chapter  5
What Happened to Social-Democratic Progressivism in Scandinavia? Restructuring Education in Sweden and Norway in the 1990s
Petter Aasen
Pages 40

To many observers from the outside, the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway appear rather similar. And, although in terms of their natural conditions and their economic, social, and cultural histories they are quite different, there can be no doubt that with reference to social structure, forms of government, and predominant attitudes toward society, the Scandinavian countries have many common features. To a great extent, the similarities stem from political thinking and actions, which in the latter part of the twentieth century were characterized as an attempt to create social democratic welfare societies. This commitment to welfare policy was clearly reflected in the education policies of the three countries. In spite of differences, something that might be called a Scandinavian educational model, with Sweden in particular as a role model, was developed during a period of thirty to forty years after World War II. In the first part of this chapter, I give a general presentation of this educational model as it was developed in Sweden and Norway.