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Abstracts

Teachers discuss entrepreneurship education
Maija Korhonen, Katri Komulainen & Hannu Räty

In the 2000s there have been major policy efforts for strengthening entrepreneurship education in Finnish education. The article explores the micro-level, discursive reception of entrepreneurship education in schools by analyzing how a group of comprehensive school teachers construct the aims of entrepreneurship education in their interviews. The analysis shows that the teachers negotiate the aims of entrepreneurship education through and in relation to the historically produced discourses of schooling. Within the school context, entrepreneurship education appears as an ideologically dilemmatic phenomenon because new discourses and ideals are made intelligible by considering them within the well-established, value-based discourses of schooling. When the teachers argue for and against the aims of entrepreneurship education they produce normative statements concerning equality, competition, and the abilities of individuals. Thus, they make sense of the aims of entrepreneurship education by reflecting the same contentious issues and questions that have historically been in the core of the school debate.


Is young Finns’ societal passivity an illusion?
Tommi Eränpalo

The article deals with young people's social awareness and activity in the light of the results of the CIVED (1999) and the ICCS (2009) studies. It examines Finnish young peoples' knowledge and attitudes compared to those of the Swedish, British, American and Australian adolescents. In addition it elaborates on the results of the qualitative studies on adolescents’ social attitudes and knowledge that have been carried out in Finland. The article shows that the results of the 1999 and 2009 international comparative research can be interpreted differently than before. When these results are set against the national qualitative surveys, young peoples' purported social passivity appears more uncertain. This perspective will set different challenges to the doctrine of today’s didactics for civics and social studies.

Equality of opportunity and admission policies in basic education
Mira Kalalahti and Janne Varjo

The development of Finnish basic education has included various reformulations of the objectives for  the educational system and, also, different interpretations for the concept of equality. In this article, we elaborate the changes in the guiding principles of admission policies in basic education. By analyzing the changing concepts of equality in the education policy discourse and the practices, we explicate different socio-historical forms of admission policies. Based on the trajectory of the forms of selection, we interpret the recent change towards a more individualized concept of equality of opportunity and school choice. We argue that the key question of equality of opportunity in basic education is the balancing act between the principles of the “neighbourhood school” and open enrolment. We conclude that the underlying concepts of equality articulated in those principles are contradictory or diverse and may have elements that maintain, change or increase inequality of opportunity.