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Limited Freedom of Choice: Cases of High Schools in Stockholm and Tokyo

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In recent years schools have become like commodities that are chosen by consumers, and freedom of school choice has increased in many countries. However, the article argues that the school differs from other commodities in that the school is not a finished good while other commodities are. The concept of “freedom” of school choice is questionable, because somebody’s freedom of school choice restricts the range of others’ freedom. Also, since the school is a system good, the value of the school is defined by the education system, and the individual school cannot completely freely define its values. This article looks into these aspects through case studies of schools in Sweden and Japan1.

Keywords: Japan; Sweden; freedom; privatization; school choice

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Stockholm University

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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