Suomalaisen koulutuspolitiikan tasa-arvopyrkimykset: heijastumia ja katvealueita kielikoulutuksessa

Equality in Finnish education policy: aspirations and blind spots in language education


  • Johanna Ennser-Kananen Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Erja Kilpeläinen Jyväskylän yliopisto
  • Taina Saarinen Jyväskylän yliopisto


kieltenopetus, tasa-arvo, oikeudenmukaisuus, perusopetus


In this article, we examine Finnish language education in relation to the historical developments of promoting equality in Finnish education policy. We focus on language education in basic education and discuss this topic through the lens of three cases: the comprehensive school reform, projects to develop language education, and heritage language teaching. Although, in international comparison, the Finnish educational system has good outcomes for certain equality measures (e.g., small differences in student achievement between schools), many aspects of equality have been overlooked. In addition, success in PISA and achieving European goals of mother tongue plus two languages may have caused a certain level of complacency or reluctance to develop the educational system. When striving for justice and equality in language education, it is important to understand the historical and societal structures that have maintained and reproduced inequality up to today.