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The Swedish 'people's school' in Finland and the language question: homogenization and differentiation

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This paper presents an historical overview of issues around the language of instruction and the curriculum of mother-tongue education for the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland during the half-century after the establishment of the public school in 1866. In a linguistic- and culturally-diverse society like that of Finland it has not been self-evident that the question of language as a medium of instruction and as a school subject would be understood and shared in the same way by Finns and Swedes. This paper focuses on two collective themes, homogenization and differentiation. Homogenization stands for forces aiming at securing equal opportunities for education, regardless of vernacular languages and cultures. Differentiation refers to the possibility of accommodating the education to specific needs of the Swedish-speaking population.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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