The Finnish “recipe” towards inclusion

concocting educational equity, policy rigour, and proactive support structures

Pei Wen Chong*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Borrowing the lens of Finnish education policymakers, this article aims at dissecting the Finnish conception of inclusion and its approach in constructing an inclusive “special” education system as set against the wider debates and practices that shed different lights on the meaning and viability of inclusion. The discussion explores the foundation of inclusion in Finland as a range of complementary and cohesive strategies aimed at the prevention of exclusion at a systemic level as driven by the equity agenda. Inclusive education is set in the tone of a common school culture, which celebrates diversity by seeing varied needs as the norm through the provision of individualised education and proactive support. Going against the grain of neo-liberal reforms, Finland has diverted from the accountability practices of standardised testing and rigorous school inspection, instead adopted a community-wide consensus on the educability of every child.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)501-518
    Number of pages18
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Educational Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • inclusive education
    • special education
    • education policy
    • Finland

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