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The Finnish Education Mystery


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Table of Contents

Introduction I - Education Policy-making and Governance: Struggling between Egalitarianism and Market-liberalism 1. Firmly Bolted into the Air: Wishful rationalism as a Discursive Basis for Educational Reforms? 2. Abdication of the Education State or Just Shifting Responsibilities? Constructing a New System of Reason in Finnish Schooling (with Rinne, R. & Kivirauma, J.) 3. Quality Assurance and Evaluation in Finnish Compulsory Schooling: a National Model or Just Unintended Effects of Radical Decentralisation? (with Rinne, R., Varjo, J., Kauko, J. & Pitkanen, H.) II - Teachers and Their Education: Paradoxes in a Successful Professionalization Project 4. Educational Science, the State and Teachers: Setting up the Corporate Regulation of Teacher Education in Finland 5. The Foucauldian History of Truth and the Birth of the Modern Finnish Teacher (with Heikkinen, S. & Silvonen, J.) 6. Didactic Closure: Professionalization and Pedagogical Knowledge in Finnish Teacher Education (with Kivinen, O. & Rinne, R.) III - Schooling Practices: A Peculiar Marriage of the Traditional and the Progressive 7. From Exclusion to Self-selection: the Examination of Behaviour in Finnish Primary and Comprehensive School from the 1860s to the 1990s 8. "It's Progress but ... " Finnish Teachers Talking about Their Changing Work" 9. Changes in Nordic Teaching Practices: From Individualised Teaching to the Teaching of Individuals (with Carlgren, I., Klette, K., Myrdal, S. & Schnack, K.) IV - Understanding the Finnish PISA Miracle: Decent Work Ethics, Reasonable Leadership and Lucky Constellations 10. The Finnish Miracle of PISA: Historical and Sociological Remarks on Teaching and Teacher Education 11. Against the Flow: Path Dependence, Convergence and Contingency in Understanding the Finnish QAE Model (with Varjo, J. & Rinne, R.) 12. Education Politics and Contingency: Belief, Status and Trust behind the Finnish PISA Miracle (with Rinne, R.) Aftermath

About the Author

Hannu Simola is Professor of Sociology of Education in the Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.


"... an inspiring and different approach to the topic of the already extensively thematised (and recently also troubled) success of education in Finland. ... I believe that readers will not be disappointed. They are likely to remain with the author for some time, and to return to him often during their own research in education, particularly if their area of research is comparative education and conceptualisations of contemporary shifts in rationalities of education and its agents. ... In his book The Finnish Education Mystery, Simola comes as close as possible to the standards he himself conceptualises as standards for studies engaged in education policy studies." - Slavko Gaber, C.E.P.S. (Center for Educational Policy Studies) Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1

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