Justice through education in the Nordic countries

How does education work to further justice in the Nordic states? What are the implications of recent policy changes for an inclusive education, and what can we learn from on-going innovations in teaching? The Nordic excellence centre Justice through Education aims at researching the challenges facing the Nordic educational systems in the 21st century. It will compare the impact of policies, such as school choice and public accountability, on teaching and learning cultures, as well as on the marginalization and engagement of learners, and contribute to the re-formulation of what the project of democratic, inclusive education for justice can be in the middle of current political, economic and cultural transformation.

More specifically the NCoE research is focused around the question: How do systems, cultures and actors in education enable and constrain justice in the context of globalizing Nordic welfare states? The research is divided into three thematic areas:

Governance, politics and marketization - changes in the Nordic understanding of justice through education: Principles related to justice - such as equality and universality - have historically played a strong role in educational policies in the Nordic countries, but is their importance decreasing in favor of more emphasis on comparison, marketization, effectiveness, and individualization?

Justice through educational practices? Analyzing innovative cultures of teaching and learning in Nordic contexts: Policy changes impact how teaching and learning restrains and/or promotes equality and justice in Nordic education. The research focus is on how influences of politics and policies on educational institutions in terms of justice can be examined in innovative teaching and learning practices in new ways.

Enabling and constraining justice in education: agency, marginalization and diversity. Marginalization and exclusion from active participation and success in education are detrimental both for the individual and society at large. The research studies how justice is supported and constrained in and by Nordic education from the viewpoint of the individual. The research relates agency, marginalization and the central notion of diversity in order to analyze the place of justice in education.

The centre will foster extensive contacts and collaboration between all the Nordic countries and highly recognized international partners. A strong researcher education component is also part of the center.