adulthood.
Keyword(s): inclusion inclusion in education social exclusion education policy inkluusio koulutuspolitiikka syrjäytyminen

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