Tensions in the New Millennium: Inclusion Ideology and Education Policy in the Finnish Comprehensive School

  •  Juha T. Hakala    
  •  Marjaana Leivo    


This article examines the discrepancy between the ideology of inclusive education and the national education policy in the Finnish comprehensive school education. The study covers twenty years and is based on observations that indicate that the change in comprehensive school education, grounded in inclusive education ideals, has been slow. This has been the case, even though Finnish education policy has, on principle, committed to many international statements that promote inclusion ideology. The data consists primarily of statistics indicating the number of students in special education and national and international research on the subject. It confirms our supposition, but also the fact that statistics are not merely challenging but also capable of distorting reality. While examining the changes in student quantities over the last twenty years, we came to the conclusion that the fluctuation does not result from any real growth in student numbers. Changes in statistical methods, terminology in the field of study, norms, education systems or even social phenomena can also cause distortion.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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