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Shared Sense-Making as Key for Large Scale Curriculum Reform in Finland

Curriculum Making in Europe: Policy and Practice within and Across Diverse Contexts

ISBN: 978-1-83867-738-1, eISBN: 978-1-83867-735-0

Publication date: 20 January 2021

Abstract

The national core curriculum is renewed in Finland approximately every ten years, the most recent one being 2016. The core curriculum sets the general goals, providing the foundation for district- and school level curriculum development work (Finnish National Board of Education, 2016). The messages from transnational educational policy (e.g. OECD) are apparent in the core curriculum. However, districts, schools and teachers are highly autonomous in upholding, resourcing and deciding about the curriculum making at the local sites of activity. Accordingly, the curriculum making relies heavily on shared sense-making as a tool for cultivating transformative learning throughout the educational system. The chapter draws on the results of the national “School Matters” research project (2014-2018), to provide the meta-analysis of the sense-making in national curriculum making. Results suggested that the shared sense-making focused on engaging educational practitioners in learning at all layers of the system. However, the means for facilitating shared sense-making between the different layers of the system and curriculum was perceived to be less coherent by the stakeholders at the district and school level, than at the state level. This implies that the educational providers should not only be involved in co-creation of the aims, contents and values of the curriculum document, but also in designing novel and ecologically valid ways for orchestrating the complex and dynamic curriculum making.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgement

This research was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Academy of Finland.

Citation

Soini, T., Pyhältö, K. and Pietarinen, J. (2021), "Shared Sense-Making as Key for Large Scale Curriculum Reform in Finland", Priestley, M., Alvunger, D., Philippou, S. and Soini, T. (Ed.) Curriculum Making in Europe: Policy and Practice within and Across Diverse Contexts, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 247-272. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83867-735-020211012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Mark Priestley, Daniel Alvunger, Stavroula Philippou and Tiina Soini