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Finland’s Famous Education System

Unvarnished Insights into Finnish Schooling

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  • Open Access
  • © 2023

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  • Presents an unprecedented insider-outsider perspective on Finnish education
  • Analyses common myths and misconceptions about Finnish education
  • Covers a wide range of Finnish education topics and related critical perspectives
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

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Table of contents (28 chapters)

  1. Politics, Policy, Teachers and Edu-business


About this book

This open access book provides academic insights and serves as a platform for research-informed discussion about education in Finland. Bringing together the work of more than 50 authors across 28 chapters, it presents a major collection of critical views of the Finnish education system and topics that cohere around social justice concerns. It questions rhetoric, myths, and commonly held assumptions surrounding Finnish schooling.

This book draws on the fields of sociology of education, education policy, urban studies, and policy sociology. It makes use of a range of research methodologies including ethnography, case study and discourse analysis, and references the work of relevant theorists, including Bourdieu and Foucault. This book aims to provide a critical, updated and astute analysis of the strengths and challenges of the Finnish education system. 

Editors and Affiliations

  • Division of Education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

    Martin Thrupp

  • Department of Education, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

    Piia Seppänen

  • Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland

    Jaakko Kauko

  • Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    Sonja Kosunen

About the editors

Martin Thrupp has been Professor of Education at the University of Waikato in New Zealand since 2006. Prior to that, he held posts at King’s College London and the Institute of Education, University of London. Thrupp has also worked in Finnish education circles since 2016, including visits to Finland in all four seasons. His research interests are in education policy, with a particular focus on school reform as it plays out in different local and national settings. He has authored a number of books, including 'The Search for Better Educational Standards: A Cautionary Tale' (Springer, 2018), and has also co-edited collections about New Zealand's education system published in 2010 and 2019.

Piia Seppänen is Professor of Education, especially on comparative education and education policy at the University of Turku in Finland where she also works as Vice-Dean for research in its Faculty of Education. Her research with research groups at the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education (CELE) focuses on pupil selection, urban social segregation, and classed practices within comprehensive schooling. Seppänen also studies commodification in public education systems and its connections to the global education industry.

Jaakko Kauko is Professor of Education Policy at the Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University, Finland. His research focuses on the fields of education policy and comparative education, and he has recently been researching transnational knowledge networks in higher education. Kauko is co-author of Dynamics in Education Politics: Understanding and Explaining the Finnish Case with Hannu Simola, Janne Varjo, Mira Kalalahti, and Fritjof Sahlström (Routledge, 2017), and co-editor of Successful Public Policy in the Nordic Countries: Cases, Lessons, Challenges with Caroline de la Porte, Guðný Björk Eydal, Daniel Nohrstedt, Paul ‘t Hart, and Bent Sofus Tranøy (Oxford University Press, 2022).

Sonja Kosunen is Associate Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is the leader of the research unit Social studies in Urban Education (SURE), which studies phenomena related to social justice, reproduction and inequalities in education from pre-primary through to higher education. Kosunen’s current research focuses on the stratification of the teaching profession, segregation of teachers, and the (re)production of class-based inequalities in segregated education markets.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Finland’s Famous Education System

  • Book Subtitle: Unvarnished Insights into Finnish Schooling

  • Editors: Martin Thrupp, Piia Seppänen, Jaakko Kauko, Sonja Kosunen

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-19-8240-8Published: 02 March 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-19-8243-9Published: 02 March 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-19-8241-5Published: 01 March 2023

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 466

  • Number of Illustrations: 8 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Educational Policy and Politics, Sociology of Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Urban Studies/Sociology, Public Policy

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